Tuesday, April 16, 2013

SOUL’s Great Grace

SOUL’s Great Grace
Julio C. Rivas, CS
A man named Zacchaeus was there. He was the head tax collector, and he was a rich man. He wanted to see who Jesus was but he could not see him because he was a short man and there were many people around him. So he ran ahead and climbed into a tree to see Jesus, for he was coming that way. When Jesus came to the tree, he looked up. He said, `Zacchaeus, come down right now. I must stay at your house today.' So Zacchaeus came down right then. He was glad to have Jesus come in his house. When all the people saw this, they did not like it. They said, `He has gone to visit a bad man.' Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, `Look, Lord, I will give to the poor people half of all I have. And if I have cheated anyone, I will give him back four times as much as I took.' Jesus said to him, `The head of this house has been saved today! He also is a son of Abraham. The Son of Man came to look for and to save those who are lost.' (WE, Luke 19:1-10)

Eddy: “Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate.  Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of forgiveness.”  And, “The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man I evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin.  A mortal sinner is not God’s man.”

Tax collectors belonged to a privileged and politically powerful class because they collected revenue for the Jewish religious authority and the Roman magistrate.  They had a reputation for being despotic and dishonest.  By going out of his way to see Jesus, a man who had a reputation for integrity and spiritual power, this tax collector was acting on an inner yearning for righteousness.  Jesus detected this, welcomed him into the redemptive energies of LOVE, and the man responded by submitting to a character metamorphosis. 

Daily life provides plenty of examples of how avarice for fame, power and control, plus conceit, perfidy, and self-justification destroy trust among us, and weaken our institutions and society.  MIND-induced values and intelligence are the antidote.  They re-construct us and restart us, and then we produce amazing achievements. 
CHRIST-TRUTH is calling us to submit to a spiritual transmutation and enjoy overflowing wellness and achievement. 

SOUL-MIND shapes our spiritual individuality and reforms our human character.  Evil motives and acts are abrogated by our spiritual coalescing with MIND-LOVE.   Spiritual development replaces obstinate flaws and failures with SOUL-fed wisdom, talents and success.  It reveals our divine composition. 

Raising Children Who Possess Character and Wisdom

                                     Raising Children Who Possess Character and Wisdom

Julio C. Rivas, CS


 Today’s rat race to get ahead and be successful starts before pre-school in most driven families.  There are expensive, tutoring sessions for parents to get toddlers into the best pre-school program.  From pre-school to high school, children will experience exhausting levels of homework, training for test taking, private tutoring, success-focused summer camps, and endless pressure from perfectionist, ever-hovering, over-bearing parents (“helicopter parents” and “tiger moms”).

                University of Chicago economist and Nobel Prize winner James Heckman says that this anxiety-pressure-loaded behavior is driven by the well-established, but errant belief that developing children’s cognitive skills is foremost for success.  The predominant approach is to stuff children with academic information and train them to regurgitate it well.  This is how families and schools expect children to succeed.

Contrary to this hypothesis is the expanding argument among neuroscientists, psychologists, educators and economists, that non-cognitive skills, like self-reliance, self-control, persistence, adaptability, creativity and curiosity are primal to a child’s healthy development.  Children develop character via creative and intellectual experimentation, by struggling through failure and adversity, and by adapting and starting again.

Studies have shown that excessive praise and pushing by high-charging parents is counterproductive to a child’s development.  It diminishes children’s self-reliance, confidence, curiosity and the willingness to experiment and fail.  Hands-off parenting is not the answer either because children without a life-compass will get lost.  It takes a balance between authoritative parenting and promoting independent thinking and actions.

By the time teenagers enter high school, many are depleted.   The parents do not see it because they are blinded by their materialistic version of success.  But their teenagers suffer from emptiness, self-loathing and despair.  Some will turn to prescription drugs, alcohol, uncommitted sex, cheating, and, sometimes, suicide.   More often than not, they will put up a good front, and continue to try hard to please and fulfill their parents’ success-focused wishes.   

Adoring, well-educated, high-achieving, and wealthy parents do not perceive that the materialistic culture at home and school are tearing apart the soul of their children.  Madeline Levine, an author of two books on this subject, and a clinical psychologist who treats the teenagers of affluent families in Marin County, California, is a personal witness to the anxiety and disconnectedness they suffer.  “The cost of this relentless drive to perform at unrealistically high levels is a generation of kids who resemble nothing so much as trauma victims;” and “Our current version of success is a failure,” Levine writes. 

