Blessed are you among women
And the Holy Spirit said to the apostles: Let all of you together, having come by the clouds from the ends of the world, be assembled to holy Bethlehem by a whirlwind, on account of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ; Peter from Rome, Paul from Tiberia, Thomas from Hither India, James from Jerusalem. Andrew, Peter’s brother, and Philip, Luke, and Simon the Cananæan, and Thaddæus who had fallen asleep, were raised by the Holy Spirit out of their tombs; to whom the Holy Spirit said:
Do not think that it is now the resurrection; but on this account you have risen out of your tombs, that you may go to give greeting to the honour and wonder-working of the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because the day of her departure is at hand, of her going up into the heavens. And Mark likewise coming round, was present from Alexandria; he also with the rest, as has been said before, from each country. And Peter being lifted up by a cloud, stood between heaven and earth, the Holy Spirit keeping him steady. And at the same time, the rest of the apostles also, having been snatched up in clouds, were found along with Peter. And thus by the Holy Spirit, as has been said, they all came together.
And when she had thus prayed, the Lord said to His mother: Let your heart rejoice and be glad; for every favour and every gift has been given to you from my Father in heaven, and from me, and from the Holy Spirit: every soul that calls upon your name shall not be ashamed, but shall find mercy, and comfort, and support, and confidence, both in the world that now is, and in that which is to come, in the presence of my Father in the heavens. And the Lord turned and said to Peter: The time has come to begin the singing of the hymn. And Peter having begun the singing of the hymn, all the powers of the heavens responded with the Alleluiah. And then the face of the mother of the Lord shone brighter than the light, and she rose up and blessed each of the apostles with her own hand, and all gave glory to God; and the Lord stretched forth His undefiled hands, and received her holy and blameless soul. And with the departure of her blameless soul the place was filled with perfume and ineffable light; and, behold, a voice out of the heaven was heard, saying: Blessed are you among women.
St John the Theologian, The Falling Asleep of the Blessed Mother of God
17 Replies to “Blessed are you among women”
So from your post on Gornahoor (as it might be off topic there) what was it that recently happened that gave you hope in the church?
Well, there were a few things. My crisis of confidence – after a couple of years of doubts prompted by some general and some very specific events – finally came about in February during a visit to Guatemala. I spent a lot of time asking Catholic acquaintances how to resolve the issues as I saw them but was met with a wall of hostility and lack of understanding that made it worse. Funnily enough it was seeing a picture of the Pope in the paper last week that made me relent, as he looked very sad – just how I felt, in fact. This pretty much coincided with the Marian festival, which in turn coincides with my birthday. The speaking with my bereaved cousin made me soften further and I thought I’d test out the waters at Gornahoor – you saw what happened there 🙂 What has been most difficult is the fact that doctrinally I have still felt close to catholicism and have continually prayed to the virgin, said the Lord’s prayer and Jesus prayer, for example. My grave doubts centred around corruption and abuses. Compounding the matter I was burned some years ago by a friend who although not then catholic, was desperate to be so and saw himself as the reincarnation of a pope. When this relatively adept occultist one day decided to issue me with an ‘anathema maranetha’ curse (if that’s how you spell it), the start of my feeling of excommunication began. This may seem incomprehensible to some, but when one is seriously committed and fully engaged with esoteric works and continually crossing into other dimensions such things can constitute near fatal blows to the psyche/self confidence. Like anyone else i am not perfect and I must say that while I understand the ‘value’, let’s call it of suffering, in the context of completing one’s Tikkun Olam at least, I do find Roman catholic guilt and severity in itself hypocritical and anathema. The orthodox church has interested me more and more lately due to the focus on the transcendence of Christ, which in itself is hopeful and inspiring. Like anyone else I have in the past – and do now – worship at the cross, but one cannot be weighed down by grief indefinitely, that sort of despair is in itself sinful given that we have the gift of life and many of God’s graces to be thankful for.
