REFLECTIONS OF LIGHT

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

In the midst of apparent suffering in the world, I read an article that says: “during the upcoming winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn are lining up to create an incredibly bright star of wonder, or what is known as the “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem.1 It goes on to say that this particular occurrence is the first in 800 years.

The imagery of Light, hovering over the world, filled me with great faith about the new day rising upon the horizon and the birth of the Christ-Consciousness being born in the hearts of humanity. The vision of peace on earth and good will towards everyone caused my soul to leap with joy. 

The Light that inspires humanity is universal. During this month of December billions of people all over the planet will celebrate Light, just as they have done in previous years. It is the celebration of wisdom, success, good fortune and self-giving-ness that Hindus attribute to Ganesh. It is the presence of miraculous provisions and freedom that Jews celebrate. Buddhists celebrate the enlightenment they witnessed through Siddhartha Gautama. Pagans revere nature when observing the results of agriculture. African Americans see truth in the “seven principles of African Heritage.”

Growing up in the Christian tradition, I was taught the season was celebrated because of the amazing birth of Jesus, the son of God. I now glean a greater implication; i.e., Jesus as the great example, no longer the great exception. 

For me, Jesus represents the fullness of divinity unleashed on earth through his own understanding that being life, he was born of Life, of God. This transcendental awareness is Christ-consciousness. Christ-consciousness is the Pure Mind of God individualized in every living being. Jesus called this consciousness, “Father.” He called it “Our Father,” because he understood there is only one Source from which all life flows.

I say to myself: just imagine, my mind is nestled in the Mind of God. Like Jesus, I am an offspring, begotten of the One Father.

Each living being is made of Pure Spirit, of Light, the stuff the stars are made of. I contemplate the idea: “Just as the husband is born again in the wife as the son, so the transcendental God the Father manifested in the Holy Ghost, the Cosmic Virgin Mary (the Virgin Creation), became the sole reflected intelligence of God, the only begotten Son, or Christ Consciousness.” 2

At the end of the day when the night is silent and all is calm, I reflect on the Light that transcends all apparent suffering in the world. I know that God’s wisdom operating through humanity brings about solutions to human problems. In the stillness I remember that that which is within me and within every living being, is greater than that which is in the world. I follow that inner light that reveals what is mine, personally, to do for the highest good of all. 

As I begin to pray, ready for the veil to be lifted, I know I am joined by many people all around the world who are praying at this self-same moment. I listen for The Divine, knowing this consciousness of wholeness prevails! 

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still
Proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
And, so it is!

Happy Holidays to all!


This Weeks Affirmation

I celebrate the light I am.
By Mary Jane LaBonte, RScP

I THINK FOR MYSELF

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

When I was growing up, it took great courage to ask my mother her reasoning behind the decisions she made on my behalf. Her explanation was always simple and direct: “I’m mama and I said so.” I knew by her tone not to ask again. 

At church, I heard many do’s and don’ts. My home training taught me never to ask my Sunday school teachers to explain the why’s and how-comes.

In hindsight, although my inner voice kept reminding me, “I can think for myself;” I do believe these influences were made out of a sincere love for me, always for my protection and in my best interest.  Nonetheless, this mind-set inadvertently spilled over into my relationship with teachers, bosses, and all authority figures. 

In my quest for self-affirmation, it all came together. I will always remember the first time I heard a metaphysical interpretation of a bible story.  Actually, its meaning was no different from what I had heard my entire life; however, the simple explanation of the existence of an inner life; i.e., a spiritual force operating in, through and as me caused me to pause and think about the possibility in a new way. The concept spoke to my reasoning power. 

Suddenly there was a shift in my mind-set (state of consciousness). I had developed the maturity to choose or reject what I was hearing. No one else could do this for me. The prophecy was fulfilled, “I can think for myself.” 

I have learned to listen to the wisdom, insights, knowledge and opinions of others. However, it is essential that I think for myself, regardless of the origin of the concept; be it in the field of academics, philosophy, religion, politics or science.

I now teach a ministry of HOW to think, not WHAT to think. This practice of personal freedom is crucial during these times of information, misinformation and disinformation prevalent in society. The one who is adept in this practice of right thinking, experiences the world completely different from the one who absorbs the opinions of whoever is speaking. 

The choice is always to gaze upward or downward. The Law of Mind responds to each alike according to the direction of the mental vibration.  We each experience life according to our beliefs, or thinking. The key word is “experience.” While we may not be exempt from the effects of human consciousness; it is through the art of ‘right thinking, we can say with the Psalmist, “yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, etc.” 

