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Veronica Mary Rolf presents
"Life, Love, & Light" with Veronica Mary Rolf
In the FIRST SEASON of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we delve into the wisdom of the beloved medieval mystic, JULIAN OF NORWICH, to discover how her "Revelations of Divine Love" may inspire, encourage, and guide us on our own spiritual path -- especially during this time of pandemic. The first episode is entitled "Sheltering in Place" and introduces Julian of Norwich, an enclosed anchorite who received sixteen Revelations of Divine Love and heard Christ tell her: "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well." The season includes twenty-five episodes with Guided Meditations following each episode. In the SECOND SEASON of "Life, Love & Light" podcasts, we meet a fascinating variety of Old and New Testament BIBLICAL MYSTICS -- the very mystics who inspired and guided Julian of Norwich. Indeed, mystics throughout the ages have always been steeped in and nurtured by the stories and characters of sacred Scripture. We discover men and women who faced major challenges and crises in their lives . . . made some really big mistakes . . . were forgiven . . . received mystical revelations . . . and then dared to act on those revelations. These biblical mystics were not ready made saints. They were ordinary and imperfect people just like us who hoped and struggled, questioned and doubted, and sometimes even despaired. As we see, they did not always make the right choices. But because they were willing to listen to divine guidance within and to learn from their mistakes, eventually, they were given the light and grace to follow the path that was revealed to them and to obey the call of God. Their stories may become powerful inspirations in our own time of crisis, fear, and uncertainty. They may also help us recall and re-evaluate the ways in which God has spoken to us in the past . . . and is speaking to us right now. In the THIRD SEASON of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we discuss THE MYSTICAL PATH and consider what is involved in following such a path – not only through the practice of contemplative prayer – but in every aspect of our daily lives. We reflect on the essential role of faith, and the importance of gaining purity of heart, or perfect charity. We explore the three stages of the mystical path and in the Guided Meditations, we practice becoming aware of thoughts, emotions, and memories that arise, without becoming attached to them. We also discuss how to deal with distractions, dullness, and agitation in order to focus on silence, stillness, and surrender . . . toward a deeper union with God. PLEASE SHARE these podcasts with your family and friends who may be seeking the Lord’s will in their own lives but who may be depressed or full of doubts about their path, or who may need to be reminded that God speaks to us through our own circumstances . . . at every stage of our spiritual journey. Podcaster VERONICA MARY ROLF is a medieval scholar, retreat leader, and master teacher of dramatic arts. She is the author of "Living Resurrected Lives: What it Means and Why it Matters" (Cascade Books, 2020), co-authored with Eva Natanya, PhD, which won a 2021 Catholic Media Association Book Award for Spirituality, and "Suddenly There is God: The Story of Our Lives in Sacred Scripture" (Cascade Books, 2019), which won a 2020 Catholic Media Association Book Award for Scripture. She is also the author of "An Explorer's Guide to Julian of Norwich" (IVP Academic, 2018) and "Julian's Gospel: Illuminating the Life and Revelations of Julian of Norwich" (Orbis Books, 2013), which have won numerous awards, including a First Place Catholic Media Association Book Award and the Nautilus Gold Medal for Spirituality. Veronica leads Virtual Zoom Retreats and blogs on two websites: www.VeronicaMaryRolf.com and www.JuliansVoice.com. Her "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts are also available on:
April 24, 2021
Presence of God
In this final episode of Season Three of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we examine the goal of The Mystical Path, which is union with God as sons and daughters of the resurrection. Too often, we are so consumed with our sufferings, our fears, and our worries, that we come into the dark tomb of our hearts in meditation expecting to find a corpse. We don't expect to experience the resurrection. The Lord asks us: "Why are you weeping?" Yet, like Mary Magdalene, we don't recognize him until he calls our name. We don't anticipate being filled with the Presence of God! In our practice of contemplative prayer, we have to become silent and still so as to allow Christ to rise within us -- out of the darkness of our inner tomb, our pain, our sadness. Then we may become ablaze with divine joy, the joy that no one can take away from us. We consider what happens in Eucharist, when we bring our simple gifts of bread and wine, the offerings and sufferings of our whole life, to be transformed by the living Presence of Christ. We don’t have to realize a state of ecstasy to be in mystical union with Christ. The kingdom of God is already rising up within us! And if we could taste it when we celebrate Eucharist, it is the most sublime state of mystical union possible on earth. In fact, the whole contemplative path is about realizing more fully what happens in Eucharistic liturgy.We ask: "How do we learn to live in Divine Presence, not just in meditation, but in everything we do all day long?" In answer, we reflect on the writings of a seventeenth century monk and mystic, Br. Lawrence, as he describes his own simple and yet sublime practice of the Presence of God. We see again that the whole focus of the mystical path is to become aware of Divine Presence. We discover that the continual practice of the Presence of God in our daily lives, seamlessly interwoven with our morning and evening contemplative prayer, is the best possible description of The Mystical Path -- of living right now as sons and daughters of the resurrection.PLEASE SHARE these "Life, Love & Light" podcasts with family members and friends who may be seeking a practice of contemplative prayer and a deeper realization of the presence of God in their own lives. Blessings to all!
