My own path in Catholicism changed dramatically when I made one heart felt prayer in utter frustration. Not terribly surprising I suppose but it came in the Spring of 2003, when I was up to my ears in the clerical abuse scandal. I had been teaching high school CCD, was on another diocesan board and was a daily communicant. As time went on I kept slamming into the understanding that with most of my fellow Catholics, even though I engaged in the same kind of service, and the same sacramental practices, I was not operating from the same mind set. If I had to try to explain this I guess I would say I was moving towards something--I didn't really know what--and others around me seemed to be at ease and comforted by what they had. In view of the abuse scandal I had no patience with this attitude at all. My lack of patience wasn't helped any by the fact I was privy to too much information about our own diocese.
I tried to tell myself that maybe they had found their vocation and I was still searching, or somehow the answers coming from the hierarchy worked for them and for some personal reason those answers were not enough for me. Except on a profound level I could feel things shifting in my relationship with Catholicism. Not with Jesus, but with Catholicism. There was something about Catholicism that was seriously out of whack. So in utter frustration, I demanded to know where I was supposed to go with this Catholic spirituality thing of mine. What good was it, if all it did was mess with my mind and heart.
With in days my life started to get more interesting and much more challenging, but in a good way. I also saw if I was ever to get where I was going, I wasn't going to be given a map. Of if I did get one, it was going to be mostly blank except for a little bit around the spot where I was at any given moment in place and time. I had to trust, to have faith, that there was a higher guiding intelligence behind me and that no matter how weird it would get, it was as it was meant to be. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace with that and so I gave consent. The "Thy will be done kind of thing". I wish I had a dollar for everytime from then on I would look at myself in the mirror and think "You are an idiot."
I understood that I was going on an extended pilgrimage of sorts in which I would experience how things used to be and how Jesus intended them. From this I was to begin a process of understanding where mankind might need to go. The first concrete sign things were changing showed up in my photography. All of a sudden I was getting orbs in a third of my shots. My profile photo is one of the very first I ever took, and it's also one of the clearest. That particular photo was a shot of a stained glass window depicting St Helena finding the true cross. It later dawned on me that this first photo might have been a metaphorical message of what this pilgrimage of mine was all about. Me being me, I'm not looking at it that way at all.
I thought for sure the phenomenon would show up around the Constantine window because Constantine's mystical conversion is when Catholicism really took off. I burned up maybe 200 or so shots in attempts to get a photo of an orb around the Constantine conversion window. I wanted validation for my thoughts. I somewhat failed to see I was getting validation because I didn't want to think about that kind of validation. Thank god you can delete digital photos because I was persistent. It has never happened to this day. It's always St Helena, and never Constantine.
Native elders say that an experience such as this one has layers with in layers with in layers. These kinds of experiences rarely lend themselves to an obvious surface explanation. When the Ancestors, or maybe in this case, the Communion of Saints and Angels, breaks through with this kind of message it always has many many meanings. Some of them are personal and some of them are for the tribe. The most powerful and important visions or experiences always center on messages for the good of the tribe. I'll let my readers think about what the universal messages might be.
For me personally St Helena represented a coming pilgrimage through a culture I wasn't familiar with on a similar search for meaning in the life of Christ and His teachings. The hopeful part of the message is in the end St Helena found what she was looking for--at least in a believable sense to her. I think the same thing holds true for all of us. More to come.......
St. Helena was influential in her son's life. She rejoiced when he turned away from pagan idols. Why did you identify with the emperor? Why were you disappointed that his mother seemed to be more a part of your journey?ReplyDelete
These orbs are interesting phenomena. Hmmm. I can't wait for the next in the series.
Did I mention that when my wife and I went walking through the woods a doe greeted us on our wedding anniversary? I hadn't seen a deer in about a year.
To be honest p2p at that point I didn't give much credence to the story of St Helena's trek to the Holy land or the finding of any of her sites. And the Constantine window is just gorgeous and happened to be the featured window on the side of the nave I where I usually sat. Of all the windows in the Catheral of St Helena, it was by far my favorite---artistically.ReplyDelete
It took me awhile to realize the orbs, especially this particular form of orb, were not just random events. One of the very first research projects I undertook was researching St. Helena's trek through the Holy Land. Wouldn't you know it that the Nat Geo channel ran a documentary the same week. I found out she may have been much more accurate than I even imagined, at least as an archeologist. :)
As to her influence in her sons life, it was powerful, but in some respects, her influence on the church was just as important. While her son was helping to invent the new church, she was preserving the old and it's old understandings. As my own journey went on I began to see the exact same thing is now happening in the Native American tribes. As the new is coming in, it is critical to preserve as much of the old as we can.
