The Word within a Word shapes our lives so we need to listen to what our own inner being is telling us and to what nature is bringing us. This is our truth. The Word within shows us everything good and bad as clear water shows all the objects hidden on a lake’s bottom; broken glass, diamond rings, empty bottles, cans, nails, and other distasteful or beautiful objects. The clear water in the lake can also show what is above it. It reflects the sun off of the lake or in our case the mind, but when the mind or the water is polluted then the higher truths become hidden. They are not reflected and are forgotten so Adam falls one more time.
What comes from the mouth is the fruit of the heart. I spoke of this with my confessor once and he brought up the Beatles song “I, Me, Mine”. Made more sense then, then it does now. Tim
and then we need to check that our truth is the same as Christ’s
And that really cuts right to the heart of the matter:) Without the reality check you mention, we run the very real risk of steering off course into the false mysticism that has shipwrecked countless souls over time.
False mystics come in all shapes and sizes but they tend to have one common characteristic: they choose to be guided by their own inner lights.
Fr. Dubay in “Fire Within” has some particularily strong words on this. And, very appropriately, he saves his thoughts on false mysticism for his chapter on Spiritual Direction:
[quote=Fr. Dubay’s Fire Within, Chapter 16]The ecclesial approach to spiritual direction excludes definitively the religious bane of the ages, the illuminist who heeds only his own imagined inner light and will be guided by no other person. (St.) John notes that Jesus promised to be not with the individual alone, but where two or three are gathered in His name.
“Where two or three are gathered” is the Gospel imperative for the role of the spiritual director in helping to discern the meaning of our inner lights and inspirations . . . to make sure they are in conformity with the teaching of Christ. Expanding upon this, St. John of the Cross describes how the spiritual director “has the binding and loosing power of the Church herself” in these matters . . . pre-emptively excluding the possibility of souls being their own guide with regard to inner communications. In short, we don’t create or follow our “own truth.”
[quote=Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Bk 2, Chapter 22]We must be guided humanly and visibly in all by the law of Christ the man and that of His Church and of His ministers . . . Any departure from this road is not only curiosity, but extraordinary boldness. One should disbelieve anything coming in a supernatural way (i.e. inner lights), and believe only the teaching of Christ the man, as I say, and of His ministers who are men.
Piggybacking on what you wrote, here’s another quote from Dubay on the same topic:
One of the acid tests of humility and thus also of prayer growth is obedience to human superiors. Proclaiming that one is “listening to the Spirit” rather than to the visible representatives Jesus has appointed in His Church can conveniently camouflage what is really a refusal to obey. It is surprising how otherwise intelligent people can convince themselves that they are listening to the Spirit when it is obvious to others that they are doing nothing other than baptizing their own personal insights and inclinations. The New Testament is far more realistic when it gives as a criterion of listening to the Lord the very obedience given to His representatives: “He who hears you, hears me; and he who rejects you rejects me.” Egocentrism is of course at the root of the refusal to obey human superiors and teachers in the Church: it is often the I-know-better syndrome: I know better than those whom “the Holy Spirit has made overseers to feed the Church of God.” This arrogance kills prayer at its root.
Source: Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay, p. 119
Yes Dave, and that is a great temptation but is rooted in pride, or a focus on self exaltation, like most if not all New Age thinking.
Psa 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
Psa 101:7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
We as Catholics have to give ourselves totally to Christ without fear we have to go to Him inside where He is waiting.
from the site in your signature:
Enlightenment is the knowledge of the soul, which knows health, happiness, and the best path for us to take because the knowledge comes from within the person it is guiding.
Enlightenment gives a new concept of life, which helps form a new humanity on the individual and community level, changing lives for the better.
What is this all about?
Pardon me, but is this something related to New Age?
Enlightenment is the awareness that Jesus always present communicating to us through our soul. It has many positive characteristics that relate to peace and tranquility of the mind and a feeling of love towards all of God’s creation. It is a resting in God.
Is this New Age?
What is New Age?
The things that the website in your signature says.
I don’t think anyone could disagree with this. The saints often describe contempation as a “progressive entering within” and speak mystically of Christ as the deepest “center” of many centers in our soul. So I get that.
I think it would help readers, though, if you actually said something alone those lines in your OP Following up on Tim’s comment, if we did a global search and replace substituting what appears as “I/me/mine” with “Christ” we’d all be much more likely to be on the same page.
We don’t create our own reality or follow our own inner voice without guidence; that’s a fools errand. Equally important, the truly mystical inner voice is one that is in complete conformity with Christ . . . consisting in a true union of wills. His voice is ours . . . and ours His. The saints speak of this as the transforming union or spiritual marriage. And then and only then, IMHO, do we have a “word within the Word.”
Perhaps that’s what you mean . . . it just doesn’t come across that way, though.
DGT, You are right.
Christianity is not just walking into a church or repeating phrases from the Bible, but growing, understanding, loving and forgiving. We want to practice what Jesus believed not just repeat phrases to win a debate or to show superiority of a belief. We are here to change ourselves and grow closer to God.
What did Jesus believe?
Just a FYI - I think words like “enlightenment” really concerns people. It does have strong new age overtones.
That having been said, though, the saints do speak in terms of “self-knowledge” born of a very deep interior prayer that reveals faults previously hidden to us as well as a deeper appreciation for the glory and grandeur of God. Thus, authentic mystical prayer like this has two principal effects: it purges the soul then illumines. And the fruit of this on-going transformation is the (habitual) peace you mention and a union in “likeness of love,” otherwise known as the union of wills. St. John of the Cross goes so far as to describe this transformation as becoming “God by participation” (in His act of love).
Given your interest in the mystical, I think St. John of the Cross would be a really good guide for you. He’ll keep you out of trouble in more ways than one
Do you read the Bible? I feel sorry for you if you don’t know what Jesus believed that is the goal of your life. Good luck
DBT, That is good advice. I hope to put some St. John of Cross writing on the site, but I don’t know exactly how to get copyright permission. I will look into it. Thanks
Do you mind sharing what you read and what Jesus believed and how exactly, as you said from previous post – “We want to practice what Jesus believed not just repeat phrases to win a debate or to show superiority of a belief.”
Soma, I think grounding yourself in the mystical writings of the Doctors of the Church would be a very wise thing to do.
Perhaps I’m wrong but you seem to me to be trying to tackle a very big task on these forums:
Speaking mystically – which is always a challenge given that human language can not grasp, contain or communicate anything of experience of God. At best language will only be a pale approximation of the true reality. This failure of language is the great lament of the saints who - despite their failings in their own estimation - are light years beyond the rest of us.
Using terms, concepts and phrases that seem to have their origin in non-Christian settings. This only compounds the difficulties of #1.
And the combined effect of the above, unfortunately, far to often leads to confusion for readers and dissention among posters. Worse, it can lead the unsuspecting into error . . . so we must be very careful in what we say and how we say it.
Fortunately there is a solution to this dilemma. As one poster recently said: “let the Doctors be our doctors” and keep our own voice silent in these matters.
Just my :twocents:
I’ll try and practice what I preach now and leave the floor to others.