April 17, 2021
Path of Union
As we continue examining The Mystical Path in our "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we consider the importance of trust in the hidden work of transformation that the Lord is doing in the soul. We must learn to trust through many a dark night and interior struggle, even on the Path of Illumination. But soon, the light will break through the darkness and the distinction between the Path of Illumination and the Path of Union will disappear -- when the sense of being a "separate self" disintegrates altogether. Now Divine Reality is not only perceived and enjoyed as a “beholding,” but the soul becomes one with it. This exalted state of soul is pure gift. It cannot be earned or attained by human effort. While the soul may receive divine messages, intuitions, revelations, and even experience visions and locutions, these are not absolutely necessary. What IS necessary is maintaining single-pointed contemplation in unconditional love. And that means total surrender to the will of God.We discuss guidelines for the discernment of spirits and the importance of having a wise spiritual guide on the Mystical Path, especially if there are visual or auditory experiences involved. We also consider how the practice of meditation is often misunderstood -- as selfish or self-centered -- when, in fact, it is grounded in Christ's own love and the Spirit's own "sighs and groans" for all creation! We reflect on the power of contemplative prayer to develop both compassion and loving-kindness in our hearts, and the many ways in which these virtues become expressed in our daily lives. And we discover that it is precisely through an ever deepening union with the divine that we perfect our relationships with all other beings.PLEASE SHARE these "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts with family members and friends who wish to follow a mystical path and develop a contemplative practice in their daily lives. Easter blessings to all!
April 9, 2021
Path of Illumination
Today, in our series of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts on The Mystical Path, we consider the Path of Illumination. We hear Julian of Norwich describe her own experience of illumination when she saw the sudden and blissful transformation of Christ on the cross -- from suffering to perfect joy. Julian herself was lifted up in a transport of ecstasy. This is the illumination that the disciples, male and female, experienced at Easter. Like them, Julian was overwhelmed by the reality of resurrection -- that Christ had conquered suffering and death once and for all. Yet she understood that right now we still abide in the reality of the cross; we still live within the passion of Christ: “in our pains and in our passion, dying.” However, Julian envisioned that, at the last moment of our lives, suddenly Christ will “change his countenance toward us, and we shall be with him in heaven.” By this she meant that Christ will instantaneously convert all our suffering into joy, simply by transforming our mind’s ability to perceive him.We reflect on the fact that as we move from the Path of Purgation onto the Path of Illumination, we, too, may experience moments of deep inspiration, vivid images, graces that come pouring out upon us, voices telling us what to do, all good things. We may have glimpses of light and momentary “beholdings,” as Julian of Norwich called them. However, we must not think we have already reached perfect union with God. There’s a big distinction between the glimpses that arise in our minds in the early and later stages of the Path of Illumination. So as not to be misled, we must continue to be faithful to our contemplative practice, morning and evening -- becoming aware of our thoughts but not grasping onto any of them. We must remain open to the presence of God and not crave spiritual "perks." We don’t want to be satisfied by the insights and inspirations that come from our own mind; we want only those that arise direct from the Divine Source. Cultivating greater awareness and stillness in our meditation practice will also enable us to deal more capably with the life situations in which we find ourselves -- after meditation. Teresa of Avila linked the Path of Illumination with the Prayer of Quiet. At this point, we are able to remain silent and focused more easily in meditation -- and for longer and longer periods of time. We begin to experience a different level of Divine Reality and to rest in this "divine milieu." Then, as our awareness of Divine Presence becomes sustainable, we learn to trust it more and more. Perhaps for the first time, we feel truly "alive"!PLEASE SHARE these podcasts with family member and friends who are seeking a mystical path and a contemplative practice in their lives. And let them know about the upcoming Virtual Retreat I will be leading on the Revelations of Julian of Norwich: "All Shall Be Well" (May 1st-2nd, 2021). Information and Registration are on my website: ALL ARE WELCOME!
