PERFECT LOVE

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

“We believe the ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation from all discord of every nature,  and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.”

~ Ernest Holmes ~

The above quote is one of the tenets of Religious Science, from its statement, “What We Believe.” To me, it says, ‘no matter how many detours one may take, just like the proverbial prodigal son, everyone will eventually turn to the Indwelling Presence, and receive the gifts of higher consciousness.’

The process of awakening to our true nature is a gradual unfoldment into the “greater-yet-to-be” version of ourselves. The emergence of this heightened consciousness is often attained through trial and error while “the infinite lies stretched in silent repose.” In other words, the Divine Principle of Life is always ready to spring forth into the action of Perfect Love, which is, the healing balm for all things.

The Intelligence of God, operating through the intelligence of humanity, has proved Its Omniscience. 

There is nothing impossible to attain. And, there are many ways illumination is ignited as it restores humanity’s sense of Wholeness.  Science is breaking through barriers every day, on both physical and mental levels. For example, when I was a child, the idea of traveling out of space was science fiction, polio was not uncommon, and mysteries of the mind were stigmatized.  

Although wise ones, in a declaration of Oneness, have said, “none of us are truly healed until all of us are healed;” Jesus, in his great wisdom, understood that even though the gift is offered to all – all do not receive it at the same time. In this regard he said, “You will always have the poor among you.”  

~ ~ ~ ~

Imagine, if you will, there is a great awakening throughout all humanity where it is clearly seen that the former things that once suggested separation, fear, and disease are now fallen away. Imagine that humanity has bonded in a common vision of harmony. Imagine individuals who, enthusiastically, give of their talents, skills, and abilities in their chosen field of endeavor, bringing about personal fulfillment. Imagine all this creating a world that works for everyone.

This graduation into higher vibrations and dimensions of perception is always taking place. While everyone, everywhere, may not be on board at the same time to fulfill the vision, I affirm there is enough of us, right now, through the power of Love, who are sufficient to be “my brother’s keeper,” letting the doorway to the infinite swing wide open into a new time, a new generation, a new way of being in the world. 

There is an ever-expanding consciousness that can be likened to a continuum; and, humanity, moves from level to higher levels of Self-expression through various experiences; both individual and collective. I affirm we step boldly into our new experience of the world, fully equipped to move upward and onward in the endless unfoldment of the ever-evolving self. At the proper time, the baton will once more be passed on to the next generation, who, with the unconstrained love or union with the Divine Self, becomes the impetus for ever-flowing grace. 

Some may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.


This Week’s Affirmation

“I feel love. I see love. I understand love. I AM LOVE.”

By Keith D. Childers

P.U.S.H.

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Have you ever noticed that your thoughts sometimes get caught up in a cycle where you are thinking the same thing over and over, until you finally catch yourself, and purposely move into the present moment? Or does that just happen to me? 

Wikipedia states, “A habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously; a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.” 

What I have noticed is, much of my thinking is habit. In other words, I think without thinking about what I am thinking about. Some of my habit-thinking is a result of embodying certain spiritual principles; and, without effort, those thoughts provide an avenue through which God’s grace flows unimpeded. The more grace I experience, the more I affirm: “I live by Grace.” Through repetition, I unknowingly solidify that habit of thinking.

On the other hand, I also experience habit-thinking that is out of alignment with what I know to be true. There are times I ask myself, ‘Is that what you really want to be thinking? – Is that really what you believe?’ It is always surprising when I discover that what I believe, think, say, and do are not always in agreement. 

When I am awake, and ask myself: ‘Where did that thought come from?’, I know it is time to deliberately take on the task of defining what I really believe about what I am saying to myself; and to begin cultivating the habit of thinking the thoughts I truly believe. This task requires the commitment and resolve to push through opposing thoughts until there is a breakthrough in consciousness.

Howard Thurman refers to this task as, “the exact struggle of the soul.” In fact, mystics of all time have acknowledged this point on the journey of enlightenment that truth seekers encounter. Stories like Jacob wresting with the angel come to mind.  It says that he wrestled all night and said to the angel – “I will not loose you until you bless me.”

Old habits die hard, and unchecked patterns of thinking may very well sabotage our experience with loved ones; with our health; with our careers; with our finances, and so on. After all, our subjective thoughts eventually become the experiences of our lives. Paul of the bible expressed his frustration that resulted from the cross-currents of habitual thinking, saying, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” 

P.U.S.H. ~ Pray… Until… Something… Happens.

