Goal: Knock on the Gates of Heaven
Current Level: Wanderer. (637 XP) NOTE: I am well aware of the vanity of giving one's self XP in spiritual growth, but it's my website damn it.
The Rigteous Path is my favorite way of expressing what some might call "The Good Life" or "Moral Uprightness" or "Being a Saint." It is a multifacited idea and continuous goal that one is always striving for and never fully reaching. Jesus expressed it as "The Hard and Narrow Way" and it involves getting rid of all selfish attachments and ills of the soul and promoting in one's self the cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Temperance, Justice, Courage, Honor and Wisdom. On the practical level of the ordinary day, it means things like not telling lies, being a good father, loving my wife, thinking of myself less and others more, believing that God is good even when circumstances suggest otherwise, giving to the needy, knowing right from wrong in complex situations, being willing to confront evil even at great personal cost, dealing fairly, abstaining from lust and the overindulgence of food and drink, Etc. You get the idea.
Am I good at it? No. Not really. Though I will say I've been trying to walk the Rightous Path more than a lot of other people and, if I may say so without boasting, maybe I am a tad further along than some. I am unapologetically Christian and so my idea of what The Righteous Path is is heavily dependent on the life and teachings of Jesus. That said, I don't know what *kind* of Christian you could call me, if indeed I fit into any defined box. I have, throughout the journey of my life, been almost every kind. Conservative and Liberal, Protestant and Catholic, Evangelical and Mainline, I've even did a stint as an Eastern Orthodox man for a while, oh and for like 5 months I was a Quaker. For many and varied reasons, I have walked through all those modes of living the life of a disicple... and, more often than not, kept walking right on through them but always taking a piece of what each had with me. In that way I'm sort of a Christian omnibus, sometimes walking and talking like a Southern Baptist and then breaking out a prayer rope and singing a chant in Old Slavonic while burning incense or practicing silent mediation in search of the Quakerian "inner light". I don't know why, I suppose it's just my path. Some have called me fickle to be always shifting around so. They may be right.
On this page I journal my various triumphs and failures in trying to walk The Righteous Path and grow closer to God and the knowledge of God. I am a bit of a mystic, so from time to time what I write may seem a bit weird. If you're here and have read this far though, maybe you'll enjoy it, and, maybe, hopefully, some of it will help you.
Remember to Pray Always. If I am convinced of anything it is that, if you pray, and pray often, God will lead you where you need to be.
The primary existential despair in my life has always been a sense of lonliness. The idea that, no matter what happens, each of us is always stuck inside our own heads. Forever and always there is a barrier of skull and bone and flesh seperating your inner-most self from mine. Our bodies might meet, but our souls are forever seperated. As the old maxim goes, "No matter who you're with, you always go to sleep alone." Recently however, during prayer, I had a Personal Unverified Gnosis (PUG) that this may not be true. The situation may not be so hopeless as all that. I can indeed show you my soul and the vehicle for that is the Logos, my speech, whether used audibly, visually, or acted out. The catch is that you must, you MUST, be completely honest totally in line with the Truth . If you shade the presentation of yourself to another with half-truths, disguises, or lies, you can never truly be known and a communion of soul can never happen for what you are giving the other person is false, an unreal and nonexistent version of yourself. Of course, being totally honest and open like this is frightening. It involves not only full communication of your weaknesses and deficiencies, but also your sins. Your dark thoughts. Your unspoken and perverse desires. Your capacity and desire for evil and harm.
This is why confession is so necessary. Not because God is so angry about your sins, no, but because by hiding them you lock yourself up in a prison of your own making. This is what Hell is by the way, a place where all you have is yourself. Many (maybe most?) of the early Church Fathers beleived that had Adam and Eve merely apologized for their transgression, Paradise would have never been lost. Buy they didn't. They hid. They lied.
Pursue total honesty about what you are and confess as much to God and, as much as is appropriate, to Man. Also, confess it to yourself. Does a murderer lurk inside you, held back only by lack of opportunity or fear of consequence? Admit it. Does an adulterer exist behind your seemingly loyal eyes? Say so. Whatever it is, no matter how depraved, you must confess it to loose the shackles that bind your soul.
Lord Jesus please bless and be a constant help to whoever reads this, may they find true peace. Amen.
We become what we think about. As go our thoughts, our loves, our desires, so go our futures. God desires worships for no other reason that this: that we, his children, may become like him. Worship is the act of turning heart, soul, mind, and body toward the Infinite, the Divine, the Everlasting, the Good and the Beautiful and the True. The goal of the Christian life is Deification, to become as God, *AS* *GOD*. Coheirs with Christ, every bit as much a son or daughter of God as he, dare I say, even to become wrapped up in the Godhead itself.
Worship is the act of trying to make one's self into a perfect mirror, reflecting the perfect light. We are trying to become Moons, reflecting a greater Sun. This is why the saints have halos, they have made themselves so clean that the light of God himself shines through. Confession of sin, an honest and frank assessment of our faults and requesting help to do better... all this is but cleaning the dirt off ourselves that we may better shine.
God asks for worship not to stoke his ego nor to have people grovel and remind him how awesome he is. No, quite the contrary. He asks for this out of Love, like he asks for all things. That his creatures may turn towards him and become as he is. "My Father AND your Father," as Christ said. A Son is of the same kind as its father. It shares the same nature. The claim that we may become sons and daughters of God is nothing less than to claim that we may ourselves become God. Of the same nature. For, as always, "God became Man in order that Man might become God."
Here's my favorite prayer. It's "The Jesus Prayer" used often in Eastern Christianity. Repeat slowly, over and over again, timing with the breath if you desire, or not if you don't. Use it as a meditation. A mantra if you will. Sit, be still, repeat it until you feel it in your bones and let the mind go where God takes it. God Bless you and yours.