April 2, 2021
Night of the Soul
In this Good Friday episode of our "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we consider the dark "night of the soul" that every mystic must endure on the Path of Illumination. We relate this dark night to the passion of Jesus Christ. We reflect on the words of the beloved medieval mystic, Julian of Norwich, as she describes her visions of Christ's sufferings -- the most graphic account of the passion in all medieval literature. We hear Julian speak of Christ's "precious plenty of his dearworthy blood" that flows from his body and is "ready to wash all creatures of sin who are of good will, have been, and shall be." She describes the drying and the dying of his body as well as his intense "thirst." Julian reveals that Christ's pain became her pain as she suffered with him on the cross. And she understands that Christ took on the pain of all human beings who ever lived and that in his "failing" all creation failed "out of "sorrow for his pains."At one point, the suffering that Julian sees is so excruciating that she is tempted to look away from the cross. She longs to fly up to heaven. But she realizes that only in the cross of Christ is there safety and salvation. She makes the courageous decision not to turn away from the dark night of the cross, but to endure it as long as necessary and to choose Jesus to be her heaven. Julian understands that the love of Christ for souls is so strong that he willfully chose his cross “with great desire, and patiently suffered it with great joy." This is an astounding insight that cuts through and completely transforms Julian’s personal pain at watching Christ suffer. She is convinced that any soul that is “touched by grace” to meditate on the cross shall see all pains “turned into everlasting joy by virtue of Christ’s passion.”Julian’s Revelations on the passion give us clear insight into how we may endure our own darkest nights of soul (and body) on the mystical path. We may choose, like Julian, not to avoid or escape the suffering, however painful and long it may be, but to take it into our daily meditation practice and release the thoughts and emotions bound up with our suffering. We may wish to become more intimately united to Christ in his suffering as he is with ours. And we may pray never, ever to turn away and abandon him at the foot of his cross. Or our own.PLEASE SHARE these podcasts with family and friends who may be enduring their own dark night of the soul, their own time of great trial, and who would be greatly reassured by Julian's Revelations. Many blessings of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday to all!
March 27, 2021
In this episode of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we consider the essential thoughts about the nature of reality and discuss the essential virtues that we need to cultivate on The Mystical Path. Drawing on the wisdom of the East, we examine four thoughts that turn the mind towards God: becoming aware of the preciousness of this body and this moment; realizing the impermanence of this life; recognizing that our actions -- good or bad -- have consequences; and finally, seeing the reality of suffering as a necessary part of the path of purification. We discuss the importance of renunciation and examine the four essential virtues: a living faith, a daring hope, a radical love, and total trust.The Guided Meditation helps us identify our own sufferings with those of every other living creature. We allow Christ to take on our sufferings and purify them in his fire of divine love. With great compassion, we envision his light shining forth, entering our own hearts and the hearts of everyone, everywhere -- reminding us, teaching us that he has always already been there. And we recognize that in the oneness of his presence is the oneness of us all, united like rays of light, from star to star; each perfect, each unique.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE to these weekly "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts and SHARE them with family members and friends who wish to develop a meditation practice in their daily lives. And if you would like information about my books on the mystical path -- Suddenly There is God and Living Resurrected Lives (co-authored by my daughter, Eva Natanya, PhD) -- or about my two books on the Revelations of Julian of Norwich – please visit my website: Blessings to all!
