This is a beautiful reflection from Francis Brown today. It brings together all of the ideas he has been exploring in the chapters leading up to this. It's an holistic exploration of the concepts of faith, love and kingdom. Included at the bottom of the page is a music track from the 2CD set, "Music for Joyful Prayer" (which is available in our Spiritual Marketplace).
Faith and Love
In my attempts, while I am in this earthly dimension, to express love, I am inevitably caught up in conditions. I fall in love with someone who seems to suit me in one or other or all of my emotions, physical appearance, health, aroma, conversation, religion, spirituality and charm. When the conditions are not persistent, the love that sparked a union or relationship dies or remains under stress. This is so because my existence here is not the reality brought about by my Creator and, like the confused Alice in Alice in Wonderland; I grope around trying to replicate a love I only vaguely recollect, like a song half remembered, or like an image in the polished metal mirrors of ancient times. I do my best but I am not me but, like Alice, dreaming.
God, in an explosion or overflowing of Love creates an offspring, an extension of Love. God does not need me, the offspring, but God loves me without reserve. God does not lay down conditions to God's Love. That is the Love I belong to and belongs to me. It does not fail and Corinthians 13 has a fair outline of virtues that promote it.
The Love that is the shared Life of God is not dependant on need. To practice love on someone in this earthly dimension, need is not a criterion. For me to require someone to fulfill my needs is not love in the true sense. It might have other commendable traits but it is not a true refection of the Love that brought me into being and gave me a share in divine Life.
God gives me All-Life in the Bringing-Me-into-Being (Creation). Apart from being The Creator, there is nothing I am not. God extended holiness, perfection, eternity, integrity and creativity, everything God is (except being the Creator). God does not create in half measure nor does God give and take away. I come from God. I share divine Life. I have no need of God but I love God as my Creator, my Mother-Father, and Source. It is Love that gives me Life and it is Love that I share with God and with other manifestations of divine Love.
Faith is like Love. It is what is given me in response, as it were, to the idea of separateness from God and one another. It is what I hold onto in this earthly dimension to help me remember what I have obviously forgotten. In divine Presence I have knowledge. In this earthly dimension I fall back on faith. I do not need faith but I use faith to stir me on to vigilance for the things of God, as the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus guide me to.
The faith I hold and is holding me, is, as taught by Jesus, a transforming one. By committing myself to remembering what I am in God's Will, I become awakened to the Divine Life I am. The Holy Spirit is with me in defining and perfecting my expression of faith. It is obvious I remain totally committed to life in earthly dimension, obviously because I am still here (and it is not bodily death that takes me from here!), so I will give that total commitment to the Awakening, the Awareness of my sharing of divine Life. St Paul called for conversion. The Greek word used was metanoia which calls for a complete turn about, a right about face. Faith, hope and charity are what I have in this earthly dimension. In my transformation, brought about by awakening to reality with God, my-now-Presence-inheaven, I will not need faith and hope but Love is of my very essence. 2006
Love is of the essence of God. I share in that essence through Creation. I cannot be separated from love except in dreams of my making. Instead of remaining in the dreamlike dimension humanity has clung to through history, I have decided to be awake in God, to be only the Presence of Love. That is the core of Jesus' teaching. He wants me to awaken to my full potential, to live the life given in Creation to the fullest. Awake as Jesus calls me to be, I find that love embraces all things, allows all things, trusts all things, and transcends all things. Love is never possessive. Love is never fearful. Love is simply unconditional. Love cannot share with specialness upon anyone at any time, for specialness attempts to take Love and make it shine on only one object or person or being of our choice. Love, being of the essence of God, of me and of all of us as created, extends in my creativity to all of Creation. 2007
Growth in Faith
"I clung on for all I was worth — in the belief that there is no salvation without the church and little hope for me. From an early age I had believed that I was misbegotten of God a sinner born for death."
These words, from the lips of one caught in depression, capture the experience of many, no matter to what Church or Religion or None (if one such group really exists), one person or another belongs. I believe that a person is the closest to true knowledge of its relationship to God at its first instant of existence (as human). As that one progresses in time and contact with a world which is not its true home (in it but not belonging to it), the accuracy of its knowledge is lessened. It is at the mercy of other person's or group's perceptions which are under the influence of many factors.
My first remembered infancy experience was of being integral, a life-form existing within a single Being. I was aware of a world that I was perceiving as if it were a cloud floating in the sky, seemingly real but known only in my mind My true being was experienced in, but also apart from, the world around me. My body was perceived as my body, something that the real me could use. I was Adam in the garden of paradise.
