THE EARTH: The Healing Nature Of Nature

July 21, 2018

Florence Williams begins her book, The Nature Fix, with a very startling story: A middle-aged Japanese business man with a very serious case of cancer decides to go sit in the forest before he turns himself in for treatment. He stays a few months, and when he walks out again, his cancer is gone. The author goes into the chemical affect that cypress has on a body, one, apparently, that changes the nature of cancer cells in the body.  She connects this reality to biophilia: a belief that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.  In this case, to heal. The book continues as the author travels the world looking at the ways people’s encounters with nature result in physical healing.  [...]

HEALING: Crossing The Line

September 9, 2017

My first healing miracle occurred in a public place.  A seminary, in fact. At morning Mass.  During the service.  At the rail. And while the event disturbed me deeply, I was still conscious enough to watch people around me and how they reacted to me now. Now. Now that they knew. I didn’t know I had this ability. But the next second in my life after the touch, they knew. My reaction, of course, as it has been my whole life, was to curl up like a mole somewhere soft and dark and just stay there until the commotion was over. Commotion. We don’t think of that word being attached to God. Mostly we think, Yes, I believe in God, but this morning’s newspaper is a lot more interesting than to think about than God. We [...]

HEALING: Finding Glory In Our Torment

June 2, 2017

I am not a grey-haired someone who sits back and is impressed by how well I have surmounted the very hairy challenges in my life. Instead, I am a grey-haired somebody who walks about being very impressed by how I have managed to survive God all my life. I have these periods when God taps me on the shoulder and whispers, Julia, got a minute?  Let’s heal something in you. As do other people, I realize. Each and every time I go through a let’s-get-healed period I think, Ah, ha.  This is it.  I’ve gotten to the bottom of it all at last! But, no. Not only do these very real spiritual strippings occur on a regular basis. They get worse every time. The pain is more profound.  The discovery more exacting and excruciating. And [...]

HEALING: Singing The Soul

August 5, 2016

The world says that I am wrong about this. But I know I’m not. In the world of Earth there are people without souls. It’s not that impossible. There are people without legs. People without eyes. I even heard of a baby born without a brain. And there are people without anger. Or emotion altogether. So it is not, if you think about it, impossible that there are people without souls. But the world, in general, is very protective about this concept. Everyone must have one, because everyone, inherently, is good.  And in order to be good, you have to have a soul. Ergo. But not everyone has a soul. Not everyone is inherently good. Because if you don’t have a soul, you have little ability to be good. The soul is your path in [...]

HEALING: The Sword Of Christ

June 24, 2016

Pretty much all my life I have had visions of The Sword. The Sword of God. In fact, I have designed a new “logo” for Christianity: the Cross of Jesus, standing upright, next to The Sword, with its hilt on the ground next to the Cross and its blade crossing through one of the arms of Christ’s Cross. It forms a square, which is an unusual way for my mind to work.  But it also is a closed system: the Cross of Jesus, the Sword of the Spirit. Perhaps the square that the crossing creates is God, the Father. Or perhaps God, the Father, is everything else in the world. Through my life, the visions about the sword have changed. There are simple ones, like having the sword fall into my outstretched hands.  Which is usually the [...]

HEALING: Skin Deep

April 15, 2016

All my life I have known that one of my greatest weaknesses – a downright stupidity, in fact – is the way I viewed my body. At most, even as a child, I saw my body as existing solely to house my brain.  It is here so I can think. That’s it. A body might receive a prayer of healing from time-to-time.  It may get the attention it screams for, but only because it is screaming. Because I have given birth, I do know that giving a body rest is essential for all to be well.  But only enough rest to get to the point when getting up and running around again is enabled. I have become something of a professional at being seriously ill.  With being faced with death.  And taking the moments required to straighten it all out. So I [...]

HEALING: Listening To The Hound’s Howls

August 17, 2015

It was that time in my life when, though not exactly a time that I want to forget, exactly, but, rather, the time that never really existed for me. A shadow time. A time of not existing. I had had my first vision before I had ever had my first school lesson. And so it went. Happily, really. Intensely, certainly. Until the call vision. Julia, come do your work. But I was seventeen.  I was aware of my budding womanhood.  And of the potentially budding world around me. So I said, No. I want to be normal. I said. Normal. None of this vision nonsense any more. And I took up my stick with my bandanna full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches tied tightly inside, hoisted it onto my shoulder and walked out and into the world. To be normal. So [...]

HEALING: The Gentle Soul

June 29, 2015

I’m at that stage in life now where everything is defined by how long ago it happened.  A few things happened a few days ago.  But most, especially things involving God, have much longer measuring sticks.  Months don’t even have that much meaning for me any more.  Everything peeps through a gauze of decades ago.  I realize I have no real use for the term, fortnight.  And the word, age, though I love how it feels, seems too much of an exaggeration. I am constantly wanting to stretch out my arm and pull things closer.  As though my far-sightedness is being challenged by my age.  Even my spiritual far-sightedness.  Or perhaps I’m just getting lazy.  Why strain?  Why work to make everything precise and clear? [...]

