Category Archives: Transformation

N.O.W. I See

N.O.W. I see. Do you wonder what it is that I see? Or do you wonder what is different NOW that allows me to see what I could not see before? What I see is the omnipresence of God, the face of God in loved ones, neighbors, strangers, and yes, even in those whose actions I find disheartening. In the NOW I find the place between past and future, where time does not exist, and where Nothing Obstructs Wholeness

NothingObstructsWholeness

This past week has presented us with a kaleidoscope of images and feelings. The decline of new cases of COVID-19 and the conclusion of many Stay-Home orders has been juxtaposed with curfews, violence, looting, and military force all across the United States. And at the center of it all another black man, George Floyd, murdered by hatred and racism. When the world presents us with such disturbing physical images, it is easy to lose sight of the omnipresence of God.

Omnipresence, however, means everywhere present; God is present everywhere, all of the time. It cannot be otherwise. But there can be a disturbance that produces the illusion that God is not present. Yet we can create a window through the disturbance when we choose to see from the place where Nothing Obstructs Wholeness.

see-no-evil-editedA Buddhist teaching depicted by three monks, one with hands over the eyes, one with hands over the ears, and one with hands over the mouth tells us to “See no evil. Hear no Evil. Speak no Evil.” This does not mean to pretend what our physical eyes behold is not there. It means to see above & beyond the disturbance to the omnipresence of God. It means to hear the voice of Spirit more clearly than the words of anger or hatred or their source, which is always fear. It means to speak only Truth, that which Spirit whispers in your ear.

To See No Evil is to See Only Truth
A few years ago, I discovered a company that makes special corrective lenses for people with color blindness. People who are color blind see the world in muted colors with a spectrum as much as 90% less than those who are not color blind. Imagine witnessing the brilliance and beauty of color for the very first time. It would no doubt be an exciting and perhaps an emotional moment.
Perhaps that’s the kind of excitement that occurred for the man born blind that Jesus healed. Jesus heals from the N.O.W. He discounts the idea that the man’s blindness is caused by the sins of his parents, or anything in the past. He says, instead, that the man is blind so that he might make God visible!

Jesus asks the man to make a choice. He says, “Do you want to be healed?” It’s your choice. You can keep being blind, or you can choose to see. Of course, the man says. “Yes. I want to see.” Then Jesus spits on the ground, makes a poultice of mud and rubs it on the man’s eyes.
Then, Jesus tells the man to wash the mud (earthly illusion) from his eyes. The man removes the mud as directed, and suddenly, he can see. He then tells everyone he meets how listening to Jesus (the Christ Mind) has caused him to see.

It is vital to our individual and collective well-being that we choose to see the Truth. And, we must listen to the inspiration of the indwelling Christ Mind and wash the illusion of separation from our eyes, for it is not enough to See Only Truth. We must also Hear Only Truth.

To Hear No Evil is to Hear Only Truth
We hear the Truth most clearly when we quiet the inner chatter through meditation and by paying attention to the many ways that Spirit speaks to us. You may hear it as a quiet voice somewhere within you. Or you may recognize it in a song that pops into your mind. Or perhaps a billboard message will speak to you. However it shows up, you will know the message is from Spirit because it will be grounded in Love. And it will inspire you to speak the Truth.

Speak No Evil is to Speak Only Truth
The words we speak affect what we create and what we experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the illusion of separation and use our words in ways that further divide us. But be mindful that your words carry great power. Will you use your words to create a greater disturbance? Or will you use them to create windows in which the face of God can be seen? Speak Only Truth and then step into that Truth with inspired action. In other words, Do No Evil.

To Do No Evil is to Act Only from Truth
Some people suggest there ought to be a fourth monk depicting Do No Evil. To Act Only from Truth is to let every action be inspired by the Christ Mind. The blind man would not have been healed if he had not taken the action inspired by the Christ to wash the mud from his eyes. Imagine a world in which everyone acted only from the Truth that we are all one with God and with one another.

Our world is in the process of a spiritual evolution. But humanity cannot evolve without shedding what no longer fits the vision of wholeness written on our hearts. That we see hatred, anger, and violence is not surprising – they are there. But are they there because we’ve failed? Are they there because of something done long ago? Or, are they showing up because it is time to bring them into the Light and wash them away? Are they coming up to present us with an opportunity to make God more visible, to take inspired action toward our collective spiritual evolution?

