Welcome to OneLife Ministries. This site is designed to lead you prayerfully into a heart experience of Divine Presence, Who is Love. While it focuses on Christian teaching, I pray persons of varied faiths will find inspiration here. Indeed, "God" can be whatever image helps us trust in the Sacred, by whatever means Grace touches us each. Please share this ministry with others, and I hope you return soon. There is a new offering daily. And to be placed on the daily OneLife email list, to request notifications of new writings or submit prayer requests, write to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Rev Dr Brian K Wilcox, MDiv, MFT, PhD
Pastor-Teacher, Author, Workshop Leader, Spiritual Counselor, Chaplain
Brian encourages support of the 4-Star Christian organization Compassion, which supports children worldwide; for more see www.compassion.com .
Holy Spirit, powerful Consoler, sacred Bond of the Father and the Son, Hope of the afflicted, descend into my heart and establish in it your loving dominion. Enkindle in my tepid soul the fire of your Love so that I may be wholly subject to you. We believe that when you dwell in us, you also prepare a dwelling for the Father and the Son. Deign, therefore, to come to me, Consoler of abandoned souls, and Protector of the needy. Help the afflicted, strengthen the weak, and support the wavering. Come and purify me. Let no evil desire take possession of me. You love the humble and resist the proud. Come to me, glory of the living, and hope of the dying. Lead me by your grace that I may always be pleasing to you. Amen.
*Saint Augustine of Hippo. See www.catholic.org/prayers/ .
LISTENING TO SCRIPTURE
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into Godís love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all Godís people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
*Ephesians 3.17-19 (NLT)
To love is to know Me,
My innermost nature,
The truth that I am.
*Bhagavad Gita 18.55. See www.unification.net .
RECEIVING SACRED TEACHING
A Wind blew
through this room of mine-
safe and secure, I thought-
Now, where is the furniture?
Where is the room?
"This is what happens," My Friend, "when
a true seeker draws near enough
the Fire of Love."
*Brian K. Wilcox. "A Wind Blew."
The following comes from a letter of a person who had a mystical inbreaking of the Love of God.
I find that the most painful part of my journey is repressing my heart to fit into my body again. I have experienced cosmic love, a love of all humanity. That love was given to me. I could not have attained that on my own. I could never really feel love for all humanity by myself. Then the great love was taken away but not the memory of it, not the impact of it. A stream was left flowing in my heart, like an invitation to follow it back to the ocean of love. Yet it is a bittersweet stream from which to drink because humanity is in such pain and to love anything that suffers too much is to take on that suffering. My only recourse is to pray while I love. I have no other choice, now.
*Caroline Myss. Entering the Castle
True virtue has no limits, it goes ever further; but especially holy charity [Love}, which is the virtue of virtues, and which, having an infinite object, would be capable of becoming infinite if it could meet with a heart capable of infinity. Nothing hinders this love from being infinite except the condition of the will which receives it, and which is to act by it: a condition which prevents any one loving God as much as God is amiable, as it prevents them from seeing him as much as he is visible. The heart which could love God with a love equal to the divine goodness would have a will infinitely good, which cannot be but in God. Charity then in us may be perfected up to the infinite, but exclusively; that is, charity may become more and more, and ever more, excellent, yet never infinite. The Holy Ghost may elevate our hearts, and apply them to what supernatural actions it may please him, so they be not infinite. Between little and great things, though the one exceed the other never so much, there is still some proportions provided always that the excess of the thing which exceeds be not an infinite excess: but between finite and infinite there is no proportion, and to make any, it would be necessary, either to raise the finite and make it infinite, or to lower the infinite and make it finite, which is impossible.
*St. Francis of Sales. Treatise on the Love of God.
* * *
To draw closer to God is to draw closer to all of God, for all the separate virtues - separate as we humanly see them - are one in God - seen one in Beatific Vision - for God being Infinite cannot experience division.
Within this All is Love. Therefore, in drawing closer to God, we draw closer to see our love as so much smaller in view of God's Love, and this confession of seeing re-forms our love closer in proportion to God's Love, which is without proportion, for it is beyond measurement. Indeed, our love is Infinite as his - for love is a quality - but our appropriation and personal-experience of it is limited - but the Love is not in the field of division or limits.
Therefore, as St. Augustine taught in On the Presence of God, there is a difference between quantity and quality. We can say, water has a quantity; thus, water can be more at one place than another, present at one place and absent at another; can be measured as more or less, in different places.
Yet, Love is not a quantity, Love is a quality. When we experience the Divine Love, we do not meet a Love more or less given, based on our experience of that Love. Rather, our capacity to receive determines the experienced-reception, but the actual encounter with Love is dimensionless and infinite. That is, right at this moment, if you are experiencing God's Love, you are experiencing God's Love - not some of it. Yet, to consciously-experience, or know, is another matter.
So, we can have a mystical experience of Love, like the testimony above shows, that introduces us to a conscious-experience of the Infinite Love, so much that we suffer by living out such Love's difference from the world about us. This is part of the price we pay to draw closer to God, to draw nearer the Fullness of God-in-Christ, by the agency of the Holy Spirit.
So, drawing closer to God, as Love, will likely not make your life less complicated and challenging, but more so. And, you will find fewer persons who will understand you, and a deeper suffering in yourself for the lovelessness all about you.
* * *
Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.
*Rumi. Mathnawi VI. See www.khamush.com .
1) Consider today, just how much you are truly committed, or not, to drawing close to God, and ready to accept the consequences of that nearness, or not.
2) Do you want to go beyond conventional faith? If so, how might that change your life? Relationships? Beliefs? ... Be serious here - honest, blunt honesty, is needed here.
Rev Dr Brian K Wilcox
June 5, 2009
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*OneLife Ministries is a ministry of Brian K. Wilcox, of SW Florida. Brian lives a vowed life and with his two dogs, Bandit Ty and St. Francis. Brian is an ecumenical spiritual leader, open to how Christ manifests in the diversity of Christian denominations and varied religious-spiritual traditions. He is Senior Chaplain for the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, Punta Gorda, FL.
*Brian welcomes responses to his writings or submission of prayer requests at email@example.com . Also, Brian is on Facebook: search Brian Kenneth Wilcox.
*Contact the above email to book Brian for Spiritual Direction, retreats, or workshops. You can order his book An Ache for Union at major book dealers.