There’s just no going back. And who would want to? Oh what a world in disarray with a Church hardly recognizable as its unholy disorder is all too real in too many places! From some comments here, and in listening to people around us, we hear expressions of fear, uneasiness and anxiety – some say “feeling overwhelmed” – as people worry about what is and what is to come.
Are you fretting about whether or not you’ll be able to get through what yet lies ahead? Wonder if you’ll actually remain true to the Lord in the trials and tests to come? If there is a discrete event, commonly known as the Illumination of Conscience or Warning, or if, to the surprise of many, God decides to visit each of us in a different fashion, are you frightened about such an encounter? Are there nights when you have a hard time settling into sleep, or do you awaken too soon with thoughts of what ifs? Might you be disappearing into extra busyness to distract yourself from the looping thoughts which rile angst? Are you over-shopping? Do you find yourself having an extra glass of wine, beer or other spirits to calm down? Or perhaps, are you reaching for solace in sugar? These material solutions are incapable of bringing resolution and longstanding relief while, often, creating new problems.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” (2 Cor 4:8-12)
SO many hearts ache for PEACE and yearn to TRUST, not only intellectually, but from deep down in our hearts and souls. What if I told you, you could order up a package of a special herb which, when brewed as tea and steeped for a good 20 minutes, followed by sipping it for another 20 minutes, would steady you in mind, heart, and emotional well-being as never before, infuse in you unshakeable TRUST in the Lord, cleanse and heal your sacred interior, then fortify your soul and spirit to meet any trial or test with a brave heart that has cultivated virtue in the sipping, and – above all – would lift you up in overflowing PEACE beyond all understanding, that PEACE which only Christ can give, a PEACE which changes not only you, but also the atmosphere and, therefore, the people around you… and ALL THIS as the rotted structures of the current age come tumbling down in what looks like the enemy with the upper hand, when we know, we KNOW – for sure and certain – that Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever, already carried us, and these events as they are, to Calvary where He IS Victor over death… every kind of death.
I seriously have the herbal tea for you; it simply comes in a surprising package with equally surprising brewing, steeping and sipping instructions. And, honestly, it’s a boon to resolving difficult feelings which may rise within you. If you’re willing to dedicate 40 minutes, (of course, more if you wish) each day for the next 40 days – and why not continue if this spiritual tea is changing you for the better? – you will be amazed at the metamorphosis God will co-create, with you, in your interior being. You will find yourself trekking through your days and resting through your nights with PEACE and with TRUST in the Lord which allows your whole being to be at REST in Him, both while active and while contemplating, meditating or praying.
I am pleased to share that the tea comes packaged in the work of a woman who joyfully calls herself the Bible Study Evangelista. I have tasted the goodness and been nourished with enriched faith, by steeping in the work presented by Sonja Corbitt and allowing it to brew in Sacred Silence as I contemplate and read Scripture. Then, I sip on journaling as I get with God to listen to HIS Wisdom, HIS solutions and HIS guidance. The home page at her site, along with some common themes she addresses, says it best (paraphrasing): All of us here, at ASOH, have faith… and we can ever deepen it. We all have been wounded in some fashion in our lifetimes, and, often, from unresolved wounds we sin. God yearns to forgive and heal us; and He seeks us to remove any barriers that keep us from deeper union with Him. Sonja does have a Bible and a healing charism. In a refreshing vulnerability, she shares stories from her own journey and, then, with the Breath of God, she wields the weapons of his Mercy to mentor people through processes which bring them to greater intimacy with Him. In authenticity and humility, she challenges us with Biblical truths. No shame or blame attached. Simply and sincerely, do we believe what we profess? Are we willing to take up an attitude of gentle curiosity about our interior being and engage in candor with The One who gave us life? If so, He will be able to have His Way with us and fortify us to Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.
I‘m a product of Catholic education, from kindergarten through my undergraduate degree, and blessed with much solid catechesis. While living in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, my home was near an Irish mission where I taught at the school. I delighted in the preaching of the Irish priests there. I’ve been on every continent, but Australia and Antarctica, making pilgrimages to holy shrines while listening to preachers from round the world. I’ve enjoyed all manner of further study of our faith and am especially grateful to Fr. Wang for the wealth of knowledge and understanding he’s imparted to me, particularly in his winter years as I’ve provided care for him. That noted, I have never heard, from anyone else, many of the heart-piercing Biblical insights which Sonja brings to her presentations!