The question is not, “Is there hatred and racism in the world?” The question is, what will you do with them? Will you Let them lord over you? Cause you to be blind to the power of Spirit within you and within all beings? Or will you use them as a reason to practice the N.O.W. and to see the face of God in everyone? Will you use them as a reason to listen more fully to what Spirit is saying to you. Will you use them to speak only Truth and to shower the world with actions inspired by Love?

The world is presenting us with images that can, if we let them, obscure the presence of God. But we can choose at any time to enter the place in mind where Nothing Obscures Wholeness, where we can see above and beyond worldly illusions. In the quiet solitude of the N.O.W., we open our inner ears to the voice of Spirit and Hear Only Truth. In the N.O.W, we are inspired to Speak and Act Only from Truth.

See only Truth; Hear only Truth, Speak only Truth and act only from Truth, and you will clearly see the face of God and be the face of God you are intended to be.

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© 2020 Eileen Patra

Eileen Patra, is an author, ordained Unity minister, and inspirational speaker. She is the author of The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings, released in July 2019. In 2014 Eileen received the Ruth M. Mosley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Ministry while serving as the Senior Minister at Unity of Livonia, MI. Prior to her call to ministry, Eileen earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She has published dozens of spiritually-themed articles in local periodicals, online journals, and via this blog 

To view Eileen’s full length talk “N.O.W. I see” visit http://bit.ly/SLC-LiveStream
Talk begins approximately 20 minutes into the video.

Wake Up! It’s Time to be You!

Wake Up! It’s Time to be You!

I was a typical, rebellious, and always-in-need-of-more-sleep, teenager. My mother had a heck of a time getting me out of bed in the morning – or even the afternoon on weekends. Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps you can hear that voice that called you repeatedly, “Wake up. You’ll be late for school.” Or, as I would often hear, “Wake up. The early bird catches the worm.” Like I had any intention of eating worms!

Today, I wake up before the sun rises. It’s something that happens to some of us as we enter our golden years. Maybe they’re golden because we’ve started catching those worms. I don’t know, but I do know it’s time to wake up. Not because it’s time for school. Not because there are worms to catch. But because it’s time to be you.

“I am awake.” You say. How could I be anything other than me?” You ask. But are you truly awake to who you really are? Are you awake to all that you are intended to be? Are you awake and catching the unique and glorious role you play in the grander scheme of life?

You are an individualized expression of the Divine. You are an integral part of a greater whole. Everything you think, do and say is vital to the life and well being of the whole. It is impossible to be separate from this wholeness. But you can, and many of us often are, asleep to it.

We live in a world that functions on separation. What we see with our physical eyes and experience with our physical feelings tells us – no – convinces us that we are alone, completely independent from one another. But this is not the truth of you.

I watched a video yesterday of an aerial view of trees moving in the breeze. It was a fascinating image. The trees moved in such unison they appeared to be one organism, breathing in absolute harmony. In essence, they are exactly that; one organism breathing in harmony. Yet, from our everyday perspective, each one appears to be a separate tree.

So it is with our human expressions of life; one organism appearing as separate beings, having unique shapes, sizes, and personalities. Yet, from a higher perspective, all are one living, breathing expression of the Essence of Life.

When you are truly awake to your role in this magnificent whole, you can no longer feel alone. You lose the desire to judge, to fight, or to be better-than. Instead, you desire and exude harmony. Your harmonizing efforts may seem small at first, unimportant, unproductive. But every thought, every movement, every action stimulates a reaction in the whole. Like a tree responding to the wind, its movement creating an additional breeze influencing the movement of the one next to it, what you do stimulates a response from the person next to you.

Our world has been moving in a state of disharmony long enough. Nothing that you do in this life is as vital as recognizing the power of the Divine within you and living from this awakened state of being. When you reawaken every single day, every single moment and breathe this harmonized thought into expression, you make a difference in the world around you. As harmony is reflected back to you, your understanding and desire for unity increases and you move in even greater harmony. The feeling and awareness grow.