March 20, 2021
Stages of the Path
In this week's "Life, Love, & Light" podcast, we go in depth to examine the three stages on The Mystical Path: the path of purification and recollection; the path of illumination; and the path of divine union. We discuss what "the path of purification and recollection" entails and why a daily practice of meditation is absolutely necessary to our growth in the mystical life. We reflect on the words of mystics like St. Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich, Johannes Tauler and St. John of the Cross concerning the value of self-discipline and mortification -- in order to gain our freedom from slavery to the senses. Then we consider "the path of illumination" as the glimpse of the Ground of Reality that is God and realize that it is only by entering into "the prayer of quiet" that we are able to surrender totally to the divine will. We see the need to "discern the spirits" that may arise as either revelation or distraction and acknowledge that while the stage of illumination may be filled with extraordinary graces, it is not yet the stage of perfect union. In "the path of divine union" we understand that the ingrained sense of being a self separate from the Divine Source disappears. Divine Reality is not only perceived and enjoyed as a “beholding,” but the contemplative becomes one with it. Drawing mainly on the Revelations of Julian of Norwich, we hear her description of the unitive prayer "that oneth the soul to God."The Guided Meditation offers a method of watching the sensations in the body, the thoughts and images in the mind, and the emotions attached to these thoughts and images, so that we may learn to let them go and become more and more focused on the stillness of awareness within the soul. It is in this silence and stillness that we may discover the Divine Awareness that is the ground of our being . . . that never moves.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with family members and friends who wish to develop a meditation practice in their daily lives, especially during this Lenten time of silence, stillness, and surrender. Blessings to all!
March 13, 2021
In this week's episode of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts on The Mystical Path, we deal with the all-important topic of distractions: the barrage of thoughts, images, memories, and emotions that rise up and clamor for attention in our mind just when we want to be silent and focused in meditation. We consider different types of distraction, from agitation and dullness, to spiritual inspiration and the desire to become a mystic! We discuss antidotes to distraction, as taught by the Desert Fathers, the Cloud of Unknowing, St. Teresa of Avila, and modern mystics. We examine the use of a mantra or sacred word to cut through distractions and refocus the mind on God. Yet we realize that if we’ve not yet had the direct experience of divine encounter (or even if we have and wish to return there), we don’t know what it means to "focus on God." On what do we focus? We discover that we need to become acutely aware of the movements of the mind and the heart in meditation, without grasping on to any of them, but letting them go, one by one. As we develop this technique, we may become aware of the very fact of being aware. And thus we may move closer and closer to an experience of Divine Awareness at the ground of our being.The Guided Meditation leads the listener through just such a meditation practice, first watching the movement of the breath and sensations in the body, then becoming aware of the thoughts and images in the mind as well as the emotions attached to those thoughts and images, and finally resting in the stillness of awareness. This is a mystical path of meditation that can radically transform our daily lives.Please SUBSCRIBE to these weekly Life, Love, & Light podcasts and SHARE them with family members and friends who wish to develop a meditation practice in their daily lives, especially during this Lenten time of silence, stillness, and surrender. Blessings to all!
March 6, 2021
Silence, Stillness, Surrender
As we continue our "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts on The Mystical Path, we consider three essential aspects of contemplation that Julian of Norwich and countless other mystics have practiced: Silence, Stillness, and Surrender. We examine what each of these practices means and why each is crucial to a mystical life. We discover that meditation is essentially learning to still the mind in the midst of the constant motion of thoughts, feelings, and memories that threaten to derail silent attention. We question why is it so hard to stay aware and watchful without getting distracted; to maintain a "naked intent" of love-longing towards God; to simply be still and rest in God? We realize that it is because we are of two minds -- the "Martha mind" and the "Mary mind" in Luke's Gospel story: the active and the contemplative. We need to make peace between our two minds. The Guided Meditation helps us do this by becoming aware of the subtle layers of bodily sensation, thoughts and images, and the emotional reactions we attach to them. As these thoughts and feelings arise, we simply let them go, gently and without grasping. We surrender our thoughts, emotions, and memories to the work of the Spirit within. Gradually, over time and with consistent practice, we will move further and further into the silence and stillness of Divine Awareness that is the very ground of our being and that never moves. And as we surrender more and more, we will experience the Divine Light that illuminates every moment of our own awareness. Then we may become a light for those in need. In this is the essence of The Mystical Path.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with family and friends who wish to develop a meditation practice in their daily lives, especially during this Lenten time of silence, stillness, and surrender. Blessings to all!
