Sunday 2-24-13 – Fear of the Lord

Happy Sunday!

“Fear of The Lord” is one of those gifts of the Holy Spirit that we Catholics are to believe that we receive at Confirmation.  My Catholic education, during the softer time of the 70s, had the teacher trying to soften the term by telling me this term just meant respect for God. I still found the term repressive.  This along with the refrain we said in Church each Sunday “Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and my soul will be healed” really enforced the idea of separation from God.  God out there somewhere being great and wonderful with me being down here unworthy.
As a child I was naturally good, never got into any trouble, never had to be punished.  So I had no incidents or behaviors to lay guilt on myself or to say why I was unworthy.  I just was, perhaps because of something called original sin that made no sense.  Was I to blame Adam and Eve for my life sentence of ignorance?   Being unworthy I didn’t have expectations of ever being worthy of understanding ‘the meaning of life” or my purpose for being here.
Having learned so much about my self in the last year, including finding myself worthy, this week I found myself struggling once again with fear of God.  For a couple of months now I have been working on a soul strengthening journey as led by the book Entering the Castle by Caroline Myss.  The journey is broken into seven mansions within the castle, based on the teachings of Theresa of Avila.  I worked through the first three mansions of reflections on my personality; doing the work of evaluating my own behavior and interactions with others.  The start of the fourth mansion stated to be prepared to receive God.  This scared me, but I was given an ‘out’ in that Caroline said to have a private place to do this work.  I was just starting renovation of our spare room into my “being” room so I put off entering the fourth mansion for a few weeks.
Well I finished my room last week so my excuse was gone; I had to enter the mansion.  My meditating was strong but so was my fear of actually hearing back from God.  My fear was holding me back.
The castle has been my nightly practice while each morning I do my lesson from A Course in Miracles (ACIM).  Well as has been the case for me for months, many loose ends seem to come together to form one rope pulling me forward.  My ACIM lesson on Thursday was to listen for the voice of God.  I had no way of hiding now as I have a hard time not doing my ACIM work, it being my lessons direct from Jesus (I say this with a smile on my face as acceptance of this was a tough acknowledgement as well). I finished reading the lesson with trepidation and went into my reflective meditation.  I envisioned my inner being cowering in my mind, fear of the great one about to speak over me.  I could not even imagine what God would have to say to me.  I cleared my mind of my cowering self and I heard my own voice say “I am well pleased”.
My own voice!  But such an affirmation!  So simple and loving.
I didn’t immediately accept this message as being anything divine but  as I considered it over the next few hours I grew more and more joyful.  I obviously don’t typically say those kind of things to myself.  And, if I can put into practice what I say I believe, that we are all God, then my own voice makes perfect sense.

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