This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge.
For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.
“And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me. If I need a thought, that will He also give. And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him. He is in charge by my request. And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son” (ACIM Lesson 361 1:1-5).
On the eve of this lesson, which has been the same for the last four days, I had a holy encounter with a nun from the order of the Discalced Carmelites of Saint Theresa of Jesus (La Orden de Las Carmelitas Descalzas de Santa Teresa de Jesús). Descalzas in Spanish actually translates to one without shoes, barefoot, if you will. It speaks to the austerity and simplicity of the order in which the Saint created in the 16th century, during a time in which women had two choices: get married or become a nun. It was a time when women that were dodging marriage took their clothes, jewelry, and even servants into the convent with them. Can you imagine? Well, Saint Theresa could not and became the holy rebel who transformed convents into places where the women would dedicate their lives to “walking the talk.” In her writings the Saint was never judgmental about these woman and their luxuries. She merely said if you want to walk with God, walk with me in a life of simplicity. If you don’t, that is fine then go live your life with all the luxuries and experiences you wish. Her message was simple: dedicate your life to God, and if you’re not ready, then go live that life until you are. She knew that one day that person would have to walk the same road as she, eventually, as one returns fully to the Holy Creator. It is just as the Course says in the Introduction of the text, “[The Course in Miracles] is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary” (ACIM Text Introduction 1:2). No matter the text, A Course in Miracles, The Bible, The Yoga Sutras, Buddhist Texts, and even non-spiritual/religious text, we all walk the same path of shifting our perception from fear to love through the eyes of forgiveness. Saint Theresa came across a chosen text that touched her heart, The Bible, just like you came across A Course in Miracles, and her message, similar to the beacon of light that you shine upon the world, is absolutely, miraculously universal. It is something that cannot be contained and even when attempted to be, it will break any counter wide open and flow out.
I had a heart-to-heart conversation with Sister Maria Teresa de la Paz from the Saint Teresa’s convent in Alba de Tormes, Spain, the site in which Saint Theresa, herself, transitioned from this world to the next in 1582. The woman of this particular order, in following their practice of austerity, do not leave the convent unless it is absolutely necessary, thus when you talk with one of the sisters, you talk through a wooden caged window with 2×2 inch squares embedded throughout. Although I had this physical barrier, my heart was joined with that of Sister Maria Teresa de la Paz as she talked with me about her life in the convent and her call to walk with God in this manner. She shared with me how she heard the voice of God and how it is something that one cannot describe in words. How could one describe something so deep and limit with words? She relayed to me how the voice she hears doesn’t come from an outside source; it comes from a place deep, deep within (“Una Voz Interior, Interior, Interior”).
As she talked with me, I never felt our paths were that much different. Sure, she has chosen to live a life on her side of the wall and I have chosen to live a life on this side, but we have both found a text that speaks to our hearts; a text where when we both go back to it again and again, we always find something new and something much deeper than from the first time we laid our eyes on it. We both, as do you, dare to go beyond the words to place where only something so great can be experienced. An experience so intimate and personal yet so universal that it can overcome the physical barrier and, at times, a language barrier. The language of Miracles and Love is that powerful and transformative.
The one question I wanted to ask this sister was her thought on God in the divine feminine form. Throughout our Walk in Miracles I have been very aware of the masculine dialogue of the Course and wanted to add its divine counterpart by referring to God as, “She, Her, Mother, etc.” In speaking with Sister Maria Teresa de la Paz, I knew she had decided to follow a more “patriarchal” sect of religion in this life. I was curious of her personal journey with this Higher Being and her sense of Its divine energy. I was astounded by her response, “God is brother, sister, friend, father, mother, everything…this and so much more….this and…so…much…more!” I believe it was at that moment our hearts gave each other a wink and a holy “high-five.” YES! A God beyond words, definitions, and limitations. At this moment, I truly no longer saw the 2×2 inch squares she was speaking through. I could see her clearing with the One Heart and our parting words were its reflection. As we closed, we both agreed that one need not take any particular vows in order to serve Her Will. Sister Maria Teresa de la Paz heard God’s call and it was for her to follow in the steps of Saint Theresa yet we all have a call that is particular to our journey. It is up to us to listen and allow Her to guide us in our intimate walk together.
As we have walked together throughout this year in miracles, we have come to experience something that is “this and so much more.” It is beyond the words on a page and the melody of a song. It is a holy Isness that is felt in our own heart. In a place so deep. A place where only we can go.
In the last 365 lessons you have walked to some of the deepest depths within yourself. You have explored the darkness and the illusions, and you courageously brought them to the light. You shall never be the same. Something, indeed, has changed. Such words come from a song that was featured in the movie, The Ultimate Gift, a movie following the awakening of one who has lived a life of wealth and privilege. Yet when it comes to the awakening of one’s Self, the Holy Spirit pays no attention to social or economic background. When it is your time to awaken, it is your time. End and point. The song, Something Changed, by Sara Grove speaks perfectly to our process over the last year. When you picked up A Course in Miracles, when you read the first words, “Something Changed,” and broke you wide open. Something you were more than ready for.
‘Til I had no doubt that something changed
In the deepest part the healing came
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine
When a wall falls down and the light comes in
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine
A healing has come and you are the walking, talking, living proof. This Life, this Life of yours….you need not worry about affording it, its truest treasures are found beyond money. It is a truth so rich and it is already yours; your to own, yours to dedicate, yours to do with what you wish. Something has changed inside you and it has spilled out. Your Light is shining bright, oh so bright. You can’t fake it. It is here and here to stay. And It is absolutely Yours. All Yours.
As words cannot express Her majesty, I feel the same about witnessing yours. Through these words, I have observed the emergence of God in each and every soul that has been on this Walk in Miracles. Love has blossomed and is here to stay and we are Her means of grounding it here on earth. Thank you for your willingness and openness to don your role of Savior. You are the Miracle, you are the Way, you are the Light, and you are the Life.
Where to go from here? The answer is as simple as that of the walking saint who walked across Spain for the purpose of creating her austere convents. Like Saint Theresa, just keep walking. You never walk alone. Use words when necessary but remember the power is in the living experience and integrating that place from where you truly abide, with Her, always. My heart joins with you on this day and always. Each step is a miracle because it is You who is taking it. Namaste.