saints

Saints Resisted Sin Out of Love

“For the sake of love all the saints resisted sin, not showing any regard for this present life and they endured many forms of death, in order to be seperated from the world and unified with themselves and with God, joining together in themselves the broken fragments of human nature. For this is the true and undefiled theosophy of the faithful. Its consummation is goodness and truth – if indeed goodness as compassion and truth as devotion to God in faith are the marks of love. It unites men to God and to one another, and on this account contains the unchanged permanence of all blessings.

“The actualization and proof of perfect love for God is a genuine and willing attitude of goodwill towards one’s neighbor. ‘For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen,’ says St John, ‘cannot love God whom he has not seen’ (1 John 4:20).

“The way of truth is love. The Logos of God called Himself the way; and those who travel on this way He presents; purified from every stain, to God the Father.

“This is the door through which a man enters into the Holy of Holies and is brought to the vision of the unapproachable beauty of the Holy and Royal Trinity.” ~The Philokalia

Saints Resisted Sin

What it meant to resist sin varies depending on the religion, and even on different churches within the same religion. Christians and Jews have the Ten Commandments to follow. But the Laws of God are more complicated than those basic rules. It can be expressed simply by saying that sin is anything that opposes the Will of God. It has also been said that sin is ignorance of God, because anyone who truly knows God would not violate His laws.

No Regard for the Present Life

I don’t think this is entirely true. There are many saints in various religions who spent much of their lives fighting for religious freedom and the human rights of their people. Moses took on the Pharaoh. Gandhi took on the British colonialist in India. So I think it is more accurate to say that saints place the spiritual life of themselves and others ahead of physical life on Earth. They are, in almost all cases, willing to fight against those persons, organizations, and forces that prevent people from practicing their spiritual growth methods. Continue reading “Saints Resisted Sin Out of Love”

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Contemplative and Active Spiritual Adept

“There have been all kinds of Saints, from St. Paul, to Father Damian, but the ” active ” Saints seem less interesting than the “contemplative.” Certainly the Fathers of the Desert are very seductive. They lived in caves or on the tops of pillars, supporting their existences on roots and brackish water, while they exhaled their souls in a hymn of timeless ecstasy like Shelley’s sky lark. Solitude was to them as water to the fish, and they preferred the society of beasts to that of men. … Their inner spirit was the most precious thing humanity possesses. For when everything else has failed a man, he arrives, if his courage holds out, at the joys of the spirit. The forces manifested in his experience, which succeeded in the long run in eluding his dominating grasp, answer submissively to the call of his mind in contemplation. … For he has arrived, if without the help of metaphysical analysis, by experience, at the conviction that nothing is real but thought which is the first—and perhaps the last— word of philosophy. Mystics and contemplatives of East and West of all creeds and rites have borne substantial witness to this truth. This is no doubt the reason why alike to the popular imagination as in the treatises of theologians the contemplative life is extolled at the expense of active virtue. For, to all of us, there come moments when we are aware of a psychological need, more profound, more urgent, than the desire for action. Before certain works of art, or occasional aspects of nature, or it may be at the exquisite climax of some mood of intimate personal emotion, a delicious paralysis steals over the will: we feel that we have done enough. In the calm that follows the whirlwind and earthquake of volition now, it seems, definitely stilled, we are conscious only of the beauty of the situation on which we gaze, we have no desire to modify it, we only wish to gaze on for ever.” ~from the Introduction to The Book of Divine Consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno

All Kinds of Saints

Many people, especially Christians, don’t know that several religions have saints. Not just Christians and Jews, but there are Hindu saints as well. Saints are not restricted to any one faith, any one nationality. They come from all parts of the world, from all religions, from all races and sexes. Of course, there are also those who are declared saints, but really are not, and those who never get declared saints, yet truly are.

In Caves and on Pillars

I had heard of Saints who lived in caves, at least for a time, but never one who lived on the top of a pillar. Yet some did exist! One was St. Simeon Stylites who spent 37 years living on a small platform on top of a pillar. The word “Stylite” comes from this saint and refers to all saints who lived atop a pillar. This tells us there were others.

St. Simeon on his pillar

St Luke the younger and Daniel the Stylite were two such Stylites.

In most cases, I think this lifestyle was not a preference of these saints, but something done out of necessity. St. John the Theologian was exiled to the island of Patmos where he lived out the rest of his life in a cave and wrote the Book of Revelation. I suspect he lived in a cave because it was the only shelter he could find on this small island. And St. Simeon Stylites took refuge on a pillar to escape the masses of people who bothered him.

It is said that St. John “spoke to God” through three holes or cracks in the cave. This is important to know. I think we can assume that John heard God while watching the sunrise through those cracks. In the same way, God speaks to us if we choose to look upon the Spiritual Sun and listen.

I think we can safely say that these saints who lived in caves and on pillars fall into the contemplative category.