It’s time. It’s past time. Wake up and be you. The world needs you right now.

© 2019. Eileen Patra. All rights reserved.

Eileen Patra is an author, inspirational speaker, and retired Unity minister. She is the author of the life-changing metaphysical and visionary novel, The Mystical Ark, available from retailers and wholesalers everywhere including:

IndieBound        Amazon        Barnes & Noble         Ingram          Scribd    Kobo

Beyond The Tomb

The angels in Jesus’ tomb asked Mary Magdalene, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Why indeed do we seek new life, a new way of being, while continuing to do what we have always done?  Why do we seek freedom among the thoughts, words and actions that have held us captive?

To live beyond what might seem like a tomb, we must be willing to bless what has passed and then look beyond it.  A tomb experience in life can be anything that draws us apart for a while and provides an opportunity for growth and realignment with Spirit.  A process of deep and lasting change is revealed when we explore four stages of transformation that take place in the tomb; renunciation, retreat, resurrection and realization. 

On the cross, Jesus renounced the world as his source and commended his Spirit to God.  He took the final step toward overcoming the greatest block to transformation; the belief that life is created and sustained by the world.  What is demonstrated for us through the crucifixion and resurrection is that   Life is independent of the world.  Life, the flow of Spirit within us, creates the world according to our ability and willingness to allow Truth to be expressed through us.

Jesus was laid in a tomb, retreating from the world for three days. Three is symbolic of completion in Spirit, soul and body.  Resurrection is instant, simultaneous in Spirit, but soul and body require a time of unfolding. When we pray, our prayers are answered the instant we release them to Spirit.  Yet, most often, a time of quiet reflection and letting go is required for our prayers to fully manifest in our minds, hearts and body.

Mary returns to the tomb with the intention of blessing what she believes is lost.  The willingness to bless what has passed away rolls away the stone and opens the way for divine inspiration. When we bless what has passed for the opportunities of growth and realignment provided, blockages are removed and our way is made clear.

Mary did not realize that the gardener was Jesus until he spoke to her.  When he did, she ran to inform the others.  When we realize something we incorporate the new information at all levels of being. Only then is deep and lasting change made possible.  The risen Christ sent his followers to convert the nations.  To convert is to change. To convert the nations is to change everything.  Realization happens in us when we recognize the Christ as the Life within each of us and then inform every level of our being to live this Truth.  When we live this Truth everything is made new and we live beyond the tomb.  

© 2016.  Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra

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Get a “Lovel” on That

LOVEL2.building-1080599_1920Carpenters and builders use a phrase, “Get a level on that,” which means placing a tool called a level on the surface of cabinets, shelving, and flooring to be sure they are not tipped too far in one direction or another. In other words, everything is balanced; you can drop a ball on the floor, and it will not roll to one side of the room or the other, and books will not fall off the shelves.

A level is a handy tool for building things that are balanced. But what if there was a useful tool for creating balance in life? What if you could similarly use the power of Love? What if we could get a “Lovel,” on things that might be out of balance in our lives?

Imagine this tool as a flat measuring stick with a bubble in the middle much like a carpenter’s level, but the bubble is more than an empty space in a tube of liquid. The bubble is a heart, representing an open space within you, filled with love.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, a New Thought spiritual movement, claimed that “Love is the great harmonizing power of the universe.” Love is not just an emotion. It is not only a romantic or familial connection to another person. It is a powerful resource within us, and it is essentially the stuff we are made of. The essence of this indwelling power of Love is harmony, the bringing together of two into one.

So how can that power be utilized as a “Lovel,” or a tool for balance? We could tune into the heart-shaped space within us to view everything through the harmonizing power of Love. Seeing things through the eyes of Love is more than placing rose-colored glasses over one’s eyes. It activates a flow of harmony which brings balance to the whole being. It doesn’t change the person, place, or thing that we are getting a “Lovel,” on.” It changes us.

Opening up to our inner “Lovel,” changes our energy, our perception, and the power we give to whatever is occurring. This three-fold transformation harmonizes our own thoughts, words, and actions. The very energy that we project then has a harmonizing effect on the person, place or thing that we are experiencing. Sometimes this effect is immediate and obvious, other times it is subtle, a gentle stirring in another’s soul that we cannot see, but have had a role in activating it.