Very moving story, with interesting implications, Colleen. As per the Nat Geo program, the consensus out there is that Helena really did discover the authentic burial place of Jesus - and who knows what else. Recent photoscopy (if that's the technical word) tests on the Shroud of Turin suggest that along with the body, several nails, two sets of crowns of thorns that completely cover the skull, the head of a lance, as well as several sponges, were also buried with the master. This 'discovery' was greeted with howls of sarcasm and incredulity from skeptics, until Jewish scholars pointed out that it was Jewish custom of the time in the case of a violent death to bury along with the body any objects that had come into contact with the victim's blood. So who knows what Helena may have actually discovered in the tomb. To have come up with several of the nails, the lance head and crown of thorns doesn't sound quite so far fetched any more. She 'uncovered' the foundations of the faith in a very graphic and concrete way, the root of the faith, which is the true definition of 'radical.' And the presence of orbs and other light phenomena appearing in photographs, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you, also characterizes the energy of Medugorje. Very interesting.ReplyDelete
I am impressed with the orb and your journey as you tell it. My journey began about 1990 as I began to loose all confidence in the direction that JP II was going. Such a great leader, such a backward direction! I don't think it was any one thing. I remember seeing JP II in Dodger Stadium in the late 80's and I had not yet fully understood that his leadership was so very regressive. I had been very concerned all along about Cardinal Ratzinger's mistreatment of most of the current great theologians. It seems that no Catholic theologian has even spoken out very clearly since then without censor. I had been reading many of these men and felt that the church was acting out of fear, not genuine conviction. As I watched Ratzinger work unimpaired by JP II, I began to understand how misguided the whole Vatican leadership was. I also remember some Jesuit warning of an impending sexual behavior crisis in the church, and the men who gave these warnings were chastised as if they were bringing scandal. It was not one thing, it was a preponderance of misconduct in the leadership, some recognized by my wife who was a fan of Bishop Hunthausen.
Archbishop Hunthausen is such a great guy. For some reason he was far more instrumental in my own path than our very minimal interactions should have indicated.ReplyDelete
Actually I know the reason, but that will be explained further in the story.
Jayden, the shroud is absolutely critical to the story I will tell. It will only make sense when people accept it's presence is a consequence of the quantum reality. Call it Jesus's validation of quantum reality.
Which leads me to write a bit of a brain teaser. Just what were these keys to the kingdom that Jesus gave Peter? Actually, what keys to what kingdom is probably the better question?
Why did Jesus have Peter walk on water, show him the transfiguration, cast his nets after fruitless fishing, tell him to gather what food he could before feeding the multitudes, calm storms at his request, tell him his immediate future? What reality was Jesus having Peter participate in? What keys was Peter given?
They weren't to Vatican City, and Peter wasn't the only one who got some keys to this kingdom. He did however, get the most critical key, and that is compassionate non judgmental love as embodied in Jesus.
But I can't continue this story if I run out of manna, and I am very close to that threshhold. It's one of the prices one has to pay for moving on this pilgrim path, for working in that Kingdom. The Israelites had to do it, the original disciples did it, St. Francis, and every single powerful Native healer or Budhist monk I've ever met. There are legitimate reasons for that too, but again everything has to come in it's proper place.
The word verification is purads. I guess you could say this is a pure ad. :)
I really like your questions here, Colleen. Jesus, in John, is "door" "way" "gate" - the Parables are likely "keys" - like koans, they open up what it means to follow Jesus or seek the Kingdom. And what is the "rock" upon which we are to build?ReplyDelete
Another thought: Jesus did not ASK Peter to walk on water. Peter asked Jesus IF he was Jesus to call to him to come. So I'd say that Peter had tuned into a need and voiced it. And Jesus responded to Peter's desire. For me, it's the "call" part that I'm intrigued with. Jesus "called" some, as we know. Then he called "all" - "Come to me, ALL you..." He expects us to knock, to ask, but also to wait, to see, to hear. Discernment is part of it, it seems to me.
Just some random thoughts here. I love what we're doing right now. How we're interacting, sharing. And I think it's a group-process, which likely mirrors our individual processes.