“How” to think is to remember, affirm, and apply spiritual principles to all apparent conditions. Scripture puts it this way: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 1

“What” to think is another matter. Individual choice is unlimited in its possibility of expression.  After all, what we consistently think about eventually comes about in the material/physical realm of existence.  I find this concept of an Immutable Law of Cause and Effect is empowering. 

I say to myself, just think: The creative power of God, through which all things are possible, flows through my highest idea of good for myself and for all humanity and becomes that thing. Health, Wealth, Peace, Harmony, Unity, and Love are infused in all my thoughts.

I take courage and I think for myself during this Season of Light. I make wise decisions that keep me and my loved ones well and safe as well as my fellow citizens. My desire is a joyous holiday season for all.


This Weeks Affirmation

I think therefore I AM!”
By Keith Childers

AN INQUIRY INTO TRUTH

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

The ancient wisdom of the philosopher, Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” As a student of mental science and the spiritual principles that govern it, from time to time I find myself re-examining my concepts of the nature of being.  

My consistent effort is to break through the collective consensus regarding the belief in separation and duality for which I may be susceptible. This requires focused and critical thinking. I no longer arrive at conclusions based on blind faith. 

The Science of Mind teachings say to keep faith with reason.  Therefore, whenever I am faced with seeming contradictions and paradoxes, I take pause and remember to “stand porter at the door of thought.”1    I am supported by the unities found in the principles of science, the opinions of philosophy, and the revelations of religions. 

While contemplating the ancient wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi when he says: “What we are looking for is what is looking,” motivates me to unscramble what at first glance seems like a riddle. When I put his words into my own words, it becomes apparent that “what” is the answer. I say, ‘The Thing I am looking for is me.’ Hmmm, I ask myself, does that mean I am Peace, if peace is what I am looking for? ‘Well,’ I tell myself, ‘if God is the Presence whose Life is my life, this must be so.’ 

I conclude: It takes one to know one.

Ernest Holmes, reiterates the same concept and expands upon it, saying, “We arrive at a consciousness of Unity only in such degree as we see that what we are looking for, we are looking with, and looking at.”2 Again, I find my own words in an effort to simplify and clarify for myself what is being said. What I say is: ‘There is no separation between the thing I desire to experience, the vision I have about the thing, and my perception of the thing I see.’ Hmmm, I ask myself, does this mean that it is my very own consciousness that determines my experience? ‘Well,’ I tell myself, ‘if God operating in me, as me, is me, this must be so.’

I conclude: If it’s going to be, it’s up to me. (Schuller)

Mahatma Gandhi stated the whole proposition in a few words saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I tell myself these words are saying to me, ‘I no longer wait for someone else to set the standard, I activate my values in practical ways.’ Hmmm, I ask myself, does this mean I have the power to make a difference and become a beneficial presence in the world? ‘Well,’ I tell myself, ‘since God is the center of my existence, then the familiar words, “Act as though I Am and I will be,”3 must be so.’ 

I conclude: I must walk my talk as a way of life.

Right now, our beloved USA is facing multiple challenges. Those of us who are now on the planet are challenged to usher in a consciousness that transcends any adversity that is in contrast to universal good. How do we I successfully apply the principles of: It takes one to know one; If it’s going to be, it’s up to me; and, I must walk my talk as a way of life in the context of: Systemic racial bias; Coronavirus pandemic; and, Division/and, or Mistrust?

I begin to practice in earnest:

  • I love myself just the way I AM… and, I identify all beings as another aspect of myself.
  • I cooperate fully in the effort to demonstrate universal wholeness (health) as an inherent birthright.
  • I trust the Presence of God in every individual, because I know, in the Spirit, we are One.
  • I listen to the Inner Guidance that tells me what is mine to do.


This Weeks Affirmation

Today I expand my consciousness to new heights as I fully embrace the unity of all creation.
By Judy Hilley

THANKSGIVING DAY!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

For several years now, Thanksgiving Day has looked a lot different for me than it did in former years. What I notice is, while it keeps changing, the Presence of Love is always present.  Wherever I am the fullness of God’s love shows up. 

I am thankful for the awareness of the Presence of Love in my life.

Before leaving my native home for my hero’s journey, I had always celebrated the major holidays with either the Clark Clan or the Ruffner Clan. In either case it was always a house full of loving relatives. The spirit of Love was always in the midst. 

I am thankful for these memories.