Regardless of the effect on the outer experience, the activation of the harmonizing power of Love within us brings us into a more harmonized, balanced state of being. And isn’t that what we are really after? Living our lives in harmony and balance? It seems that the simple act of getting a “Lovel,” on life might make all the difference in our lives and ultimately in the world. Won’t you get a “Lovel,” on something today? It will make all the difference.

© 2019. Eileen DeRosia Patra, OUM, LUT, CSE

Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity minister, inspirational speaker, and the author of the soon to be released book, The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings

God Has A Scathingly Brilliant Idea!

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Photo Credit: Alexas_Fotos

The phrase “scathingly brilliant idea” continuously filtered into my mind as I prepared my final Sunday talk as senior minister at Unity of Livonia. The phrase, always a favorite of mine, comes from the infamous words of Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) in the movie “The Trouble with Angels.” As I pondered the intention of my talk, I questioned the word “scathingly.” It seems that Webster’s defines scathingly as “critical” or “harsh,” and that didn’t, at first anyway, seem to fit my intention.

But the word persisted, and when a word or a thought persists, I am compelled to go deeper. What does scathingly mean to me? In the movie, “scathingly” seemed to indicate something out of the ordinary, exceptional if a little risky. Mary Clancy (Mills) and her friend Rachel (June Harding) were two adolescents who had been sent to an all-girls, Catholic boarding school. These so-called scathingly brilliant ideas generally earned them a stint in the kitchen scrubbing pots and pans. Was scathingly really the word I wanted to use?

Critical can mean something derogatory – but it can also mean important, vital, or crucial. Harsh, as in criticism, can mean unbridled, unlimited, or unadulterated. Hmm… now we were getting somewhere. These definitions seemed to fit my intention more closely. You see, I believe that God has a Scathingly Brilliant idea – and the idea is YOU!

You are an idea, a crucial, unlimited, and brilliant idea in the Mind of God. In your most unadulterated essence, you are a perfect spiritual idea taking form and expressing God as you. In this earthly experience, there are many twists and turns as we endeavor to fully express this scathingly brilliant idea. At times it may seem our endeavors or the experiences of our lives have us scrubbing pots and pans when we were planning something much more exciting. Although Mary and Rachel spent a great deal of time scrubbing pots and pans, they also spent a lot of time growing and evolving. They grew in compassion. They grew in their sense of purpose. They discovered their own gifts and they learned to appreciate the talents of others. 

Changes, twists and turns, pots and pans, are all a part of our spiritual evolution. Evolution is another scathingly, brilliant idea in the Mind of God. Everything is always changing, growing and evolving. Evolution is the activity of Life, and it has a crucial characteristic – something is always falling away to allow something new to emerge.

The new year is a perfect time to reflect on what is falling away on its own and what you will intentionally let fall away. It is also an excellent time to focus your attention on what is being called forth from you. What is Life calling you to be? To do? To let fall away?

The New Year is often marked by resolutions for being or doing something better than before. Usually, these intentions focus on diet, exercise, habits, and behaviors. This year, why not set just one resolution, one that will inform and strengthen all the others? Let your resolution for 2019 be this; to allow no one and no thing to hinder you in expressing more of the Scathingly Brilliant Idea in the Mind of God that is YOU!

© 2019. Eileen DeRosia Patra, OUM

Eileen Patra is an ordained Unity minister and the author of the soon to be released book, The Mystical Ark: A Vessel of Blessings

What will you leave behind in 2018?

freedom-2053281_1920-2The close of a calendar year is a traditional time for reflection; a review of the year’s finest moments and its challenges. In preparation for a new year there are often a number of things we choose to leave behind. Perhaps you’ve experienced a loss, a physical challenge, a relationship issue, a career bump, or a financial upset. Then there are the things we experience together; divisiveness in government, hurricanes, out of control fires, tsunamis, terrorism, and mass shootings. Who wouldn’t want to leave these things behind?

It is unlikely anyone would want to take the challenges of 2018 into the new year, but perhaps the truth is 2019 will present its own challenges. The question is what will you leave behind that will better equip you for the year to come. What gift will you discover in your experiences that will allow you to walk through the obstacles that appear with ease and grace?

