The response to the May Salon introducing the subject of, The Gift of Seven Extraordinary Days of Grace, has been wonderful. It’s obvious that the subject of grace remains as intriguing now as it was two thousand years ago when the graces were first named and identified. It’s so fascinating that as a result of a leap in humankind’s spiritual evolution brought about by the advent of the great Divine beings of Jesus and Buddha (a bit earlier), and others not quite of their caliber, emphasis was turned to the exploration of the power of the individual in relationship to the Divine. As the Judeo-Christian tradition began to take shape, the spiritual powers of the merger of these two traditions likewise formed.
Not that you need a sort of “religion” class, but I think this information is essential and I present it not – repeat not – from the “religion” perspective but rather from the historic. In order to delve into the subject of grace, we must look to the history of grace. The teacher and great cosmic being, Jesus, modeled the fully-evolved human soul. He could heal and perform miracles, he had mastery over physical matter including death and disease, he could speak to anyone, he had the gift of prophecy, he felt energy flow through him that was meant to heal people – he was, in other words, fully present in his physical form while having a fully cosmic soul.
Realize that Jesus’ message was, “These and other things can you do.” He did not position himself as a Divine being, much less as the initiator of all the trappings that have come after him. His role, I believe, was to model the highest potential of the human soul. I will never believe he came here to found countless churches, but to inspire people to understand the spiritual purpose – and therefore spiritual power – present within the human experience. (Note: the only way people through the centuries could explain his “power” was to deify it.)
Jesus left a legacy of phenomena behind him. He baffled people, astounded them, and inspired them. He also left those early Christians in a state of awe as they continued to witness healings and miracles in a way that we will rarely if ever see. It’s not that such healings are impossible. It’s just that we do not relate to either the “spirit” or to the power of grace in the same divinely organic way that characterized people so long ago. Let’s say, before we became so “enlightened or rational,” miracles, healing, and the mystical nature of life were far more accessible. People did not demand that proof be provided before faith; rather, faith came before proof.
Stories of early Christians seem to reveal that people eagerly embraced the gifts of healing, prophecy, knowledge (or revelation), piety (profound faith), counsel (extraordinary intuitive abilities), wisdom (decision-making abilities/leadership), discernment (clear judgment), mercy, and the more mysterious “speaking in tongues.” But as the church developed into a more political and controlling organization (which did not take long), managing these precious gifts became an issue. I mean, how could everyone just qualify for “gifts” – just like that? Impossible.
Arrogance took precedence over humbleness and the rest, as they say, is indeed history. It’s no wonder then that today we live in a society that needs grace defined again and again – and yet, again. What is it? How does it work? But how do I know when grace has come into my life? What do I do to make grace come into my life? Do I need special prayers?