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. Legend or fact? He could not die in battle, no matter how dangerous t he circumstances. Even the weather at times favored him, and there would be signs and various omen s (allegedly). He would see an eagle in the sky as an affirmation that his intentions would suc ceed. And they always did. When he got older, he made some serious miscalculations, and his good fortune de serted him. But for most of his life, the greater portion of it, Alexander was t ruly blessed. I was also thinking that he believed in a pantheon of gods, as did the Greeks an d Romans of his time. Gods who did unbelievable things, sometimes monstrous. God s who could be sexually promiscuous and immoral, as well as cruel. Arbitrary and unstable. Nothing like the God we now for the most part believe in. Alexander would pray and make offerings to these gods. He believed that he desce nded from one of them. He also believed he was divinely protected. So, here is my point: If these gods of ancient times were merely legends - delusions of the culture then what accounts for Alexander’s amazing luck, especially in battle? Such fortuitous circumstances cannot be mere coincidence. IF he was blessed, AND these stories are based on truth, then how could he have been blessed - IF the gods of his time were not real? IF our God is the one true God, and Jesus His manifestation on earth, how could Alexander have had his prayers answered by praying to make-believe gods? Was it simply that Alexander’s FAITH alone determined the final outcome? The power of belief IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. As Jesus has said, “Believe , and you shall have whatsoever you believe. Do not do ubt” Jesus also spoke of what He had done, and told His disciples, “As I have done, so shall you do - and more” Jesus ALWAYS emphasized the tremendous power of faith and the mind. He also said, “The kingdom of Heaven is within you” I put all this together and came up with some beliefs: All kinds of people - some believers, some non-believers, Hindus, Buddhists , Am erican Indians, agnostics - all who have varying perceptions of God, or who do n ot believe in Him at all - have all experienced answered prayers and even miracl es at one time or another. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE WHAT THEY BELIEVED. In many instances, their prayers for healing and assistance occurred in miraculo
us, unexpected ways. What does this mean? Obviously, all of their beliefs CANNOT be true. Different faiths clash and have opposing views, sometimes even drastic ones. What accounts for this? I believe it is purely FAITH. The power of the mind. What they have desired and sincerely believed would happen came to pass. Why doesn’t it always work? Many variables may be involved. Circumstances, timing, other people’s mistakes or interference. But I do believe this is the one TRUE GIFT we have received from our Creator - i n whatever form the Creator takes for us. For I also believe He has manifested i n many forms, as varied as the Universe. GOD CAN BE WHATEVER WE CONCEIVE HIM TO BE. HE CAN COME TO US IN ANY FORM WE PROJ ECT. IN ANY WAY HIS INFINITE INTELLIGENCE DEEMS THE BEST FOR US. Yet this does not change the basic nature of the Creator and the fact that He ex ists and helps. I look around and I e. I read about the and how IF JUST ONE s is also true on a read books on quantum physics and the origins of the univers unbelievable complexity of our bodies as well as our minds, TINY PART WERE OFF BY A FRACTION, our life would cease - thi cosmic scale.