February 27, 2021
The Role of Faith
In this week's "Life, Love, & Light" podcast on The Mystical Path, we focus on the essential role of faith, because what nourishes faith nourishes mysticism. We delve into the meaning of the words "contemplation" and "meditation," and discuss the difference between "cataphatic" and "apophatic" forms of mystical prayer. We also consider the ultimate end of the mystical path, which is union with God. And we focus on the importance of maintaining "a constant intention of the mind" in order to reach that end. We reflect on teachings from the Desert Fathers Abba Moses and John Cassian, as well as St. Benedict of Nursia and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, about the importance of developing "purity of heart" which is, in essence, perfect charity. Finally, I lead you in a "Guided Meditation" to help you toward greater relaxation, equilibrium, and clarity of awareness.PLEASE SHARE these podcasts with family members and friends who may wish to develop a meditation practice in their daily lives, especially during this contemplative season of Lent. Blessings to all!
February 20, 2021
What is Mysticism?
In our third season of "Life, Love, & Light " podcasts, we will explore "The Mystical Path." We will discuss what is involved in following such a path – not only through the practice of contemplative prayer – but in every aspect of our daily lives. I will also be guiding you in forms of meditation that great mystics of the past, both East and West, have promised can inform and radically transform our lives. I hope these meditations will enrich your own daily practice. In our first episode, we consider "What is Mysticism?" in its scriptural, liturgical, and contemplative dimensions. We define mysticism in psychological and personal terms and question when mystical life begins. In examining the course of our spiritual development, we realize that the deep yearning for a mystical life is the result of a profound "conversion" of heart. We want to experience that Christ is really here, now, with us – within us – on this path. More and more radically, we want to surrender – not out of desperation, but out of love. We choose to live now not our own lives, but his. Finally, we consider the signs of true mysticism and discover that Christian Mysticism is really not a path at all . . . but a profound love relationship with a person: the person of Jesus Christ.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with family members and friends who may be searching for a spiritual path right now. Especially during this grace-filled season of Lent. Blessings to all!
February 13, 2021
Paul & Resurrection
In this episode of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we discuss the great Apostle Paul, who called himself the least and also the last of all the apostles. We examine his life story and his personal experience of seeing the Risen Lord. We delve into questions that are frequently asked today: Was Jesus resurrected bodily? Will our own bodies be resurrected? If so, what kind of body will it be: physical or spiritual? Early Greek converts to Christianity had serious resistance to belief in the resurrection of the body. They were convinced, like modern skeptics, that "dead men don't rise." In writing to the Corinthians, Paul used both vigorous argument and evocative metaphor to make the concept of bodily resurrection abundantly clear for them and for future generations. We explore what Paul meant in contrasting the "natural" body and the "spiritual" body. We also reflect on how we might begin to live resurrected lives here and now. This is the final episode in our Second Season of podcasts on "Biblical Mystics." Next week, with the start of Lent, we will begin our Third Season on "The Mystical Path" -- what it is, what it entails, and how we may follow it in the midst of our family life, our work, and our daily concerns. In future podcasts, we will draw on the teachings of men and women through the ages to discover various ways to lead a truly mystical life. And we will learn from their experience how to pray, how to listen, how to meditate, and how to deepen our response to the Divine Call within.PLEASE SHARE these podcasts with family and friends who seek to live a more mystical and "resurrected" life here and now. Blessings to all!
February 5, 2021
Who was Magdalene?
In this episode of Life, Love, & Light podcasts, we search for the identity of Mary Magdalene in the four canonical Gospels. Was she the public sinner who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair? The unnamed woman with the alabaster jar or perfume who anointed Jesus' head? The woman who anointed the feet of Jesus for burial with an ointment made of pure nard? Or the woman caught in adultery? For centuries, Magdalene has been associated with each of these women, by popes and painters, scholars and theologians. We delve into the mystery of Magdalene by examining both text and context and discover a woman who is unique among all those named "Mary" in the Gospels. A woman of stature, compassion, and great courage, as well as a model of obedient discipleship, Magdalene emerges as a mystic and a witness: the "apostle to the apostles." She is also an example for us of faith in the midst of terrible darkness and of joy emerging out of deepest sorrow. Like Julian of Norwich, Mary Magdalene is a woman for our time.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with family and friends who long to know and to experience, like Magdalene, the gratitude of being cured of personal demons, the desire to follow Jesus – even to the cross – and the ecstatic elation of bearing witnesses to the resurrection.Blessings to all!
