Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Dec 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

Advent IV Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Advent 4

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

The theme for the Advent Season is to recognize how our Worldly thought outside of the Presence can create negative feelings and how the Godly feeling in the Presence can create positive thoughts in the same situation.

Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) "My Soul does magnify the Lord"

Let’s talk about the historical connection between Luke and Mary. Jesus joined His Mother Mary with John on the cross and made them mother and son. Luke joined with Paul some ten years later. Acts 16:10 Luke begins writing the last part of Acts as a travel diary when he started to use the words “we did this or that”. John became Paul’s mentor five years later. Galatians 2:9 (It certainly was not James or Peter.  Also Paul and John use much of the same imagery.)  Later John is imprisoned on the island of Patmos off the coast of Ephesus. Paul is imprisoned in Jerusalem and sent to Rome for execution.

What happens to Mary? Luke, who first joined Paul north of Ephesus, cares for Mary there. It is then he writes his Gospel after finishing off the first part of Acts. He states in his Gospel, “having perfect understanding of all things from the first.” Luke 1:3 Both the Gospel and the Book of Acts are written to the same person, Theophilus (lover of God).  Luke’s genealogy traces the birth of Jesus through Mary, while Matthew’s goes down to Joseph. Luke writes that Mary kept all these things in her heart. Mary is his source. How else would only Luke know of the birth details including the Magnificat, “My Soul does magnify the Lord.”

This is a good opportunity to become conscious of our “Soul”. Using Freudian symbols, the Soul is the “Ego”. It is who we are. Our thoughts are the “Superego” which can be overly judgmental and moralistic. The “Id” is the consciousness that can become an undisciplined little child.

The Soul never stands alone. Its strength is in being able to keep the thought and the consciousness in balance. If the thought becomes too strong, the soul can lose its ability to choose. It becomes what the thought thinks about a situation. If the Id takes over the soul without any sense of morals, it becomes promiscuous. Without the balance of the other two, the soul becomes our old self.

It is the choice of the soul to start with the thought and then the consciousness or to go with the conscious sense of the Presence:

If the soul chooses to start with the thought, the thought will determine who the soul is.

If the soul chooses to go with the conscious sense of the Presence, the thought of the feeling of the Presence of God will determine who the real soul is.

This may sound confusing but being able to choose which goes first determines our life. It takes practice. Here is an exercise to strengthen the soul.

Read this sentence using only your rational worldly thought and without any feeling.

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.                                             

Now read it Godly, being aware of the Presence of the Spirit in your heart and with your rational head. 

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.                                             

If you felt something different the second time, it was your soul choosing to use your Godly conscious and then your worldly rational faculty.

Now when reading the rest of Luke, use this exercise to strengthen your soul to make Godly choices and decisions.

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