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Monthly Archive December 2019

Have the Faith of God

by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
December 24, 2019

Remember, as a child, how thrilling Christmas Eve was? I remember being so totally excited and filled with anticipation for my good in the form of presents that I could hardly sleep that night. What if you were to carry that same childlike joy, wonder, and awe into each night before bed, but being able to sleep deeply, knowing you are loved and cared for by your creator?

The Winter Solstice just occurred on December 21st, and we are in the heart of winter. We have plunged the depths of darkness and can now celebrate the return of the light. What a beautiful reminder that the light always returns. Always. Whatever darkness you may have experienced or are currently experiencing, please know that the light will return. On Christmas Day, while many commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world, I invite you to consider what light is being born in you?

American New Thought writer, teacher, and leader Ernest Holmes wrote, “Jesus was the embodiment of Divine Love who showed the way, the truth, and the life, and revealed that the heart of the Eternal is most beautifully kind.”

Jesus was a mystic, a way-shower who showed us how to do for ourselves what he did for himself. He taught us how to be born again, to have the faith of God and not just faith in God. Christ was not his surname. Having the faith of God is what is meant by “Christ-consciousness.” To have the faith of God, be unwavering in your understanding and embodiment in your belief that God is all, under, above, around, and about.

Jesus always gave thanks and commanded the outcome desired, and that outcome would manifest. He never asked God to answer his prayers, please, or thought to himself, “maybe this will work,” or, “I sure hope this works because everyone is watching!” Jesus knew the power of his word and was unwavering in his faith; he had the faith of God.

Consider the miracle of the loaves and fishes from the Bible. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up, and thanked God for them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. The baskets were never depleted. Five thousand people were fed, and there were pieces left over.

At this time of year, as we contemplate the birth of the most Divine person, let us rededicate our hearts to the service of humanity. Be kind and loving to one another, shine your light, forgive, and have the faith of God.

Contemplate and give thanks for the many blessings you already see in your life. Simultaneously wait in joyful anticipation for the multitude of gifts that pour into your life from the kingdom of heaven within such as love, wisdom, beauty, joy, peace, harmony, wholeness, bliss, forgiveness, prosperity, faith, and more.

What light is being born in you today?

And so it is.

Winter is here

by Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
December 11, 2019

We are in the heart of winter and quickly approaching the winter solstice, which occurs on Saturday, December 21st.

Our daily lives are affected by the shortened days with fewer and fewer hours of daylight leading up to the solstice. On the day of the solstice, we will experience the shortest day or the longest night of the year.

Here in Central California, we will experience between nine and ten hours of daylight, whereas, on the Summer Solstice, we experience fourteen hours. The dark triumphs over the light on the Winter Solstice. After that, the days get longer again and it’s time to celebrate the return of the sun.

The energy of winter and the time leading up to the Winter Solstice calls us to turn within for reflection and rest. Everything lies dormant, awaiting the return of the light. It’s a great time to contemplate the seeds you planted in the fall, which will begin to sprout up above the ground as the light becomes more prominent again.

Allow yourself to feel your emotions and experience the darkness of winter without fear knowing that the energies of new life and inspiration are birthing within you. Nurture yourself with compassion, rest, and reflection. As you do so, it can become the spiritual cradle into which your inner light and new life are born.

Our souls long for silence. It is from the silence where all things new emerge. I have heard it said that silence is the highest form of prayer. I couldn’t agree more. It’s what lies underneath all thoughts, feelings, words, emotions, and even physical forms. Silence is a powerful presence as it is in, through, and as all of creation. We emerged from the silence and will one day return to it.

Take this time of winter to court the silence. You can learn so much about yourself in the silence. Ten years ago, I attended my second five-night silent retreat.

On the first day of silence, I was sitting in my chair in the meditation hall that morning after breakfast, when I noticed a compulsive “reaching for” something. It wasn’t a physical reach but a reach of my attention and energy. I was pulled by a desire to grasp at or attain something. I went back into the silence for a while and eventually realized that it was my cell phone that was pulling the strings of my attention, which I didn’t bring with me.

I had become so conditioned to reach for my cell phone to check for text messages, voice mails, and so forth that the reaching continued even when the phone wasn’t there. In that moment of realization, the “reaching for” dissipated back into the nothingness from whence it came.

In the silence, you will discover so much about yourself and your natural state of existence. You will experience a greater sense of connection to Source and the liberation that comes with it.

And so it is.