Shelley’s Sky Lark

Shelley’s poem, To a Skylark, is indeed an ode to ecstasy. The sheer joy in life, expressed by the song of that bird. I don’t know if Shelley was considered a spiritual person, but this poem sounds to me as if this lark is an allegory for the human soul, especially a fully awakened one. Continue reading “Contemplative and Active Spiritual Adept”

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apostolic state

Apostolic State and How to achieve it

“The true Apostolic state is to become all things to all men; that is, to impart to each one spiritually, according to his necessities. Only those who are reduced to littleness and simplicity have this power of communicating grace. They have also the ability to sympathize deeply to the states of others, of bearing to some measure their burdens, and are sometimes in great heaviness on that account. This communication of grace and aid is not necessarily restricted to the personal presence of the individual. We may be ‘absent in body, yet present in spirit,’ after the manner of God’s operations, and as the angelic powers communicate to us. It is only by the enlightening of God’s Spirit that we realize the state of those to whom we are spiritually united.

“Unity of souls is experienced, not only with those in the body, who have affinity with ourselves, but also with those out of the body. I realize, with the holy prophet David, a correspondence and unity, which renders our souls one in God. You will experience this unity with the saints more fully when all perception of self is taken away.” ~Madam Guyon

Apostolic State

What Madam Guyon calls the apostolic state is better called today a state of spiritual enlightenment. This is the state of being sought by the ancient mystery schools and schools of spiritual philosophy such as those of Pythagoras and Plato.

All Things to All Men

I have to disagree with Guyon on this one. At least in the way we would interpret it today, no one can be all things to all men. If, for example, a person wanted to hire a hitman to murder a rival, would one in this apostolic state take the job? Certainly not! What Goyon is really saying is that a person in this apostolic state will treat all people equally, not showing favoritism based on race, nationality, language, etc. Just as the sun shines on us all, the true mystic sends love and joy to all. That doesn’t mean that the mystic will teach the path of hidden knowledge to anyone who seeks it. They are aware that the misuse of that knowledge makes that a dangerous thing to do. Yet the mystic, or person in an apostolic state, will teach any who are ready for such knowledge and will not misuse it.

Littleness and Simplicity

Today we would say with more accuracy that the spiritual person in an apostolic state must have humility. While the ego need not, and should not, be destroyed, it must be controlled by the awakened soul so that one can function in humility, yet still function. Only those with humility would want to help others, and only those who still have an ego would bother to do so.

Sympathize Deeply

I don’t know if the term was used in the time of Madam Guyon, but what she is describing here is an empath, and that is indeed common among those in an apostolic state. It simply stands to reason that spiritual people have far more concern for others than a materialist would. That concern often reached the point of being an empath where the person can feel the emotions and sometimes even the physical aches and pains of other people who are physically close to them. I know that I can get very sad when near a funeral even if I have no idea who the dead person is. Why are we like that? Because God wants us to understand the trials and tribulations of our fellow beings trapped in the realm of matter. This makes us more sympathetic to their plight as well as our own. Some spiritual people just wouldn’t worry about it too much if their own life was difficult, but when they can feel the difficulties of others, they are more motivated to work to heal the world. To be in a true apostolic state means that we want to aid in the process of changing the fallen worlds of matter back into spirit, and we won’t let any of the efforts of demons or those they inspire stop us.

Unity of Souls

The apostolic state is one in which all souls become united into one super being called the Godhead. Most, however, only experience this state occasionally, and for brief periods of time. But as they continue to practice and to raise their frequencies and consciousness levels using the Light of the Spiritual Sun, they experience that unity more often, and it affects their behavior even on the physical and mental levels.

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mystical saint, energized mystic

Mystical Saint and the Way to Become One

“The fact that St. Francis wrote little and lived much, that his actions were of unequaled simplicity and directness, long blinded his admirers to the fact that he is a typical mystic: the only one, perhaps, who forced the most trivial and sordid circumstances of sensual life to become perfect expressions of reality.
“Now the opening of St. Francis’s eyes, which took place in A.D. 1206 when he was twenty-four years old, had been preceded by a long, hard struggle between the life of the world and the persistent call of spirit. … In the midst of festivities, he would have sudden fits of abstraction: abortive attempts of the growing transcendental consciousness still imprisoned below the threshold. … ‘Even in ignorance,’ says Thomas of Celano, ‘he was being led to perfect knowledge’.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Mystical Saint

Not all mystics have been declared saints by any church. And not all saints were actually mystics. Yet a study of the lives of the greatest saints revel that most were mystics to some degree. Francis of Assisi was certainly one of the greatest saints. He was also a great mystic. He was a true mystical saint.

Mystic and Saint

Before we can understand what Ms. Underhill means, we have to consider what the difference is between a saint and a mystic. Generally speaking, those who are officially titled “Saint” have been granted that title by one of the worlds great churches. The exact criteria varies from church to church, religion to religion, but certain things are common. The saint must be a person who served God. Not only served God, but did so in an exemplary way. The average priest or minister isn’t declared a saint for simply serving God. Such a title goes only to those who showed extraordinary service in one way or another.

The mystic, on the other hand, seeks not only to serve God, but to develop his own spiritual faculties so he can do so better. The mystic doesn’t just do what he thinks is right, but seeks that divine knowledge called Gnosis so he will know that what he is doing is right. And the mystic tires to serve God by also helping others awaken their spiritual faculties. This makes it sound like the true mystic is also a saint, but only a few have been granted that title. Continue reading “Mystical Saint and the Way to Become One”

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