Although we may want to leave behind the events themselves, we would be better served if we could determine the underlying emotions that caused the events to disturb our peace. The most common are fear and anger.

Fear has its purpose. It is a physiological response to danger – but it does not know how to differentiate between real danger and imagined danger. Leaving behind unwarranted fear would allow us to face what comes before us with a greater sense of balance and clarity. To leave fear behind it must be replaced by something greater. Perhaps that is a knowledge that nothing can harm the Truth of you – that you are an eternal spiritual being having a physical experience.

Anger also has a purpose. It is an energy that causes us to initiate change when something appears to be out of order. Yet anger can be detrimental when it is not directed toward positive change. It can consume our energies and greatly disturb our peace. Leaving behind unproductive anger would make room for focusing our spiritual nature toward positive change. This would allow us to tune in to the more harmonious energy of Love and project a higher vibration into the world. Love is far more powerful and initiates long lasting transformation.

What will you leave behind as the new year approaches?  I choose to leave behind unwarranted fear and replace it with knowing God within me is more powerful than anything that comes before me. I choose to leave behind anger and replace it with Love.

Perhaps you would like to join me this Sunday, December 30th at 10:00 am for Unity of Livonia’s Burning Bowl service. We will explore the things we choose to leave behind, write them on a special ashless piece of paper and place them in the burning bowl flame. In the twinkling of any eye they will disappear and give us an opportunity to create an affirmation to carry into the new year. Hope to see you there!

Rise and Shine

Alarmclock about to wake her upWhen I was a teenager my mother had a horrific time waking me up in the morning.  She would, call, cajole, yell, push, pull, and most effectively, threaten to run a bath for me and then go downstairs to the basement. This would mean that if the tub overflowed it would be my fault.  Somehow that one did it. I would reluctantly leave my warm cozy bed and head downstairs to turn off the water.  The threat of more work and the trouble I would be in was enough to release whatever dream was holding me captive.

What if we could apply this same principle to our daily lives?  There are some who would say that our earthly experience is a dream itself, that we have fallen asleep to our greater, spiritual selves.  Our dreams are often captivating because we can change the thread of the dream at will.  If it’s a really good one we can stay in it and perhaps even choose the next scene. If it’s frightening we can turn a corner and begin a different dream or simply wake up.

If today, your awake dream is not what you choose to experience, change the scene.  You have the power to do that.  If today the awake dream of the world is frightening, let’s all wake up.  What appears to be immovable is movable through the powers of faith, divine love, wisdom and will.  These are innate powers within each of us. Aligned with the one power, one presence, one activity that animates all of life, we can move mountains, change scenes and see the Truth in one another.  But we must wake up. 

Whatever scene you choose to live today, let it be one that is guided by the harmonizing power of Divine Love. Let it be a day of wakefulness to the divine essence in all beings. Rise and Shine! The water is running and it’s up to you to direct the flow.

© 2017. Eileen DeRosia Patra

 

Conquering Crocodiles: Living the FEAR-less Life

cc.crocodile.6972761985_b3dd85a42e_oThe crocodile trainer uses a distraction to maintain a safe distance from its powerful jaws.  He enters the pen and throws the croc a piece of rope to chew on while he maneuvers to a safe place from which to feed and appease this fearsome beast. 

Fear, like a powerful beast, can grip our minds and hearts in its jaws and pull us into a downward spiral.  Unattended, not managed, it often develops into anger, hatred and exclusion.  Managing or treating the extended symptoms of fear is a temporary and inadequate response for it fails to resolve the underlying cause. 

Fear is a tool of the human psyche meant to preserve our physical safety.  Its only job is to alert us to the possibility of danger.  The problem is in its primitiveness.  It cannot discern between the real and the unreal.  It does not sense the difference between that past, present and future.  It cannot see beyond the physical senses.  It sees but has no vision.  It hears but cannot listen.  It feels but cannot touch. The response is up to us.  The typical responses; fight (anger), flight (leave) or freeze (apathy) are inadequate, for they fail to create a sustained sense of safety.  They do not appease the aspect of consciousness that raises the symptoms of fear.