HEALING: Perfect Hell

December 4, 2014

I am not obsessive-compulsive. I have actually been tested. The same test, however, showed that I am a perfectionist. When I saw how high on the scale of perfectionism I tested, I felt an urge to sit down right there and write tearful apologies to my children. I had always considered myself a patient parent.  But perhaps my patience had really been aimed at generously waiting for them To Get It Right. As I wrote, tearful apologies are way overdue. Back in the days when I roamed the Earth in Brooks Brothers suits, with gleaming nails on hands and feet, when I found myself having to meet the challenge of working with both attorneys, with their own ideas, on one end of the spectrum, and printers, with their own ideas, on the other, [...]

HEALING: Listen, or Approaching Unforgiveness

October 23, 2014

It was a direction that came during my evening contemplative prayer.  The time of prayer in my day that I had been dedicating to “working” on an unresolved anguish. Listen, he said. The directive did not come from the God, the Father, as is most usual for me.  Instead, it came from his son, Jesus. I felt, almost immediately, how different a command from Jesus was from one from his glorious father.  I trusted it more, if that is the right word.  Trusted it in terms of feeling that it would be “easier” to follow; not yet another offering of inscrutability that would take years, if not decades, to unravel.  The command, listen, from God, the Father, could very well end up meaning, sing the Alleluia chorus [...]

HEALING: Spiritual vs. Physical

October 16, 2014

When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43-35) When we break a leg and go through all we need to go through to have it mend, we don’t expect that as a result of this healing, we’ll experience more breaks about our body. Just because we healed and are whole again. Neither do we experience after recovering from [...]

HEALING: The Difference Between Knowledge And Understanding

September 30, 2014

Somewhere, sometime, someone turned the light on us. To my mind, it all began with Freud, with his glaring assertions that he could look inside me and tell me who I am. And then came the obsession with everyone, everywhere, telling everybody else everything there was to know about them. When I was three, I tripped over a tree root in the forest and got a bloody nose. And so on. It came, I think, from the belief that things known, things brought to consciousness, are good things. That in order to heal, knowledge is key. Knowledge, in today’s thinking, is our saving grace. Leaving aspects of our lives in our unconscious is considered unhealthy. It assumes, of course, that healing is up to the human being; that God and life and time [...]

HEALING: Using The Lord’s Prayer To Breathe

September 18, 2014

It was an oddest assignment for contemplative prayer. I was to take the Lord’s Prayer into the meditation, and as I let myself be guided by the vision, I was to intone the prayer.  Word by word.  Out loud. Speaking aloud during contemplative prayer was not the most unusual aspect of the assignment, I thought.  It was using the Lord’s Prayer, itself, during such an exercise. Not that I have not had experiences, both in visions and in life, related to the Lord’s Prayer. In my visions of what I call, the end of the world, but what God entitles his period of Works and Wonders, the solution to chaos reigning on Earth is always the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer.  Collectively.  Globally.  Universally. The [...]

THE CHURCH: Liturgy And Healing

May 12, 2014

I realize that I am the only person in the world to want to find myself a very sturdy soapbox, step up on it, and proclaim my belief that the church is lopsided.  And that this is a very serious matter. In my opinion, that is. Here’s my metaphor for the church (that I’ve probably shared before): The church is like a tree with two branches.  The trunk is God, the Father.  And the branches are Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Now the church nods reverentially to a nominal degree towards God, the Father. The bulk of the attention at church is on Jesus Christ. Which is the right thing to do, of course.  But more on that later. The church, what she has to offer the world, is designed to focus not just on Jesus Christ, but [...]

HEALING: Finding Home (or, The Secret)

March 6, 2014

(Warning: you may not want to read this.) I have lived most of my life with a waste container just outside my active imagination.  It is a container for the toxic waste of my life. Recently, due to circumstances beyond my control, otherwise known as God, the container has moved inside the realm of my thoughts, and has taken up a sizable portion of the room that once was dedicated to contemplating the flittering of cardinals or the glory that can be found in some people’s souls. And now, now that’s it’s right before me day and night, I can easily read the label: I am weird. Over my lifetime I had used it as a receptacle for all those reactions I had when I came up short in measuring my actions and reactions in the world [...]

HEALING: The Force Of Love

March 4, 2014

If I just let go of all my pushing and pulling the threads that the study of love tangles me in, I find clarity.  A simple, easy understanding. If we love and God loves, then we, in this matter, are the same.  We are as one.  Human and God. It isn’t that often that we can align completely with God. The difficulty is that we, as humans, do get tangled up by the threads of love.  What does it mean?  How do I apply it?  Why do I trip over my attempts to love, and find myself instead of fulfilled, bruised? As humans, amazing fleshed souls that we are, we tend to approach love from a “me” perspective.  How am I faring in this relationship?  Are my needs being met?  How do I close the gap between what I envision love [...]