Prayer is the avenue through which our beliefs are birthed into the world. it is important to stay in the consciousness of the ever-present Presence of Truth that delivers that moment of fulfillment. Remember to breathe-in the Divine One, thus staying in the flow of the here and now, while consciously and deliberately affirming the Truth you know to be so. Do not fall asleep, and by so-doing, let the habitual thoughts of the subconscious take over.  Just breathe, and push through any limited self-talk, until you can say with Michelangelo, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” 

The breakthrough to Divine consciousness is a demonstration of a mind stayed on Truth. Yes, the key is to pray until something happens. PUSH!


This Week’s Affirmation

“I consciously develop the habit of practicing the Presence daily and allow Spirit to flow through me in everything I think, say, and do.”

By Angela  “Chris” Beam

Surrender

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

When I was a child, I took piano lessons for several years. As much as I admired other children my age who played the piano well, and hoped I would too; nonetheless, I never excelled. It seemed no amount of practice made a difference. While I certainly learned some fundamentals about music that will always be with me, there was no apparent talent there to play the piano. Year after year the frustration and embarrassment became harder to endure. Finally, my mother agreed with me, that it was time to let it go.

There are times when it is obvious that withdrawing from a particular situation is the wisest move one can make, because exerting additional energy would be in vain.  Coming to grips with what the highest good, or the best action to take in any given situation, is sometimes a process of surrender.  

The word “surrender” may trigger emotions that include feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and defeat, making it difficult to make that decision that is ultimately the highest good. It may suggest “giving up” what seemed like a good idea at the time.

Yes, there is a “giving up.” However, it is not a process born out of weakness. In fact, giving up the lesser for the greater is an action born out of strength and courage. What I am talking about here is giving up ideas of failure, fear, struggle, or disappointment that keeps us in bondage.  These ideas have a tendency to separate us from a greater expression of love, peace, harmony, and wholeness when focusing on our expectations regarding career, health, relationships or supply, or where ever personal fulfillment is our desire. I’m talking about the giving up the apparent struggle and accept the inevitable “way” of the greater power within us. 

Surrendering to the Higher Self, that Higher Power within ourselves opens us up to life in a greater way than ever before, and we become the instrument through which Divine Wisdom flows.

While all aspects of one’s self are spiritual (Spirit, Mind, and Body); there is that aspect that has never been touched or affected by the world of change. It is that part of ourselves that has never been hurt, harmed or disappointed; and in Its purity is the Perfect Guide for our lives. Acting as First Cause of our lives, It is unlimited in Its capacity to give Love, Peace, Harmony, Joy and Abundant Good.

Acquainting ourselves with this Divinity of ourselves is a journey of awakening spirituality. It is a progressive unfoldment of self-awareness. It is an ever-evolving consciousness of personal identification. At least that’s how I would describe it.

With child-like faith we may begin, at any time, to surrender beliefs of limitation and let this Spirit of Life permeate our entire being, guiding and directing every decision and choice that is ours to make; and every action that is ours to do.

When we surrender to the Divine Nature of the Presence of God, within us, we create a world that works for everyone.


This Week’s Affirmation

Today I freely release the struggles in my life.  I trust my Higher Self to make all things new, beautiful, and a blessing to the world.

by Judy Hilley

ASCENSION

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

This is a Universe of Wholeness, Allness, Oneness.  Spirit is a transcendent, perfect Whole that, in its Infinite inclusivity, harmoniously embraces all seeming opposites.
~ Core Concept Five, The Science of Mind ~

“Let’s go upstairs!” is the way the late Rev. Dr.  Homer Johnson often began each prayer. He was inviting us to move into a higher state of consciousness in order to see through the appearance of duality. 

Michelle Obama offers the following wisdom, saying, “When they go low, we go high. Her words may remind us that we are always at choice regarding the direction of our attention. The “they” are not only the unenlightened “others” of our times, but they are the unenlightened thoughts within ourselves that, unintentionally, create the undesired circumstances of our lives.

Rising above the pairs of opposites such as good/evil; right/wrong; disease/health; peace/war; happy/sad; and ego/Christ, to name just a few, is not an easy task. It means being awake, alert, and aware; i.e., conscious beings in our comings and goings through this thing called life.

