I think "remarkable" will be the word that keeps coming back to me as I head out on this vocational journey as one who has clarified spiritual gifts of knowledge, writing, prophecy, and mercy. I haven't searched the web dictionary sites to seek out its definition but I will take a guess that it means that I see my life as encountering thoughts or events that are worthy of being "remarked" upon and that I am in the authentic position to remark upon them. For me the difference between this and much of what is being written about and shared on the web today is that it is not my "relativistic opinion". It is my actual life and I am truly the best and most informative at relating it to you, the relational reader. I felt the need to clarify this for there are so many times that I will read something that I wish the author would have prefaced his/her writing with "I am in relation to this thought or occurence because of this.....". I think that would make the experience of reading what they felt the need or desire to write so much more enjoyable.
My spiritual journey began at my conception and my faith journey began at my Baptism but I cannot say that I remember any part of it. I know that I was born and baptized for I have certificates stating that the State recorded my birth and the church formally accepted me as a daughter of God by baptizing me a Catholic. My remembered spiritual journey began at the age of 2 when I had my first mystical experience with the Holy Spirit. I know that some may read this and feel that this is the point at which they should turn me off but I challenge that with the question of whether or not they have viewed "Man of Steel", any of the "Iron Man" or "Avenger" movies, or ever been a Harry Potter fan. I am here to state that there is a spiritual dimension, a mystical dimension, to life and if we, as created human beings made in the image of God, do not present it in its truth that it will work itself out from our psyche into other forms of information or experience. For me, for whatever reason God determined I should know for sure that the Holy Spirit exists and is in relationship with people, I actually found myself being drawn into the light of the Holy Spirit. It was an experience of warmth and comfort but what it has done regarding formation is to make me wonder about life, make me want to discover the entire truth about my experiences and the people I am in relationship with, and actually pray that God grant me the ability to be surrounded by Him in all that I do. You would think that in the midst of all that I would become a very holy person. Instead, the reality is that throughout my life I have become more aware of my sins and their affects on those around me. It has also caused me, through my inquisitive nature to understand that Satan would like me to fall victim to this knowledge and possibly never write anything theological again or never see myself as worthy to stand before a class of students and present myself as an educator of holy things. Or better yet never be able to sit in the midst of seniors and feel worthy of talking about God and His relationship with them. Satan wants my sinfulness to muffle me, to shrink me unto death. Because of this it has been so important for me to read again and again how Christ asked Peter "Do you love me?" I can only imagine how Peter felt being asked again and again and again as if his responses of love were not truthful or heartfelt. When in actuality his discomfort and willingness to repeat his love were his right-ordering after his denial of Christ. Peter's sins of fear were being healed for he would be asked to go forth into uncertainty and ultimately give up his life for his love, his Savior. It is only with God's grace that I am able to see my own failings and continue to go forth speaking of Him into a world that rebuts with its expectations of perfection.
So, I place within this posting today that "yes" I am very aware of my sinful nature but it doesn not define or own me. I have intentionally entered into the holy moment of "wills" and have given over my will to God's will and thus He leads me into the rest of my life's story. The paradox is that this is both heavy and light spiritual stuff.
Have you ever had an encounter with the Holy Spirit? Have you ever had a moment when you sensed something or someone was with you but you were not afraid of it? Have you ever felt a brush with something? Or have you ever felt that there was "more to the story"? All of these things are our spiritual nature at work within us. I suppose it is like bumping up to the force fields of the sci-fi movies. You can't see it but your experience with it knows that it, something, exists. My first experience with the Holy Spirit was something like that...a toddler in a darkened room with a dim lamp on in the corner. I was able to look into the light and actually feel my spirit move into its warmth until it enveloped me. It was total comfort. If I had to define the light or the lamp or anything else about the experience, I would not be able to do so. I do not even know how the experience ended. What I do know is how is that it happened and that it has affected my life in a very positive and transforming way. There would be other experiences but this is the most foundational for if I poo-pooed this one as a childish fantasy I would not be able to have opened myself up to the others. A young life memory is how much I loved to sit in church and look up into the stained glass windows and gaze upon the transfigured Christ. It was heavenly and spoke to my heart of the "hugeness" of God. He was majestic and eternal and all encompassing and there was always that "light".