Arriving at my new location, I spent Thanksgiving Day with relatives I had only heard about. The love of God, through them, welcomed me with open arms. 

I am thankful for this connection.

During my life adventure, I lived in some cities where I had no relatives. I recognize it was the love of God that invited me into the homes of families I barely knew. As we shared a meal together on Thanksgiving Day, I learned so much about another’s culture and traditions that were different from my own.

I am thankful for this expanded awareness.

I remember times when I made a conscious choice to decline invitations in order to be alone on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday became a time for me to nurture myself, dedicating the day to the rejuvenation of my body and my mind. Though alone, I was never lonely. The love of God kept me company.

I am thankful for the self-love that solitude yields.

So, here I am, home again, although not in the same city I left so long ago. Here, my small family is a remnant of the larger one that’s now scattered all over the country. I enjoy spending this special time with just us.  This special time is the love of God restoring the years we were separated from one another. 

I am thankful for this holy reunion.

Thanksgiving 2020 offers an opportunity to experience another aspect of God’s love.  This year, like many Americans, I will set aside “my way”, in order for a greater blessing to benefit more people than I can imagine. It has been written, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13). 

I am thankful that I am Love personified.

I am reminded of the nature of Love, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7).  This self-giving-ness of the Divine is my blessed assurance that no matter where I am, and under whatever circumstances I find myself, there is always the blessing of Love.

I am thankful to know all’s love, yet all’s law.

I look forward to Thursday. I will be in the company of more relatives and friends than I have been in a long time. We will be in a safe environment as we meet and greet each other via the technology of Zoom.

I am thankful that Love always provides a way.

 This Thanksgiving Day I will light a candle in loving memory of those who are no longer with us physically, affirming, “My Father’s house has many rooms.” (John 14:2)    I will light another candle in support of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, affirming, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) I will light a third candle as a tribute to the front-line heroes who continue to give service through the unconditional love of God, affirming, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

I am thankful for the conviction that Love is Eternal Life.

And, so it is!


This Weeks Affirmation

I thank God within me for the realization and awareness of my inherent good.”
By Angela “Chris” Beam

PRESENT MOMENT POWER

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

What I notice is, anytime I am inattentive, it’s like sleepwalking. My body shows up in the present moment, but not my mind.  In this absent-minded state of consciousness, I may be influenced by opinions and ever-changing facts. In such moments I am highly susceptible to mistaking the false for the real. At such times, my vision for the future is often cloaked in “wishing” and “hoping,” rather than conviction and faith.

Ernest Holmes imparts his wisdom, saying “Let us in the stillness of our own soul go back to that ineffable Presence which is Peace and proclaim It even in the midst of confusion, that Peace which is the Power at the heart of God.1   

Following Holmes’ teachings, I know that spiritual discernment is key in the development of my evolving consciousness.  I anchor my go-to affirmations and prayers in the universal principles of Oneness, Love, and Peace, to name a few.  These eternal verities are my measurements of Reality, the Truth that is the same today, yesterday, and forever. From this perspective, the balancing act of being in this world but not of it, is harmonized and my assessment of spiritual supremacy operating in human affairs inspires me to know that all is well. 

The wonderful thing about The Truth is, it is never threatened, nor does it depend on what I believe. Instead, it is, in fact, my perceptions and my beliefs that are the cause of my suffering or my unwavering assurance.  The good news is, at any time I may change my thinking and change my life.

I consider the words of The Apostle Paul: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me.” 2

Now, what I notice is, anytime I am awake, alert, aware, and involved in the present moment, whether it is walking, talking, eating, or washing my hands, I find I am filled with great clarity. This intentional focus causes the energy of insight and right judgement to rise up within me. In this state of consciousness, I am a clear, conscious, conduit, through which Divine Wisdom and Intelligence flow unobstructed, guiding all my decisions into right action. 

I affirm the inevitable presence and power of the One Spirit, God, now and in the future.

I like living on the affirmative side of life, and at the same time I am careful not to put my head in the sand about the apparent conditions that I face daily.   For example, as our nation experiences the labor pains of giving birth to its next expression of “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” I offer my cultivated consciousness as a midwife for the expected blessing.

In my awakened state of consciousness, I realize the evolution of Life is forever stretching into the eternal; therefore, I capture the present moment and participate fully.   I listen for the Indwelling Presence to reveal to me that which is mine to do.

I am mindful of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “It’s not the destination, It’s the journey.” 3


This Weeks Affirmation

I am fully present in every moment, as God magnifies all that I am.
By Robbin G. Ruffner, RScP Emeritus