The opposites of the human experience are nothing more than points of view about what we see through our senses, the out-picturing of mental images.  They can be likened to two sides of a coin, unified in Oneness. To fight against them is much like shadow-boxing, because in reality, there’s nothing there of substance, a temporary thing, easily replaced with a higher idea about the person, place or thing being observed.

Be careful that this is not interpreted as a spiritual bypass; i.e., engaging in complacency or putting one’s head in the sand by denying the issues we are facing on the world stage –   individually, as a nation and globally.  The answer lies in discovering for one’s self, “what is mine to do?” 

Adhering to Holmes’ idea to be “for something” and “against nothing” is a beginning point that the enlightened and mystics of all time have agreed. This means taking an honest assessment of the true values, beliefs, and principles that govern your individual life; the ones that are the guideposts for your daily living.  

Otherwise, a consciousness of having to contend with an opposing force, keeps the undesired energy intact, resulting in the same scenarios repeating itself generation after generation. Albert Einstein reminds us that, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” 

The clearer one becomes in knowing what he or she is “for” and begins to think, speak, and act from that perspective, the sooner the veil of separation is lifted. Soon a community of conscious people (common unity) of all walks of life who have a vision for a world that works for everyone, begins to evolve. The great discovery of “what is mine to do” may very well reveal the unique talent, skill, and ability that are a reservoir of untapped potential within you that is ready to unleash peace on earth and good will towards all people.


This Week’s Affirmation

“There’s always another level up. There’s always another ascension. More grace, more light, more generosity more compassion, more to shed, more to grow.”

~ Elizabeth Gilbert ~

PRAYER

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

The spiritual path may become a wearisome one for the faint of heart. It takes great courage to set out on a journey of uncharted territory, depending upon the discipline of prayer as the one essential and dependable companion.

Regardless of our religious persuasion, the fundamental beliefs we entertain about God, the universe or our individual relationship to it all; we each turn to prayer when faced with circumstances and desires that seem beyond our personal control.

Sometimes the prayers we pray are not called prayers at all. Nonetheless, their purpose is always the same – to move us from where we are to where we want to be.

Prayer is the power that realigns us with our true nature. Once in touch with the nature of who we are, there is a realization of our innate ability to rise above any adversity which is nothing more than an erroneous thought-force. Erroneous thoughts have no sustaining energy and are dissipated by their replacement with Truth-thoughts that are an irresistible force for good.

There are many forms of prayer, and all are applied faith. After all, to engage in prayer at all there is an expectancy of change. However, the acceptance of the change is always the next step. Acceptance means to follow the guidance received from prayer. It’s been said, “Faith without works is dead.” When describing effective prayer, Ernest Holmes puts it simply, saying it is the combination of “faith and acceptance.”

Like me, you may have discarded the prayer you memorized by heart as a child, as well as the image of God that you prayed to; neither being acceptable any longer. A more mature form of prayer I often practice is Contemplative Meditation. Here I set aside some alone time pondering what “I” believe to be so about existence; i.e., life, living, and the cause behind it all, asking, what is my idea of God, really?  This process of prayer always leaves me with a perception of Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience. 

I continue in this prayerful mode, contemplating, my personal existence, who am I, really?  This process of prayer always leaves me with a perception of being born of this One Creative Spirit, fully endowed with all of its nature. I perceive Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfect Being.

Another form of prayer is one of The Prayer of Affirmation. Here I tell myself the spiritual truth about myself and the desired good I embrace, regardless of what is appearing as my present experience. This supports me with a clear vision for my life.   

All this I reason out through the consciousness of the following prayer, first printed in the 1898 issue of Wee Wisdom, the Unity monthly magazine for children, and memorized by many. 

“God is my help in every need; God does my every hunger feed; God walks beside me, guides my way, Through every moment of this day. ~ I now am wise, I now am true, Patient and kind, and loving, too; All things I am, can do, and be, Through Christ the Truth, that is in me. ~ God is my health, I can’t be sick; God is my strength, unfailing, quick; God is my all, I know no fear, Since God and Love and Truth are here.” (Hannah More Kohaus)

With these words deeply embedded in consciousness, we may slip into the Prayer of Silence. Here we simply surrender to what is, knowing all is well. 


This Week’s Affirmation

As I contemplate my prayer, I perceive Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfect Being.

By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP