John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word of God ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of God the Father, full of grace and truth.”
First there was silence. Jesus Christ existed first as a thought of God and His Word in His providence, in His plan. When the time was ripe, the word became flesh, and Jesus came as our Savior on Earth. Salvation means enlightenment. Through Him we can let God's Light shine through us and be a Light of God ourselves.
As we ourselves also were starting in the silence of God in His Word and His thought, so we go into the silence, and then create with our thoughts and our words anew.
We are the creator and sustainer of our health. Our destructive thoughts can make our body become diseased. They can lead to a destructive life. On the other hand our loving, forward-looking thoughts can create a life of health and dignity. Love creates Love. It is entirely up to ourselves, what we make of our lives. If we have not grasped the meaning of life, we will have to suffer it. The meaning of suffering is to suffer. It comes not from God. He has our plan within a grid placed in His hand.
The core of all created existence is made up of His Light and His Love. God is joy and abundance – for all of time. We may well already enjoy in this life His gifts, for only in this moment we are living consciously. The past is gone, the future is before us, only in the present exists the awareness, mindfulness, and only in the present now can we live consciously and responsibly.
Why has God given us this beautiful Planet Earth, if not for this life in the here and now? So that we should use it. We have to ensure the preservation of the Earth. We must also pay attention to develop ourselves with His gifts and not to abuse them in an otherwise superficial life. We live with the body, mind and soul in this life in the here and now. Just as we wish it to be. If we are completely at one with God and are also aware of it, we can leave our thoughts and actions in turn wholly to Him, to live in certainty, according to God's design in love and abundance.
That comes through His preeminent Grace and with the cooperation of the free will of rational creatures, as the term 'Providence' is described according to 'Wikipedia': “A higher power that influences the fate of people and the course of world history.” – “Providence is the almighty and omniscient God, inasmuch as He in His advanced awareness is correcting the World’s events and saving those from their own destructive actions. This can be done in several ways: according to the Laws of Nature, through miracles, through His preeminent Grace, through involvement with the free-will of rational creatures, or by admitting our sins, but this excludes any of His direct involvement...”
It was Divine Providence that brought me to the historic town of Limburg/Lahn. I pursued this goal without question, just knowing that it had to be! I had become aware in the year of 2008, that my life would continue to decline significantly. By September 2008 I felt impelled to move to Limburg on the River Lahn.
In the later Chapter entitled 'Blessed Mother Mary', I describe how I had found the house in Limburg. It was so easy, I was led up to it. Two minutes after praying to Mother Mary in the Cathedral of Limburg, I found myself standing in front of the house in the little narrow street leading to the Cathedral, and in November I moved there. I had hardly brought with me any furniture, which was good thing as I could not have fitted more into this small and narrow 550 year old half-timbered house with its three floors leading up from a narrow twisting stairway. I had instead brought with me my many statues of the Saints, and the house itself radiated a sacred spiritual atmosphere.
This was to be the best event for me at the time, because it led me on a path straight to God. I soon was to visit Him in the Cathedral, even several times a day. Not only during religious services but also the times in between. This great Catholic temple attracted me like magic. There were moments when I could feel the energy pulling me up the Cathedral hill, day and night. God pulled me there, He wanted me in 'His Church'!
In 2008 I spent a wonderful Christmas and New Year's Eve involved in the ceremonies of the Cathedral. In January 2009, I experienced the first Pontifical Mass, and within that Mass it came to me: In the liturgy I sensed a major spiritual force, I saw with my eyes closed a deep purple, indicating the highest spirituality, the prayers went through and through me, and the Cathedral Choir sang with an almost unbearable beauty.
And then, from an unexpected source, God sent forth me a helper, Johannes, with whom I had a Platonic friendship. His life at that point had not gone as planned, and when he phoned me from Berlin and told me that he was not happy, my answer was: “Come to Limburg!” The next day he was there and was to share my new home for a considerable period.
In previous times I had taught Johannes the virtues of trusting in God. He was well versed in this thinking as he comes from a very Catholic family which included two priests. Actually, Johannes had also wanted to be a priest, and had practiced for this as a child in his sandbox busily distributing home baked communion wafers to the delighted neighbourhood women. However, in later life he preferred the boardwalks of the world to an altar in the church. Well, that time was now over – and I reminded him with my newly found passion for God and the Church of his own past as a Catholic. Now it was his turn to teach me something, and he did.
“So you want to be Catholic?”, he laughed, “then we will practice.” He took out a prayer book and began teaching: “Hail Mary, full of grace, Thou art Blessed among women ...” – “What does it mean?” I asked, “I don’t know those words and will never be able to learn!”
No, that had not inspired me, I felt I wanted something more. Johannes went with me to worship in the Cathedral. I wanted to sit down but he fold down the foot bench, at least I did consider as such, and ordered: “Kneel down!” I did it, oh, and it hurt. “This is too hard, I cannot,” I protested. ”If you want to be Catholic, you have to kneel,” was his comment. And he pressed me down off the kneeling bench. So I knelt and murmured to myself, “I had thought it might be different from this.”
During the Mass, I was compensated. Now Johannes paid attention that I was behaving like a Catholic. Getting up, then sitting down, getting up again, kneeling, singing, praying, kneeling again, a very sensual experience. It was not boring: there was a lot of movement, the fragrant incense, the beautiful impressions derived from the organ music and the choir and the priests who looked so well in their colourful and beautiful robes. I learned that not only does one become a Catholic with one’s body, mind and soul, but also with much Love in the heart!
I soon found that I wanted to be truly Catholic and belong to the Church! And above all I wanted finally go to Communion. And so I made an appointment in the Priest's Office, had some preliminary meetings, and on 25 June 2009 I had achieved my first milestone: my Communion. Johannes was to be my religious Godfather. He still raves about how “his hair stood on end” by the force and energy that the Holy Spirit was pouring out on us by the highly gifted Priest blessing me.
When I was finally confirmed, it all really then started for me. Every church in the parish of “St. George” was to become my church. At a rough estimate, I visited during the following year about seven hundred church services, on average two times a day: the daily Morning Mass, the Mass for women, the Evening Masses during the week, and the Friday evening ecumenical worship service – this I soon gave up because of the missing passion – even the final blessing was not strong enough. On the other hand every two weeks there was the Mass in the Latin Rite, which touched me very deeply. “The Soul remembers,” writes the Pope. Yes, my Soul remembered very well, and first of all, I was so touched by this kind of celebration that it almost tore my insides apart. Maybe it was because of the wonderful officiating Priest, for his morning worship services in the Cathedral had the same effect. As soon as he was there, Jesus was there, and this time I had a very intense period of repentance that I had left Him and the Church alone for such a long time.
On the weekends I attended the Vigil Mass on Saturday and the High Mass as well as the evening Mass on Sunday. It all was adding up! In between the Vespers and the Devotion of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary and Stations of the Cross, and once a month, there was also the Marian Mass in a small chapel in the Westerwald, which lasted up to four hours. Here, the Priest blesses everyone with a small Monstrance – that was something very special to me! (For all non-Catholics: A “Monstrance” (monstrare – “to show”) is a precious liturgical display device with a window area in which a consecrated wafer is exposed to reverence and worship, crafted with gold and precious stones).
I could not get enough. The Catholic life captivated me, and I wondered what was happening to me. I took on a complete internal transformation, with sin, repentance, atonement, penance, forgiveness, and my innermost soul turned inside out and also inwards. Whereby I was not to forget the joy! Likewise, my at that time still present inclinations towards the theatrics and passion I could completely unfold. “Johannes! How nice it was once again! The organ, the music, the choir!” Such were my feelings when I came home on Sunday noontimes after a Mass in the Cathedral. Sometimes I became totally withdrawn into myself and even unresponsive to others, because I was still thinking over the meaning of the sermon.
I will never forget my first adoration and blessing of the Monstrance: I was completely dissolved in tears, sobbing, shaking, trembling, I thought my last hour had come. When I eventually succeeded in making the short way home, I was not able to speak about it. It took a double brandy with Johannes to completely to calm me down and to control myself. Now I realise that my Soul had seen God and had gone totally out of control. These conditions were repeated at every sight of the Monstrance, and only abated slowly with time. It was a state of ecstasy, as Saint Teresa of Àvila described in her book, “The Interior Castle.” However, we must be aware that ecstasy is not always a happy state, it can also at times be the absolute opposite.
Even when the period of euphoria was over and I could think clearly again, my newly found passion for the Catholic being remained. I may have at times criticized it and wanted to change much, even sometimes wishing to give it all up because things did not move forward fast enough, or even thinking I may be in the wrong place! Around Pentecost 2010 I stayed completely away from the Church for five weeks, in order to check out what would last.
And I realized that everything remained the same. I was also becoming aware that I was being led through the Love for the Infinite Love that was growing inside me – the Church as an institution did not influence it. Nevertheless, deep down I felt I had always maintained my Love for this great institution. I felt full of humility and gratitude that they had accepted me, an outsider, with such open arms. I now firmly hold that the Church – I am speaking now of the universal church of God, not only of the Catholic Church, although I personally prefer the Catholic Church – was created by God / the Holy Spirit and is still under His protection, otherwise they would not have survived the past 2,000 years.
“If there are many Mansions in Heaven,
there are also many ways to get there.”
(Teresa of Àvila)
Life with Providence - a Life of Joy and Devotion
The devotion to God makes me happy. That joy comes from my heart, it is the joy of the faithful. Look at the true believers more precisely: We radiate inwardly. We may have as many wrinkles as everyone else, but that does not matter. We send out a Light, and it is the Divine Light. The greater the spirituality – by that I mean the faith lived – the greater the perceived and lived joy.
Sometimes it can be almost unbearable for others to put up with, that I admit. However, I can also hardly bear to see the discontent around me. The shallowness of society that lives only for its fun and entertainment has long since proven a scourge to Mankind. This shallowness of being comes over those who have no connection to God. In the not too distant future it may all collapse and not be sustained.
The Czech writer Milan Kundera wrote about the excesses of those people turned away from God, in a good book: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, which was also made into a film. In this novel, Tomas falls in love with Teresa, who is serious in her feelings towards him, but Tomas has nothing better to do than to escape into infidelity and other worldly distractions. Then everything disintegrates and somehow they both die. Life in the Love of God can surely be called as '”he Lightness of Being”. Everything becomes simple, everything becomes easier. Even the toughest trials of life and the most difficult parts of it are bearable with God on our side and with Jesus Christ in our heart.
As long as I say no to God, I am limiting myself. In this limitation I am not giving God the permission to give me what He wishes to give me. And as long as I do not feel good enough within one field it is influencing all others. This feeling of “not being good enough” is based on a lack of self-love: “I am not enough, so I am not worthy of it all.”
If I say yes to God, I then find myself in the vastness of an open space in which everything happens. To say yes to God, is to accept everything He provides. I open myself for all that He wants to give me. This is the fullness we may live in. However, the more I may have in material possessions, the less I need. If I do not live in sense of lack, I am happy with a few things. How glad I am not dependant on material possessions. I may depend on other Human Beings, but I never want to make anyone dependent on me. This means the opposite: the claim of ownership, the need of possession, the greed. No, I feel myself as being enough, I rest content within myself. I have a relationship with God. It can never be that God will give us what we do not need. God is Love, and so He gives us Love. He gives us Joy, He gives us Peace. We can be sure it is exactly the right moment He is caring for us. Because – as I said above – God saw that it was good. God knows our true path of salvation, He has our “Book of Life”; so He becomes the Stage Director, he knows how it should continue onwards. That is my conviction.
“God will not grow tired of giving
and His mercies are infinite.
Let us not become tired of receiving.”
(Teresa of Àvila)
Providence rather than Wish-fulfilment
There is a new science in the great arena of Esoteric: the wish-fulfilment. The intent was certainly meant well, but what people made of it was a new kind of life of consumption: Now they are usually in a position to satisfy their material needs. My house, my car, my boat – will now be imagined and materialized, and new consumer goods are always being added. Everything created according to the original secrets of visualizing one’s wishes! They then call it luck and success. The only mistake is that this materialization has nothing to do with our liberation. Quite the opposite: it is counterproductive. We sought to create the luck to find the wealth within ourselves and what was it? The new garbage of prosperity that clogs us from outside, preventing our self-fulfilment of the Divine within.
God – the Providence – has already created the wealth. When Jesus says, “Thou fool, this night thy Soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12.20-21), He meant the wealth of love, of health, of inner peace, and it has nothing to do with all the material possessions. Providence brings us even our income. Do not worry, God knows the needs of our daily bread, and that includes not only the daily Communion with the Body of Jesus, but also the cost of our worldly life, and all that He cares for. In principle He is not interested in providing us with the accumulation of material things, because that blocks out our essential life and keeps us away from His Love.
You do not need now to resolve to give away your collection of antiques, but it's good to think about it. As long as the preservation of old values is important, there is certainly no objection to that. But if the collecting mania becomes rampant, it can take on dramatic excesses, which I myself have often observed and it has puzzled and worried me. Let the energy flow in your life constantly. If you are blocked on one side by a passion for collecting, you should ensure that there still remains a healthy circulation of energy and you will not lose the joy of life. Otherwise, you bury yourself.
“Those who can not enjoy,
(Teresa of Àvila)
How does your Environment react, if you turn to God?
You are not taken seriously anymore – as well as that, no one can really comprehend. This is just a too high level for them! And your ascent to God was probably made too quickly for them and in the beginning they will try to find out how serious you are. Once they understand your commitment, they will tend to turn away from you – they become uninterested. “Honestly,” they say, “do you really want to say that you do not want to have any part in worldly life?” No one can imagine that you do not need it. Nobody understands that you have a much greater wealth than you've ever had in money, and that God is for you your first place partner, and that any possible life partner must then also qualify with a love for God. “I cannot be with anyone with whom I can not talk about God,” wrote Teresa of Àvila. For me also, there is no other way.
Then there are those who are acting as if they were on the same wave length as you. They speak of God as if they had experienced anything of significance in their lives. They appear to be Bible readers and accompany you to church, so they may have some influence with you. But you feel it's not genuine. There are always some points they are bringing up against the Church, they complain about the money the Church is taking in, the scandals within the Church, as if the world had none of its own.
Does this concern you – you personally on your way to God, in your Love for God? No! You may also get an earful of offenses listed against God, listen to dumb jokes about Jesus or the like. This you quickly come to dislike, because it hurts you personally in your Soul. You also may have the problem of getting your required time for prayer and retreat, because your friends do not understand that you are no longer available every day for hours of phone calls and you are no longer interested in the problems of the “world”. You know them, because you have still your thinking mind. But you know there is nothing to be gained by searching outside and nothing to do. You can only find it in your heart.
Love does not mean to say “Yes and Amen” to everybody. It also needs sometimes to be saying “No”. Separate yourself from people who want to suck in your energies, consciously or unconsciously, and protect yourself from negative outside energies. All that belongs to it. Because God gives us obligations but also rights. And that includes the right of integrity of our Soul and that of our loved ones.
I suggest to apply once a week the method I call “The Needle's Eye”, which I describe in the later chapters. Give God everything, and wait for what He gives you back. What you do not need any more, will not come back. For this you will from now on only meet those people that belong to you. We have all the time. But the world needs to have no more time wasted, to make it a better place.
“There is something very great,
in having a free heart and a quiet conscience.“
(Teresa of Àvila)