And then I know that God exists. There is a divine Intelligence. He takes a personal form for me, like a friend , which is how I relate to Him best. But that does not mean the same is true for you. It does not have to be the same for you. That is the beauty of this. I also believe our Creator exists outside of us. He would have to in order to br ing us and everything else into being. We proceed from Him as separate entities. Yet - and this also speaks for the incredible uniqueness of the Creator - he ca n simultaneously exist INSIDE US AS WELL, and be a part of our very being. Insid e, around and through us. Our minds have amazing power, but SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE US THIS POWER. We could not have brought ourselves into being. There always has to be a source. The power of the mind can desire, will, believe so strongly and with such force that things can come to pass - or manifest - almost miraculously. Not many of us know how to harness this power consistently. So, there are few such miracles. Many people feel disappointed by life and by Go d, constantly struggling, getting nowhere. How can we use this gift? Our free will enables us to tap into this power in our own way. BUT IF WHAT WE W ANT is not good for us or for others, if it is unhealthy in some way, by the pur e definition of the word, which means against harmony, against the natural order
of things, against yourself, then the law of Cause and Effect will kick in to m ake sure things are balanced. This is never punishment. This is never God’s revenge. It is merely a system beaut ifully put into place for us. It checks excesses, rewards and encourages good, productive behavior and drives, and reveals the negative effects of bad ones. Good or bad here meaning “healthy”. Balanced. Not as moral pronouncements. But parad oxically, what is healthy and good for you does indeed prove to be ultimately mo ral and beneficial for others, IF PROPERLY INSPIRED AND CARRIED TO FRUITION. Also, I believe that this “power of the mind” has limitations, as we all do. This wo rld in which we live has definite limitations of time and space. So do we. There fore, our power cannot be limitless. That is only for our Creator. We cannot have EVERYTHING WE WANT, ALL OUR PRAYERS ANSWERED, ALL THE TIME, IN EV ERY CIRCUMSTANCE. This would not be good for us, not good for other people, whos e circumstances may require different outcomes than ours, and also it cannot be possible in a finite world. We will not always know how to access this power, or sustain the tremendous ener gy and focus it requires. I believe that God intervenes at such times. When there is an emergency or neces sity, I believe that our Creator can and does step in, regardless of our state o f mind. Religion with all its rituals and laws is not intrinsically necessary, but is a beautiful public declaration of love for God. I say “intrinsically” because I love m y Catholic faith and I know the wonderful service and help it provides. But I believe, deep in my heart, that all we really need is to LOVE OUR CREATOR, BELIEVE IN HIM, TURN TO HIM OFTEN, AND EXPRESS GRATITUDE IN TANGIBLE AND INTANG IBLE WAYS. THIS PERSONAL LOVE I FEEL MAY COMPEL ME TO ENGAGE IN THE RITUALS AND PRACTICES OF A FORMAL RELIGION. I love going to Mass, I love churches and prayers. Yet I know these are choices I make. I CHOOSE to honor God publicly with such rituals - and that is basically what Mass is. Your relationship with God is personal and private and must always remain so. NO religion is bad, provided it honors our Creator, cares for all life, and give s hope and some measure of peace. GOD EXISTS WHETHER WE ARE CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT, MUSLIM, HINDU OR ANYTHING ELSE. The very fact that we are alive is a potent witness to this. In fact, the only o ne we really need. I truly have come to believe a somewhat traumatic but ultimately liberating trut h - maybe it will be a truth for you as well - that it is impossible in this wor ld of so many people and so many variables, where things can change in a heartbe at, to have assurance of answered prayers or protection. This may sound obvious to some, but to Catholics and Christians, who pray for mi racles and have absolute faith, it may be a difficult thing to consider. Also, for any parent holding a sick or dying child, for any person who is in desperate
pain, for any one living in fear and need, believe me, my friends, you not only hope for answered prayers and guarantees and protection, you expect them in yo ur desperate need. Ask any one, religious or not, who has been in despair or ho rrible circumstances, and they will agree. You begin to turn against God if He is not forthcoming, to rail against Him and against life itself, and sometimes y ou even wish for total destruction that equals the destruction taking place in y our mind and your heart and your world. I believe that the very best we have to hold on to is this - that no matter what happens, we do not die. Not the part of us that thinks, feels, loves. We lose everything else, yes. The earthly existence, the body, but not the true essenc es of who we are. The people we have known and loved are still existing beyond this time and space. And God is real. God is with us. Emmanuel. He remains with us no matter what happens, no matter how bad things get. And He will see us through to a new plac e and time beyond this one. Also, and you need to trust me on this one, it is n ever constant nor is it easy, because we ourselves are so inconstant and difficu lt - God does give you tremendous peace and many many blessings in the midst of your pain. You just have to stop, take a breath, and notice. Because once you have felt His presence and seen visible proof that He is aware of you and respon ds to your pain, believe me, you can never turn back. You must always continue to believe, for this is reality for you now. You may be angry, confused, doubtf ul, but the one thing you CANNOT DO is forget that God is real. For to you, now, He always is and always will remain so. And that is indeed a blessing. That, my friends, may be the only assurance you will ever have or ever need.