“The first peace, which is the most important,
is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship,
their oneness with the universe and all its powers,
and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit,
and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
(shelf fungus hidden in the woods / Julie Cook / 2017)
Time is a funny commodity.
Whereas we are each allotted 24 hours within a single day’s time, those hours are
not always necessarily our own…
Ebbing and flowing like the tide, what is ours and what is not, comes and goes.
Sometimes plentiful, sometimes fleeting…
And as I’m finding myself currently without the ample time I’d prefer
allowing for say our, as in you and me, being able to chat more in-depth
about those things I think most important for our current track of exploration…
I must settle instead for the reflection of a quick observation.
There was a ‘Verse of the Day’ that came in around Saturday or so….
“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”
And like most mornings and time, I did my due diligence in opening, reading and
in turn, mentally ticking off the one more item on the packed list of to dos
thus far for the day.
Yet it was there, right then and there, that I stopped suddenly,
almost stumbling over my own feet as I read….
“I the Lord search the heart AND EXAMINE THE MIND…
I totally understand the use of the word ‘heart’…that’s a plentiful enough word when
reading scripture….but it was the notion that God was / is not only reading,
but was / is rather actually examining my mind.
that one little thought made me shift my weight from side to side
as if I were a bit uncomfortable….hummm…
Examining is not just a cursory passing or glancing over but more like a
thorough inspection….a pretty image was not now what I was watching unfold.
You know that thing that is basically like a steal trap…??
that thing we call a brain which houses a mind that runs and races
Racing even while we sleep, racing with all sorts of positives accented by a
plethora of rubbish???
Rubbish that no one on earth is ever privy to unless we allow those thoughts to
then flow from moving lips—-but chances are…the lips don’t slip.
Our thoughts, we fiercely believe, are our own.
For both good and bad, they are ours.
By all outwardly appearances, we can look to be a paragon of virtue,
but peel away our head and read that racing ticker tape….
and any notion of virtue flies right out the window.
Yet we are the only ones who know such—everyone else just sees the exterior
And yet here, in what I’m reading, I’m being told that He reads my mind.
My ugly, dirty, selfish, self absorbing thoughts…
thoughts that are less than loving, pleasant, gracious or kind.
Hateful, hurtful, cussing, fusing…unsavory thoughts….
So I stop.
I stop reading.
This is bad…
this is really really bad.
I know my thoughts and if God is picking through them,
then I might as well be toast.
So I go seek out the full passage…
and I see that there is actually a ray of hope sitting a bit further
down the page….
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.
As I am reminded that not only is it important to physically tick off my daily
chores and actions…it shall behoove me to be mindfully focused…
that I may be healed and in turn saved…from particularly myself….
The closet of the soul is the body; our doors are the five bodily senses.
The soul enters its closet when the mind does not wander hither and thither,
roaming among things and affairs of the world, but stays within, in our heart.
Our senses become closed and remain closed when we do not let them
be attached to external sensory things, and in this way our mind remains
free from every worldly attachment, and by secret mental prayer
unites with God its Father. “And thy Father which seeth in secret shall
reward thee openly,” adds the Lord.
God who knows all secret things sees mental prayer and rewards it
openly with great gifts. For that prayer is true and perfect which
fills the soul with Divine grace and spiritual gifts.
As chrism perfumes the jar the more strongly the tighter it is closed,
so prayer, the more fast it is imprisoned in the heart,
abounds the more in Divine grace.
So, brother, when you enter your closet and close your door, that is,
when your mind is not darting hither and thither but enters within your heart,
and your senses are confined and barred against things of this world,
and when you pray thus always, you too are then like the holy angels,
and your Father, Who sees your prayer in secret,
which you bring Him in the hidden depths of your heart,
will reward you openly by great spiritual gifts.
St Gregory Palamas