When I started at school and perhaps earlier, I was taught guilt and sin and alienation and rejection. I was confused but because of authority figures demanding attention my view of me and my world were altered. A self image was super-imposed on the one I knew to be real. Expressions like "Stop dreaming, Brownie" and "Get real" were regular demands on me. I descended into hell because of the conflicting feelings.
To make a long story briefer, I did have a resurrection after many years of crucifixion. Many happenings many of which were traumatic but seen now obviously the work of the Holy Spirit, were catalysts for renewal. Over the last thirty years the perception I had as an infant is coming back. The action of allowing this troubled person to become still is probably the predominant factor in the repair of my perception. In quiet moments, when I was able to still the human brain (especially compulsive thinking) to allow the Mind of God to touch me, I found some revival of the innocent life I had as an infant.
I have learnt to forgive me, my parents, my teachers, my religion, my humanity to the extent that I see only innocence. Nothing was wrong. All was simply part of an awakening from a dream of my making. It was there for me to come to the full awakening of the innocence and perfection and fullness of me as created.
The only energy I want to use is the energy of Love. I don't want to waste energy on criticism of me, of my parents, of my teachers, of priests, bishops, popes, of Church, of religion. They were my unhealed projections. Now I want to project Love
The "Kingdom" of God
Now is the time for you to give birth fully to the Presence of the Christedness of you. "Let that Mind be in you which was in our Lord, Jesus Christ", St Paul wrote. That mind for me is as one of perfect freedom, the freedom to be as God created me or to delay the realization of that by living for a while a world of illusion. The reality of my being as created by God cannot be changed but I can believe myself to be whatever I wish. That is what has happened. Now is the time to totally commit myself in this world to being what I was created. I say "totally" as the commitment is to be with all my mind, with all my energy, with all my gifts, with all my awareness and I do this not for any consideration in this world of my making, not for my father, my mother, my partner, brothers or sisters, not for this Earth, this universe, not for my religion, not for the faith I profess. I do it for the Self I am as created by God. I separate myself from the illusion I have allowed to inhabit my mind, to be wholly committed to express, in all the events and doings of my life, only Love. It is from Love that I was created. That is what I am with God. That is of my nature.
With that commitment I am no longer drawn so drastically to anything here, meditation, rituals and other props I felt I needed. I look at all things of this world and see their perfect harmlessness, neither good nor bad. They just are. I seek first the "Kingdom" of God. It is within me. I use the things of this world as occasions of expressing my nature, Love. I use them, welcome them enjoy them, give them up. Yes, but I do not need them, because the Kingdom of God is within. You don't have to believe in Jesus, nor hold to some theological notion of what God is, or to adhere to a religion, as the Kingdom of God is within. Certainly to have these in my life may be an occasion for expressing the Love that belongs to the Kingdom, but, as I have the Kingdom within, there is no need.
Having the Kingdom of God within, and the Mind which was in Jesus Christ, I have power and wisdom to choose. Using religion, but without the feeling of dependence on it, I can choose to discover what it means to express only Love and see that it is good. I am absolutely committed to being awake to the Self that is created by Love, the essence of God. I, being an extension of God, am also a creator, extending Love. The Awakened Christ in me informs every step, every decision, the quality of my perceptions, and the very nature of my expanding awareness. I realise that all things have arisen from within me. Religion has teachings and practices that were formulated with research and care but all that is necessary is asking how I can extend the treasure that I am and have from the Creator. I embrace the illusions I live with and let them go without judgment. So I give all my energy to create a world based on my creations towards a world of Love. Am I willing to trust the flow from the nurturing Mind of God through a mind empowering me to extend the treasure I have received? The function of religion is to support and encourage me in this.
In my "journey" I am already that which I seek. My only need is to allow it to guide me and allow me to use my body while it lasts as a communicating device for extending Love.
The music today comes from the 2cd set "Music for Joyful Prayer" available from the Catholica Spiritual Marketplace HERE!
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Francis Brown is a priest of the Roman Catholic Rite who was ordained in St Stephen's Cathedral in Brisbane in 1953 after completing study and training at St Paschal's College in Box Hill, Victoria. He served as a missionary in Papua New Guinea with a group of fellow Franciscans from 1955 to 1973. Having obtained permission to marry in 1973 he worked amongst the villagers on road construction and continued as their elected representative in Local Government. At the end of 1973 he, along with his wife, Mary, continued family life in Australia. He worked as a Probation and Parole Officer before retirement and has continued an active engagement in the parish and community life of the suburb of Kingsgrove South-West of Sydney. His main hobby is writing poetry and prose endeavouring to help himself and others gain a greater awareness of God and all as One.
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[Index of Commentaries by Francis Brown]