January 30, 2021
The Divine Love Story
In this "Life, Love & Light" podcast, we consider The Divine Love Story as revealed in the Hebrew Bible through the mystical writings of some of the prophets – specifically Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah. We see how Yahweh was understood as Father, Divine Lover, tender Shepherd, nursing Mother, Creator, and faithful Husband to Israel. We hear the prophets plead with the Israelites to return to the Lord to be forgiven, comforted, and healed.Then we see how, in the New Testament, these prophecies of Yahweh's love were fully realized in Jesus Christ's Love Story. We realize that there was not a single moment of Jesus’ life that was not a revelation of his Father’s unconditional love, for those who had eyes to see and ears to hear. We examine Christ's washing of his disciples' feet to show how low he would stoop to serve. We ask how we might learn to love as Jesus asks us to love, by abiding in him. We contemplate the most extravagant of all Christ’s manifestations of love -- his suffering and death on the cross. We hear the prophecy of The Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 and recognize the mystical power of prophecy. We also consider The Holy Spirit's Love Story and realize that this story is being told right here and now -- in us. This is the glorious mystical dimension of our lives.PLEASE SHARE these weekly Life, Love, & Light podcasts with your family and friends who long to know and experience the extravagant love of God as prophesized in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the life death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Blessings to all!
January 23, 2021
Martha & Mary: Sister Mystics
In this week's "Life, Love, & Light" podcast, we encounter two women in the Gospels, sisters with very different personalities, yet both emerging mystics: Martha and Mary. We enter into the scene in Luke's Gospel in which Jesus dines at their home and Martha complains bitterly because Mary sits and listens to Jesus and does not help her in the kitchen. We look at the two personality types: the pro-active, highly capable, but overworked and stressed-out Martha and the more passive, retiring, and mystically inclined Mary. We recognize that we, also, are of these "two minds" and closely examine the sublime invitation Jesus offers Martha -- and us -- to choose "the better part." What is "the better part"? Then we delve into the story in John's Gospel of the raising of Lazarus, and the extraordinary mystical leaps of faith Martha makes, even amidst her overwhelming sorrow at her brother's death. Finally, we witness the outpouring of Mary's love and devotion when she anoints the Lord's feet with extravagant perfume, following a mystical intuition of his impending death and burial. This leads us to consider both the challenges and the incomparable rewards of making peace between our own Martha-mind and Mary-mind by committing to a daily meditation practice of silence, stillness, and resting in the Lord.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with your family and friends who are seeking a contemplative dimension to their daily lives in the midst of so many responsibilities and so much suffering. Blessings to all!
January 16, 2021
The Second Season of the "Life, Love, & Light" podcast series continues with the Mysticism of the Psalms – that collection of 150 songs and prayers in the Hebrew Bible that were composed by mystics who lived thousands of years ago . . . all of whom were anonymous. We ask: "Can we still relate to the psalms as mystical prayer in our own time and circumstances? " And we discover that in the psalms we not only hear the Israelites praying, we hear 2,000 years of Christian prayer as well. We examine the structure of different types of psalms -- psalms of praise and lament, penance and thanksgiving, confidence and blessings, as well as New Testament psalms. We also consider how often Jesus must have prayed the psalms throughout his lifetime. In the process, we discover what an example of mystical prayer these ancient, hope-filled psalms are for us in our daily lives -- in our times of joy, sorrow, struggle, and crisis. The power of the psalms to lead each individual soul into the mystical dimension of divine love has been proven for three thousand years. Julian of Norwich herself prayed them every day in her anchorage. May we benefit from her example!Please share this podcast with your family and friends who may be in need of comfort, healing, and a renewal of hope right now. Blessings to all!
November 28, 2020
Mary & Joseph
In preparation for Advent, this episode of the Life, Love, & Light podcasts focuses on the beloved New Testament mystics, Mary and Joseph. We go in depth to consider St. Luke's Gospel account of the annunciation to Mary and St. Matthew's Gospel narrative of the dream revelations to Joseph. We imagine the painful conflicts these two devout but very human people must have endured; conflicts we can recognize as similar to our own. We enter into the couple's decision-making process and consider how they were able to surrender totally to the will of God, even though they did not understand it. And we realize that both these infancy narratives were created by the evangelists from the vantage point of the resurrection -- to inspire and affirm faith in the infant Jesus as the Son of God.PLEASE SHARE these inspiring Gospel stories with those you know who may be going through their own difficult conflicts or a decision-making process right now.NOTE: This will be my last podcast of 2020; I am taking a short hiatus during December but will resume podcasting in January of 2021 with new dramatic explorations of biblical -- and other -- mystics. Until then, I wish you all a safe, healthy, and grace-filled Christmas and New Year!
