Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Intimacy in Community

 
 

Spiritual Intimacy

Sharing of Essene with the Other

Jun 22, 2009

Saying For Today: Your desire for intimacy is an expression of God's longing for intimacy with you and, thus, your intimacy with another is God's means of enjoying intimacy with you.


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 barukhattah@embarqmail.com .

Blessings,
Rev Dr Brian K Wilcox, MDiv, MFT, PhD

Interspiritual 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 .

OneLife ministry appeals for a collective opposition in Love to all forms of prejudice based on religion, as is so practiced in fundamentalist and conservative, and in some moderate, religious groups. Such is to be seen as a violation of the central teachings of Christ: Love God above all, Love others as yourself. May all such prejudice cease, and may all peoples and loving faiths live as One on this earth. Amen.

Opening Prayer

Come, O Creator Spirit blest,
And in our souls take up Thy rest;
Come, with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

Great Comforter, to Thee we cry;
O highest gift of God most high,
O Fount of life, O Fire of love,
And sweet anointing from above!

Kindle our senses from above,
And make our hearts o’erflow with love;
With patience firm, and virtue high,
The weakness of our flesh supply.

*Words attributed to Rhabanus Maurus, c. 800 (Ve­ni Cre­at­or Spir­it­us, Men­tes tu­or­um vi­sita); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ed­ward Cas­wall, Lyra Ca­thol­i­ca, 1849.

The Scripture

1 When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, ... 20 I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. 22 And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am 7 they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. 26 I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them."

*John 17.1, 20-16 (NAB)

Sacred Teaching

"Today, so many of us are oppressed by a feeling of something missing in our lives, intensely suffering from a lack of intimacy." … "If what we seek in life is happiness, and intimacy is an important ingredient of a happier life, then it clearly makes sense to conduct our lives on the basis of a model of intimacy that includes as many forms of connection with others as possible."

*Howard C. Cutler, M.D., The Art of Happiness.

* * *

Intimacy comes from the Latin meaning "inner" or "innermost." Therefore, to me intimate is a connection including cognitive and affective properties and which can be broadly defined as: The sharing of one's essence, or innermost being, or soul, in relationship.
Your desire for intimacy is an expression of God's longing for intimacy with you and, thus, your intimacy with another is God's means of enjoying intimacy with you.

*Brian Kenneth Wilcox

* * *

A radio commentator was talking about her vacation at a gorgeous seaside town in Mexico. One afternoon she saw an elderly couple walking hand-in-hand along the beach. She could see they clearly loved each other much. Later that day the commentator saw the couple at dinner. She apologetically introduced herself and asked for the secret of their strong show of intimacy. The woman, amused, said, "Our secret is that my husband has always been a bit hard of hearing! You see, we were married during the Depression. Both of us worked two, sometimes three, jobs just to make ends meet. One day I came home so exhausted, I said to my husband, 'I'm so tired, my teeth hurt!' Well, he took me by the hand, sat me down, took off my shoes, and lovingly rubbed my feet!" She continued, "I think you understand the mix-up! But from that day on, this became our little ritual. At the end of each day, my husband has always lovingly rubbed my feet. With this simple act, he shows me daily how much he loves me and, in turn, I remember how much I love him. And no matter what else is going on in our lives, or in the world, we always remember how easy it is to love each other."

Intimacy, as this story shows, is nurtured by action and often by small rituals affirming affection and tender-heartedness.

* * *

Baruch Spinoza (17th Century) taught that every organism has conatus, or a will, to expand its turf until it bumps into something that stops it, saying to it, so to speak, Stay out; that's my turf you're trespassing onto.

Intimacy challenges us in the crucible of relationship to expand tolerance for what Huston Smith, in Why Religion Matters, calls the art of coexistence.

It is this nurturing of intimacy, then, that slowly allows the unfoldment of the human potential of realizing what Richard Falk, world-renowned world order theorists, spoke of when saying that what the world now needs is: "The maximum degree of spontaneous solidarity."

The Gospel and the Gospel content of all great spiritual paths remind us the chief aim of spiritual community is to realize in increasing degree the love and intimacy of the Divine within human interaction and relationships.

Blessings! In Christ!
Rev Dr Brian K Wilcox
June 20, 2009
barukhattah@embarqmail.com

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYERFUL REFLECTION

1. In what relationships might God be calling you into a more in-depth intimacy? What resistances do you sense? What allures you to surrender more into spiritual intimacy with God? With others?

2. How might seeing intimacy as another means of speaking of Divine Love challenge some societal understandings of intimacy?

* * *

*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-interspiritual 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 barukhattah@embarqmail.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.

 

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