We need to re-define success so that it is not so weighted by wealth and power.  We are healthier and happiest when we’ve forged deep, trust-rich relationships, and when we are pursuing goals that reward our soul. 

Raising children with character and wisdom prepares them for the demands of a rapidly changing economy and world.  Character qualities like integrity, gratitude, empathy, joy, originality, experimentation, resilience, and determination compound fulfillment and success. 

As a spiritual therapist who has worked with children and teenagers, I know from experience the importance of nourishing a child’s character.  Because my starting premise is that we are first and foremost infinite Love’s spiritual beings, I see character as rooted in a person’s spiritual selfhood. 

One’s spiritual selfhood is limitless, brilliant, complete and healthy.  It represents the continuous unfolding of infinite Love-Mind.  

Insightful theologian, Mary B. Eddy, defines the incorporeal essence of children as “The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love.”  It is also a definition that describes everyone’s transcendent nature. 

I’ve witnessed how these concepts liberate parents and their children from the harmful effects of aggressive materialism.   One particular case involved a dangerous loss of weight by an intelligent, high-achieving, teenage girl.  She had parents who adored her and was being raised in an educated and privileged household.  The doctors consulted had not been able to correct the problem. 

Our sessions together, and our prayers, generated new insights and perspectives for all.  It restored the young girl back to complete health.  She obtained the courage and skill to communicate with her parents more clearly.  The parents realized the importance of giving her more choices and independence.  In turn, the girl used her new independence to thrive in areas of her choosing. 

Children raised in religious households can suffer the same oppressive, suffocating involvement experienced by those in secular households.  Loving parents -- religious and secular-- need to back off and examine themselves.  They may find that their well-meaning, but over-bearing parenting is not helpful but toxic. 

I’ve often encouraged parents to think about what parental changes this biblical verse, which describes Jesus’ early development, might induce: “The little child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God's goodness was upon him.”

Love’s wisdom induces us to wrestle with and eliminate bad parental habits.  It ameliorates anxiety, fear and possessiveness.  It encourages and assists children to discover their innate, Soul-given, spiritual attributes. 

Parents and children express a more spiritual sense of success and happiness when they behave as the representatives of Soul that they actually are. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mind’s Triumph Is For Us

Mind’s Triumph Is For Us




Julio C. Rivas, CS



All our needs are being met by the ingenuity of Mind, by the dynamic resources of Love.  Mind-Love is the source of creative solutions, of progressive ideas.  Its expansive and exponential energies are generating new strategies and tactics, new developments, and boldness in execution.  These produce success. 


Our success on all fronts is taking place within the dynamic realm of Love.  We are a part of the teeming universe of Mind.  We are being thrust forward by Spirit-might and it sweeps away all insidious, treacherous and ignorant opposition.  On our side is the unstoppable momentum of Principle. 


Mind-given vision, ingenuity and penetrating insight are orchestrating our decisions and actions.  Truth-Mind is presenting us with unanticipated and effective answers.  It is providing a banquet of brilliant solutions and inexhaustible capacities. 


Every individual who is a necessary part of our success is a part of Mind’s harmonious symphony of productive ideas and effective execution.  The Christ-Science is anointing everyone with the requisite talents and resources.


“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter; that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth;” said Jesus.  Well, this Comforter is comforting us and magnifying our accomplishments.  


Brilliant theologian and healer, M. B. Eddy wrote, “This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science.”  We can echo her and say, “I understand that Mind-Knowledge and Mind-Wisdom are on our side.”


Divine Science is generating the same kind of spiritual conviction that tore down the walls of Jericho.  Therefore, our spiritual certainty is tearing down any and all opposite resistance to our Mind-mandated health, fulfillment and achievements. 


Mind’s emboldening spirit and nurturing love resolve dead-ends, stress, confusion, and remove any constraints.  Invidious and insidious machinations are decapitated by Love’s armies of “angels.” 


We now say “Thank you, Holy Mind-Love” for giving us the keys to your ever-present realm of limitless goodness – to your kingdom of heaven on earth, and for proving to us your indomitable reign of grace, power and success. 