So, what to do then? A completely new response to fear must be implemented if we are to transcend its grip and evolve as a collective consciousness.  Facing fear and its extended we bring them into the Light of greater understanding.  We recognize the underlying cause as fear and we shine the Light of Love and Harmony.  We create for ourselves and safe space sheltered by the shield of Divine Love that transforms and harmonizes the energies of hatred and fear.  From the shelter of Divine Love we open our hearts to forgiveness and inclusion.  We refuse to engage in hatred. We refuse to respond with anger.  We allow a greater wisdom and peace to transfuse our minds and hearts and we become the beacons of Light.  We hold an image of Love and Light that transforms every fear-filled soul into a vessel of peace and harmony.  We listen with our hearts and we respond with Love.  We hear the crocodile mind speaking from the back of our humanness and we say Peace, Be Still. The Christ in me is awakened. Thanks for the warning but God and I have got this. 

© 2017. Rev. Eileen Patra. Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving as pastor at Unity of Livonia in Michigan.

More Precious Than Jewels In You

more precious than jewels.1200“More precious than jewels,” is the noble woman according to the Book of Proverbs.  But, in a previous chapter, the same writer tells us that “Wisdom” is more precious than jewels.  Wisdom, also named Sophia in ancient texts, is the feminine aspect of the Divine, so desiring to know God that she gave birth to humankind.  She is the Divine Mother, whispering pearls of wisdom and often personified by the mother figures and nurturers in our lives.

Mothers, indeed are often the voice of Pearls of Wisdom.  I know my mother had her favorites. “”When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Mom’s teaching of resilience and persistence.  “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Mom’s teaching of looking past appearances for a deeper meaning.  And, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Mom’s way of calling me to a higher action.

The mother figures in our lives as well as the mother essence in us, calls us to a higher action. Jesus’ mother was known to call him to action too.  You may recall the Wedding Feast at Cana when Mary informs Jesus that the couple has run out of wine.  Jesus replies, “What is that to me?”  sounding a bit like a rebellious teenager wondering why this should be his problem.  But there is another way to hear these words, “What is that to ME?  What is a little thing like running out of wine to me? What is that to the Christ, the anointed one?”

When something appears to be lacking, or slips in the back door of our consciousness, disturbing our peace what could we learn by responding with those words?  What is that to me?  What is that to the highest and best in me.  What is that to what is most precious in me? What is that to the Christ in me?  

Something came up for me recently, something slid in the back door of my consciousness. It was one of those comments that causes you to feel judged, tempts you to become defensive, to attack, to blame, to shame.  And so I asked “What is that to me?” What is that bringing up for me?  Is it bringing up that I’m somehow less than perfect?  Is it bringing up a need to change another’s perception of me?  And, what is that to the Christ in me? What is that to what Truly is perfect in me? And how can responding to this differently, from the place in me more precious than jewels make a difference? How can I be transformed by this and what would that look like? What would Love do here? What would Light do? What would a new thought, a new response and a new action do? Well that would change everything because it would change me and my own perception and I would see something much greater at work.

Would this change another person’s perception. Maybe. Maybe not. But when we let Light shine through us, and stand fully in our Christ self, we are so changed that the world around us begins to shift.  This is what is called to action by what is more precious than jewels in you.  The apostle Paul summed it up best with these words “Christ in you, your hope of Glory.”   

© 2017. Rev. Eileen DeRosia Patra

Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity minister currently serving as the senior minister at Unity of Livonia, in Livonia, Michigan.

BE-Holding the Light

hologram.cc.1569468739_b7ca26acca_qOne cannot hold Light while one is holding darkness. It would be like filling your arms with laundry and then trying to pick up a bushel of apples with the same arms.  The laundry would have to be set down first.  For this reason, Jesus told his followers, when you pray “… first be reconciled with your brother.” Matt 5:24

When you wish to hold the Light, to affirm wholeness and the Light of God in action, you must first release all notions of darkness.  Reconcile these things by acknowledging they are not the Truth and requesting of Spirit that whatever is not Truth or Light be released, dissolved, set down and overshadowed by Light.  In this way, you are released and healed and those for whom you pray are also released and made new.

© 2017. Rev. Eileen Patra