Moved by the Holy Spirit to reach out to His people in a common need in our times, Sonja’s current series provides teachings and tools to build us up so that the weary, fearful, anxious, and worried moments of our lives do not overwhelm us. Sonja brings to light that when these strong emotions do rise, they can be viewed as messages from Holy Spirit to engage with Him, allowing Him to soothe, correct, teach and uplift us, while healing us to boot… IF we give Him the time and attention to which He calls us and IF we are willing to do our part, rather than trying – without awareness – to manipulate God into accomplishing our healing in the ways we want it to happen. Oh how we want Him to swoosh an instant change, bringing interior healing in a rush of His mighty wind! He IS a God of miracles after all. Yet, God is LOVE and from Pure Love, He most often invites us to come home to ourselves by a different, a more excellent way.
Sonja’s new series, entitled, Freedom from Anxiety, can be found at her website: Bible Study Evangelista. (She is also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the app for iPhone and Android: Laudate.) But don’t be fooled into thinking that the series only fosters freedom from anxiety. You can fill in the blank for any area of your life wherein you seek Christ’s freedom… Freedom from ________: worry, negativity, depression, over-eating, over-thinking, over-shopping, over-drinking, any bad habit or troubling behavior. As of today, seven presentations have been released: 1. Anxiety Is Not from God 2. Fight the Right Battle 3. The Predictable Psychological Mechanisms of Anxiety 4. Thoughts at Rest, Dealing with Deprivation 5. The Power of the Tongue 6. Emotions at Rest and 7. Transforming Emotions
I did not enter into the work of this series because I’m fraught with fear and anxiety. I just know so many who are and it’s not enough to encourage with kind words. It’s all well and good to remind others to Trust the Lord and find Peace in Him, but most folks are interested in HOW to do so. People, often, need strategies and keys to unlock the treasure God has for each of us. A spiritual problem deserves the time it takes to resolve it beautifully with a concrete process that can guide people into outgrowing the choice to cling to difficult emotions. Familiar as it may be, it’s a living hell for many.
In the seven episodes which have been released thus far, I have found a bounty of surprising additional gifts embedded in the teachings and commensurate inner work which one does with God. I have found new joy… a pervading, irremovable hum of pure joy, even as the darkness around us darkens the more. I sense new spiritual strength, have gained new insights into my own interior and new measures of freedom and healing have ensued. Through the work, I have drawn closer to the Living God and this impels me to share with you.
This particular series is connected to the release of Sonja’s newest book: JUST REST, Receiving God’s Renewing Presence in the Deserts of Your Life, A Study of the Exodus. Last week, I received my own copy and am excited to crack it open. The title alone resonates with me as I see that we’re on a major contemporary Exodus together. We’re leaving behind the rot and corrupted ways of this era and making the Journey to a New Beginning with the Lord, a beginning which Our Lady promised us at Fatima more than 100 years ago. Long have I prayed not to repeat the behavior of our ancestors at Meribah and Massah, behavior of which we are daily reminded in this house as we pray the Divine Office, behavior which grieves and insults God who is Love – that is, Love beyond all telling – and whose Providence has been with us from one generation to another.
My prayer is that you consider testing the waters of the processes described in Sonja’s presentations, thus quenching your thirst for greater Trust and Peace. When submitting oneself to the Holy Spirit and engaging in this type of co-creating, we are assured that He remains the Advocate and Guide through it all, Scripture comes alive in new ways, the union that Christ wants with us on THIS side of the veil is nurtured and, as one walks in a deeper PEACE and TRUST in God, s/he is better able to ever acknowledge Him, thus better equipped to take the next right step as God makes of us a sign of His Hope in the world, all the while being at REST in Him. Yes, fear will rise in what’s to come, but we CAN choose not to befriend it. Secure in this knowledge, we can better partner with God in a fearless manner, for “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Perhaps, the crowning glory of the series is the foundation it offers to render us more able to enter into the toughest of what’s to come, knowing – without doubt – that through, with and in the Lord, we a.l.w.a.y.s. have ALL we need.