November 21, 2020
Moses & The Exodus
In this extremely relevant episode of the "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we consider the duel of wits between Moses and Pharaoh, which is really a duel of conflicting theologies. We recall the Passover of the Israelites and of Jesus at the Last Supper, during which he established a new covenant between God and humans, a covenant that would be sealed in his own blood on the cross. We watch the Israelites flee in terror from the pursuing chariots of Pharaoh's army and witness the miracle of the parting of the waters at the command of Moses. We recognize in the Israelites all those refugees who are fleeing hunger, bondage, slavery, or racial injustice right now. We reflect on our own "desert experiences" and realize that even in our darkest hours of suffering, God has always been with us, guiding us through fear and doubt into a greater freedom. We give thanks and commit to praying for one another, especially in these desperate times.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with family and friends who may be seeking freedom from fear and a greater hope in Divine Providence guiding their lives. Blessings to all!
November 13, 2020
Moses, Unlikely Mystic
In this episode of Biblical Mystics in the "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts, we enter into the dramatic encounter of Moses, the "unlikely mystic." We experience his life-transforming encounter with Yahweh in the burning bush. We hear God's call to Moses to go back to Egypt to liberate the Israelites from slavery. We explore the meaning of the Divine Name given to Moses and the revelation of Christ as the Messiah given to Peter. We recognize the questions, doubts, objections, and even final plea of Moses as our own reluctance to follow God's call. We, too, may be "unlikely mystics." Yet we realize that in whatever Yahweh asks us to do or become, we will always be guided and protected by Divine Providence, as was Moses. God calls us all into a deeper divine-human relationship and asks us to perform a unique service in our lives. And Yahweh promises us that we will never be left alone.Please SHARE this podcast with your family and friends who may be discerning a divine call in their lives right now . . . or who may be under great stress and in need of hope in divine protection. Blessings to all!
November 7, 2020
Joseph & His Brothers
In this episode of "Life, Love, & Light" podcasts on biblical mystics, we continue the story of Joseph and experience the dramatic encounters with his brothers who travel to Egypt during a severe famine, seeking food from the Grand Vizier. Little do they know that this great prince is actually their own brother Joseph, who they once sold into slavery. We see the ways in which Joseph severely tests his brothers in order to make them fully aware of their own guilt, and so that they may come to contrition. This is a heartrending saga, with enough psychological and emotional twists and turns of character to make it seem like a modern novella! It is also the story of Divine Providence that guides Joseph and his brothers through their tragic twenty-year estrangement into contrition, forgiveness, and extraordinary healing. Again we see that, in spite of evil deeds, God's plan of salvation will not be thwarted and that Divine Love and mercy are always able to bring good out of every evil.PLEASE SHARE this podcast with family and friends who may need reassurance of divine mercy and reconciliation in their own lives right now. Blessings to all!
October 30, 2020
Joseph's Tragedy & Triumph
In this week's "Life, Love, & Light" podcast, we embark on the saga of Joseph, the highly favored son of Jacob in the Book of Genesis. This self-contained story is based on ancient legends. But it was completely refashioned by Israelite narrators to create a deeply moving account of sibling jealousy, hatred, and betrayal; prophetic dreaming and the interpreting of dreams; severe testing and forgiveness; and above all, faith in divine protection. There is such a wide range of human emotions and actions in this legend, it is really more than a legend. It is actually a dramatic novella – so modern in its portrayal of the twists and turns of the human psyche that it continues to shock and astound us. This tragic and eventually triumphant saga of Joseph speaks to us today as a strong example of faith and courage in times of great crisis – just like our own. And it reveals yet again that God’s protection will never abandon us, no matter how dire the circumstances. Please SHARE this podcast with family and friends who may need reassurance of divine protection right now, as we continue to suffer through the pandemic, increasing famine, and religious persecutions worldwide. Blessings to all!