Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Deepening Our Faith

"The Lord replied, 'If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you." ............Gospel of Luke Chapter 17 verse 6

At the beginning of the "year of Faith", on 24th October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement during his general audience in St. Peter's square, which I would like to reproduce as an introduction to this article. Though this is a catholic perspective from the highest authority of the church, it equally applies to all religious tradition as we face the same problem of being locked in and immobilized by indoctrination and our own false sense of spiritual security.

"What is faith? Does faith still make sense in a world in which science and technology have unfolded horizons unthinkable until a short time ago? What does believing mean today? In fact, in our time we need a renewed education in the faith that includes, of course, knowledge of its truths and of the history of salvation, but that is born above all from a true encounter with God in Jesus Christ, from loving him, from trusting him, so that the whole of our life becomes involved." ......Pope Benedict XVI

The Bible verse quoted at the beginning of this article is the response of Christ to the apostles when they ask him to deepen their faith.
As defined by the Pope, if we are to define faith through a new education; which includes knowledge of truth and salvation which is rooted in our encounter with Christ so that the whole of our life becomes involved, then we need to understand the instruction of Christ as to how faith can be lifted out of its shallowness and deepened.
Purely from a human physical, emotional or intellectual level accessing and deepening of one's true faith is an impossibility. This is the reason that we need Divine grace which is bestowed by the Spirit as witnessed in five events in the life of Christ; the incarnation, baptism, transfiguration, resurrection and ascension. These five events have to be understood from an esoteric perspective. This also echoes the proverbs which says: "In the discerning heart, wisdom finds a resting-place; even among fools it can impart learning." .......Proverb 14:33
The Second Vatican Council says: “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth’” .................(Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, n. 5).

What is implied by all these insights from the words of the Bible and from the interpretations of the Church is that a radical transformation at the inner consciousness level is needed and this is the miracle of the transplanting. It is impractical to transplant a Mulberry tree through a physical or natural action from firm ground where it has grown to maturity into the sea where there is no physical medium for sustainability. Then what did Christ mean by this saying. In order to understand the deep meaning implied by this admonition we need to go into Hebrew mysticism. Christ is not referring to a physical tree that is growing in the firm ground. He is referring to the consciousness of the apostles which has grown rooted in a worldly and materialist substratum. Only through deep faith this mature consciousness can be transplanted or elevated to a superior powerful level for spiritual transcendence into the Cosmic ocean of Divine consciousness. The Hebrew alphabet 'Mem' symbolizes the 'waters' or 'fountain of wisdom'. As the waters of the fountain arise from a subterranean, hidden source, so also the individual consciousness must arise to the level of the fundamental and superior universal consciousness. This is the Keter in the Kabalistic tree of life (the secret abyss of creation) from which Divine emanation descend into the manifest creation.

May the deeper understanding of the hidden meanings within the sacred writings deepen of our faith.

Love to you all.

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