We Are Transfigured by LIFE-SPIRIT

                                               We Are Transfigured by LIFE-SPIRIT


                                                                 Julio C. Rivas, Cs

This biblical story has given me wisdom, self-correction courage and protection over the years.
Whatever Saul gave David to do, he did it—and did it well. So well that Saul put him in charge of his military operations. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul’s servants, approved of and admired David’s leadership. … This made Saul angry—very angry. He took it as a personal insult. He said, “They credit David with ‘ten thousands’ and me with only ‘thousands.’ Before you know it they’ll be giving him the kingdom!” From that moment on, Saul kept his eye on David. The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall.” David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice. Now Saul feared David. It was clear that God was with David and had left Saul. (TM, I Sam. 18:5-12)

When we tie the story to these sentences by M. B. Eddy we augment our spiritual enlightenment: “If man is not victorious over the passions, they crush out happiness, health, and manhood.”  And, “Progress is born of experience.  It is the ripening of mortal man, through which the mortal is dropped for the immortal.  Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self.”

Saul destroyed himself because he did not excise his invidious and insidious motivations.  David’s ongoing receptivity to LOVE-MIND augmented his wisdom and talents, sheltered him from evil, and generated great victories. 
But when we are befogged by carnal passions we cannot seize the spiritual treasures LOVE is pouring into us.  
It is never hopeless, though, because even terrible misery, despair and chaos can be turned into moments of spiritual metamorphosis, enhancement and triumph.  We can submit to TRUTH-LOVE and appropriate more health, life and goodness than we ever imagined was possible. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spiritual Consecration Heals

Spiritual Consecration Heals


Julio C. Rivas, CS

The surgeon happened to see the growth on my leg while we were in the men’s dressing room changing from our exercise clothes into our street clothes.  He proceeded to warn me that I needed immediate surgery to have it removed in order to avoid more serious complications, maybe even death.  He also said that after the surgery the leg would require several procedures of skin grafting and it would be a year before my leg would return to normal.

I’ve always meditated with many spiritual concepts as a daily discipline and joy.  The appearance of the growth on my leg focused my prayers to heal it.  I pondered my incorporeal wholeness within the comprehensive preeminence of SPIRIT-GOD.  I made diligent efforts to replace the surgeon’s predictions with the expectancy of complete healing.  I claimed that the spiritual “surgical” efficacy of spiritual understanding was going on. 

Two weeks later, while on a return trip from Europe, the growth became excruciatingly painful.  I was determined not to buckle to pain and fear. 

I thought of many beautiful and uplifting ideas.  This biblical passage was very encouraging: “… no instrument forged against you will be allowed to hurt you, and no voice raised to condemn you will successfully prosecute you.  It’s that simple; this is how it will be for the servants of the Eternal; I will vindicate them.”

I also clung to this one: I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust."

Here are two more by M. B. Eddy, the revolutionary, spiritual thinker: “The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs.”  And, “Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things.”

This is one of many prayers I wrote and utilized: “Evil – sin, illness, deficiency, failure and suffering -- cannot reach, penetrate nor disrupt superabundant health, which is enforced in everyone, and in me, by imperial MIND-GOD.  I trust in the thoroughly sanative effects of spiritual thinking.  I yield to MIND and enjoy its superlative power.”

The growth opened up and began to drain.  Within a month I was completely healed.  I resumed my usual activities, including my athletic involvements. 

The surgeon and many others who had seen the growth were most surprised with my healing. 

It was not a quick and easy healing.  Some healings come to us in a moment of inspiration.  This one required repeated instances of inspiration and moment-by-moment consecration. 

TRUTH-LOVE invalidates everything harmful and obstructive.  Pain, disease, decay, failure, lack and guilt are material counterfeits which cannot oppose the preeminent and amplificatory energies of SPIRIT-GOOD.   MIND-TRUTH feeds our health, talents, opportunities and success.  Cognizance of our MIND-impelled excellence and exuberant wellness ignites and re-structures our lives.

The resolving of human distresses is one way of proving that SPIRIT-LOVE is the superlative substance of everything.  Even more rewarding is how spiritual consecration makes us a better person and capacitates us to achieve for ourselves and others.