HEALING: On The Path To Hell

December 12, 2013

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into Heaven.  (The Apostle’s Creed) Why hell? Why after all that he endured did he have to go to hell?  Did he go to the frozen blackness, put on ice, as it were, until the necessary changes took place in his body?  Or did he go to the fiery reaches, there to have the imperfections of his earthly body burned into a new state of cleanliness? It is Advent.  Advent ends in Christmas.  So, for me, it is a walk.  A serious walk.  Sometimes a very slow walk. This year I received my prayer [...]

HEALING: Jesus, A Companion On The Curb

November 14, 2013

I find myself in the crotch — all right, fine, prong — of one of these ironies of God.  All my life, I used to call situations like these, God jokes.  But somehow, and for some reason, as I’ve aged I’ve mellowed, and find that the word, irony, is a more mature way of referring to this type of situation wherein I think I’m headed in one direction, but really, I’m still smack in the middle of the opposite way I thought I was headed and sinking fast. If you can do a better job describing this,  then be my guest. Twenty years ago now, give or take a year or two, I was going along and just happened to be studying miracles under the tutelage of God.  (Insert sound of whistling here, the tune, “Whistle [...]

HEALING: Forgiveness And Judgment

February 19, 2013

It isn’t very often that accomplishing the process of forgiveness doesn’t wind up feeling like a waste. Because after it is all over, after we’ve cried and wrung our hands, pulled at our hair and tried to look the other way; after we’ve said, enough is enough, I don’t hold it against you any longer, it’s too much work to be this angry at you; after all that, we’re still left with the shadow of judgment. Yes, you did this to me. Yes, I have forgiven you.  I really have. But I now see you for who you are.  I see what you can do to me. What then? We want forgiveness to be this complete washing out of our minds, our mouths, our hearts, our souls.  We expect forgiveness to heal our relationship with [...]

HEALING: The Twelve Realms — Cathedrals (or possibly the greatest barrier to healing on Earth)

January 22, 2013

I don’t want to count how many years ago now, back during a very extended flight, I was “handed” my next packet of study.  And there before me for my internal, eternal eye to see was a board table.  Board as in board of directors.  A large, wooden table set out for twelve places.  This didn’t make sense to me, essentially, because I was there in the room.  I was not one of the twelve, so where was I supposed to sit? God.  Harrumph. I guess I’ll just stand. (Perhaps there’s a stool I could use in one of the closets.) Around the table sat people I knew each representing what I was being taught were the realms of healing. For a long time I thought this meant that these were the realms on Earth that [...]

HEALING: The Magnificence Of Absolution, or The Tale of Two Confessions

December 21, 2012

Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed. It is a soul changing experience to be forgiven.  To have a tender and loving hand laid on your head, and to feel, through the ministration of the priest, God’s loving and absolute acceptance of your erring and scarred soul, and to feel his nod of understanding, even in the face of your own horror at the way your soul has wandered its own way into a deep forest of chaos and confusion. God, the father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the church may God give you pardon and peace, [...]

FORGIVENESS: Four Steps To Healing, or The Look of Fear

October 16, 2012

I think that the hardest part of forgiveness is identifying the wound.  For me, not understanding that I have felt wounded has a lot to do with shame: most of the time, the things that wound me, frankly, embarrass me.  I was overwhelmed with sorrow when my father gave me a hat.  (For those who might be confused by this, I wrote about it in a post entitled, SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: Hunting the Jabberwock.) I think that because I tend to just blink at my wounds, feeling somewhat unable to even understand them much less approach them with a plan to resolve them through forgiveness and reconciliation, most, if not all, of them just go unresolved for want of recognition. It’s one thing to say, Father, I forgive you for driving over my [...]

HEALING: Compassion’s Touch

January 26, 2012

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. – Thomas Merton I went to college at the University of California, otherwise known as, Berkeley.  When I was there, the school year was divided into three: three ten-week trimesters.  This meant that not too many days after the course began, work on the mid-term paper and research for the mid-term exam also began. I was an English major.  A ten-week term meant, essentially, that for each English course that I was taking I had to read a book, or the equivalent, from that course every week.  That’s one book by Dickens, another by Faulkner, some Milton, and [...]

HEALING: The Great Circle Of Life, Includes the Lesson of Recreation

January 2, 2012

When I meditate on healing, and what helps us to stay alive in the face of all that we are faced with, I keep seeing circles.  I don’t think this is for just any reason.  I have a lesson that deals with circles and with healing, it’s called the lesson of recreation.  (Not recreation, as in, sitting on the beach, but re-creation: to create anew.) This lesson is tied to the number eight, which, as you know, is made up of two circles, one on top of the other.  This lesson teaches how one heals through a trauma.  The top circle represents the thought/emotional process; the bottom circle represents the physical process. According to this lesson, when we are traumatized, our minds and body stop in time.  They clutch and cling [...]