What is your experience of the Living God?
Have you had moments you sensed the Divine Presence – that God was near, or in your heart? Have you prayed for guidance and felt you received it? Or have you had spiritual experiences of a different kind? Below, members of the Parish Catalyst staff share some of our personal encounters with Mystery, with Word, with Divinity.
- My faith in Jesus went from black and white to Technicolor when I began to take the scriptures seriously. When I began to understand them within the context of their time and discuss their significance for my life and the world today with others in a faith sharing setting. Jesus went from a holy card image to a living breathing revolutionary and finally to a transcendent living spirit of love and grace.
- I have always had faith and always prayed. What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t have that personal relationship with Jesus. I was really going through some hard times in my life and nothing seemed to be going right, everything was a struggle. As I was walking one day talking to God and trying to figure out why things were always so tough I had this feeling of Ahhhhh!! I need to go through this to get closer to God! I need to embrace the tough times and trust Him! From that moment on I just wanted to have a closer relationship with Jesus. I wanted to read scripture and learn everything I could. I still go through tough times, like everyone, but now I don’t feel alone, I know that Jesus is walking with me through every situation I go through and that gives me a great sense of peace.
- I firmly believe that life is about moments of impact. Such moments provide the possibility for growth and have ripple effects far beyond what the mind can imagine. I have yet to encounter a moment of living transcendent spirit that intensifies my faith. But, boy am I ready. So hear I am, eagerly awaiting my own moment with conscious divinity; I can’t wait.
- Be Still and Know that I am God.
Life is busy. With smartphones, email, social media, and steaming media we have never been so connected, and yet I often find myself disconnected. A friend of mine uses the Psalm 46:10 “Be still and Know that I am God” as his mantra. Like many Bible verses, I never really understood it, until one early morning. At the suggestion of my friend, I went out to the beach, it was so early that I was the only person on the beach. I found a place to sit and just practiced “being still”. It was hard, I instinctively reached for my phone but I had intentionally left it behind. There I was, all alone on the beach on a cold early morning. Thoughts of the cold, my phone, my day, were racing through my head. I focused on my breathing and let the thoughts pass. Out of nowhere I felt a warmth and a comforting feeling that I was not alone, even though I knew I was. What I felt was God. It was a closeness with God that I had never experienced. It felt like Jesus was sitting right next to me on the Beach. Before that I always believed that I would have to be perfect to achieve a closeness with God. That day I learned the relationship is free, all we have to do is “Be”.