The Church - at work!
Yes, many of the parables could be seen as koans. The Gospel of John uses many metaphors for keys, and doors and gates and kingdoms.ReplyDelete
For me the Gospel of John is not just theology or anecdotal history. It's also describing a way of thinking and conceptualizing.
And yes, the conversation is very important for me too. It's helping me put a great deal of stuff together and finding my voice.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of Heaven. Repeatedly He explains about it; giving explanations in Parable form.ReplyDelete
The Kingdom is a mystical, supernatural family of all who try to follow the Gospel (Living it!) & who believe in Jesus. Membership is free, beginning now...in Time. And continuing in Eternity after one passes over the Veil.
Hence the point of the Communion of Saints: they are members of the Family....the Kingdom. The exist in Eternity, which is effectively a 'parallel universe' in which all has been completed in Time. This is why invoking the prayers of the Saints is so important. They are, literally, our friends & family members, spiritually.
The 'Keys' which gain one admittance into the Kingdom are the Gospel itself. Comprehending it, Internalizing it. And Living it as best we can each day. Fall? Get up again!
Christ did not set up Peter, the Apostles, nor their erstwhile successors as gatekeepers! Rather as dispensers of free tickets. To all who freely wanted entrance.
At the same time, Jesus gave a warning to the Vatican self proclaimed 'gatekeepers"
"But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter."
...now before someone claims this was ONLY aimed at the Temple Masters of 33 AD:
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves."
Did Jews ever actively engage in the conversion business? Nope. Never. The words of Matthew 23 are spoken in prophecy, for the spiritual successors of the Scribes & Pharisees.
Anon Y. Mouse
I've seen orbs. Truly. They were reflecting off my glasses and also one time on the back window of my car years ago. Fascinating. There were many of them. It was unexplainable and I never heard of them before when I saw them on the car window through a review mirror and turned around a few times and they were following the car.ReplyDelete
Butterfly, that's interesting that you could continue to see them. In my own case, if I'm taking photos in dim light or at night, I can see them when the camera flashes. Which is kind of cool, because then you get instant verification from the camera video screen.ReplyDelete
One of my Elder mentors says this indicates my brain is dropping it's entrained filters,--entrained filters are our brain's way of filtering out useless information not readily conceived of as necessary survival information. I was also told I still need a crutch to assure my ego that the phenomenon is real, which is why I can see them with my naked eye as long as their is a flash from a camera. My filters are relaxed only with in the time frame of the camera flash because that is how I have made the neural associations in my brain.
I can see orbs in certain lighting situations. Outside, for example, when the sun is at a certain angle while sitting on the porch, if I look for them, I can see them. I've seen them inside too, at the kitchen table of all places and I do not remember any special lighting situation. I'm usually too busy to look for them. I'll have to focus on that in the week ahead and report back any more orb findings.ReplyDelete
All of the orbs I've seen look very similar to the one in the picture. What are they?
There are a number of theories as to what they are. Natives, because they tend to see them most frequently as blue orbs and usually in sweat lodges and other ceremonies, think they are a vehicle of sorts for the spirits.ReplyDelete
The reason they appear in photos as the do is because the camera is capturing what are actually spheres as cross sections of the sphere.
The orbs I have seen are white. The multiple orbs I saw while driving caught my attention by their light. I was traveling westbound & am trying to remember the time of day. I saw a flash of light, it was not the sun, & had to look out the rear view mirror & then saw a group of orbs, and at the time never heard of them or saw them before in my life. One was very large in size that took up almost the entire vertical space of the rear window of my Honda Accord. That was in the mid-'90s. I am thinking that it was when I had a temp job and it was morning after 8 AM during rush hour on a busy highway and it was a few months after my father died. I had many spiritual awakenings and events occurring during that time.ReplyDelete
It really was a time when God was breaking through to me with the Truth that God is real even though we can't see God. It was a time when my consciousness of God, the true God of Love, His Kingdom was making His presence known to me in many ways. Prior to this time I was mostly too fearful of God to get to know Him.
It was a time when God was trying to break through my consciousness to make me aware of Him, so I could be led by Him.
The orbs look like hosts. They are round but around the edges are many points. Picture V's or U's all the way around the perimeter of the sphere. Within the sphere are lines similar to the picture you have here. There are design sections within this sphere that are all different.
I am very grateful that you have pictures of these orbs. Please post some more of the pictures of orbs that you have.