by Sarah Hinze
I have found a new author that I love. Her name is M. Catherine Thomas and her book is titled Light in the Wilderness : Explorations in the Spiritual Life. She is a convert and she writes about spiritual ideas. She is an inspiration to me and an example of how to do "it" right.
I would like to share from one of her essays:
Redefining Our Self.
Sooner or later we realize that the time has come to find greater spiritual power, to own our divinity, and to live with greater confidence -- with boldness. By “bold” I don’t mean arrogant or overbearing (see Alma 38:12), but rather, “the ability to take risks, be confident, and courageous.” The Apostle Paul encourages us to the same thing. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may … find grace to help in time
of need” (Hebrews 4).
He exhorts us to have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the
blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10). From Lectures on Faith we learn that we are not only to
“commune with him … but be partakers of his power, and stand in his presence” (Lecture
#2). The Lord shows the way to this power and strength, “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts
unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45).
This confidence begins in our thoughts, in the way we use our mind. We are highly
potentiated beings who may have excused ourselves for not being who we really are.
A false interpretation of humility and other misunderstandings of Gospel terms can
actually disempower us, make us spiritually passive, and render us ever waiting for
something miraculous to happen. I have lived a good deal of my life obeying,
checklisting, and searching -- and wondering where the real power was. I didn’t seem to
be really getting anywhere. At what point, I wondered, did one connect with the real
power in the Gospel? What was missing? What was I just not getting?
It began to dawn on me that the responsibility for power must already be within me. I
realized that there had to be a disposition to become powerful and a doing-away with the
assumption that powerful is somehow not humble. This mind shift came for me partly through
an all-the-way-down-into-the-bones belief in the Lord’s words and His invitation to come
to Him – regardless of my history or present circumstances.
The problem lay in my unconscious weak definitions of myself. I realized that if we were
to ask the Lord to describe Himself, He would give us a list of powerful
self-definitions, of I AM’s, that He had lived into: Truth, Love, Mercy, Power. We, on
the other hand, have a lot of “I AM’s” in our heads that do not serve us. Listening to
self-definitions that are disempowering and unforgiving of self creates a particular
reality, a shrinking into our fears. How is it we so often get in our own way? How do
we get out of our way? Another thing that occurred to me was to take the Atonement
seriously and see how it covers the sin of not defining oneself powerfully.
Consider the weak “I AM’s” in the scriptural accounts of Moses in
contrast to the Lord’s: Moses responds to the Lord’s invitation to deliver a
provocative message to Pharoah: “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh and bring forth
the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He asks, Who should he say sent him?The Lord
answers cryptically and powerfully, “I AM THAT I AM…. I AM hath sent me unto you.”
(Exodus 3:14). This is a Being who has no weak definitions of Himself. Just the spoken
“I AM” has power.
I want to live with greater confidence and with boldness. Anyone want to join me?