I’m very sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Certainly, being continually weighed down by grief is not part of the Christian walk. My own view on suffering is that when it comes, I should do my best to bear it joyfully, but that I should not go out of my way to seek it. Of course, penance is necessary, but it is in the context of being a son or daughter, not servile fear. Ignore those Catholics who know Good Friday but nothing of Easter Sunday. They have their own issues.
Your friend who issued an anathema may be a competent adept, but he wasn’t being a good theologian or a good Christian at the time he did that.
As far as corruption, I take Dante’s view. I am aware of the corruption, and woe to those Church leaders who are engaging in it, but it doesn’t reflect on the Church as a whole (even when it is the bishops who are involved) and it doesn’t affect my relationship with Christ.
The other thing you might be feeling is the difference of being a hermetic Christian. As the unknown friend points out, this path, by its very nature, is sometimes a lonely one.
I agree with you Michael. As for the wayward adept, he wouldn’t be the first or last to get swayed in the wrong direction, none of us get it right all the time, especially not me! I also think it may be notoriously difficult to remain balanced when engaging in highly psychic activities, which may or may not be ‘deliberate’. When such things come naturally it can be quite some task to get them under control and the concept of ‘temptation’ and ‘psychic attack’, as Dion Fortune would put it, are tremendous.
Your view on the church is precisely the one I had up until relatively recently. It is ironic, really, that after many years of wishing to be a fully fledged catholic but remaining shy of actually joining, by Easter 2011 I was just about ready to take the plunge and did what some others in a similar position have done by ‘sneaking into mass’. I went to a couple of church services in my hometown and on a whim decided to join the queue in the catholic church and see how I fared with the sacraments.
Let me tell you that this was not a good feeling, and I subsequently sought out full-blown Latin mass in central London in order to counteract what I experienced as a terrifying satanic attack in the aftermath of this….Put it this way, the catholic church in my hometown does not appear to be so good, but the one good thing that has come of that particular unfortunate experience is that I am now closer to understanding what certain commentators have called the ‘smoke of Satan’ entering the church and how this appears. (I can explain further but didn’t want to write a huge and unworkable message here).
As for the concern shared by many Christians and especially catholics that New Age religions specifically and the ‘modern world’ generally are eroding traditional Christian beliefs, I can offer some insights. However the situation is complex. On the one hand there is the real corruption that’s come, for example, via Thelemite and Theosophical influences, and lack of understanding of tradition. On the other hand there is a legitimate concern over church abuses, but not only certain ‘crimes’, but also the controlling and domineering characteristics so often expressed by those who purport to be custodians of the church and/or tradition. The stick without the carrot approach seldom works for anyone and the church should not be ruled by fear.
As far as this last goes, it should be well known that not all those outside the exoteric church are ‘new agers’. Many are devout Christians who nurture the perennial philosophy via a sublime and legitimate personal relationship with God, often with tremendous spiritual insight and understanding, fully embracing their Tikkun. It is this, I fear, that certain aspects the church hierarchy finds most threatening….do you understand why I say this or am I serving to alienate myself once again? What is truly unfortunate is when you see rampant misogyny, racism, the wrong sort of elitism and so on – in those cases it really is no wonder when people turn away in disgust. As with acolytes of Steiner, whose favourite past time appears to be nailing the doctor into his coffin, often it is those who claim to serve the church most rigorously who do it the greatest dis-service. The misogyny in particular is hard to take – Mary Magdalene did so much to be reconciled with Peter and yet his resentment appeared fully entrenched. Such a pity, but I have hope one day things will change, other disciples set a better example in this respect, so we all have good blueprints to follow…
Regarding hermeticism, I agree that it is a very lonely road indeed, with very particular sorts of pressures. It is actually a road that in many ways I wished fervently to avoid – a happy hearth would be my natural choice, but it is has not transpired that way. The work I’ve been given is what it is. That said, I do not wish to complain – as did others, I agreed from the outset to do whatever was asked of me to the best of my ability, albeit without much inkling then of what it might entail. The light one is given at this beginning is so great that it can sustain throughout many epochs of darkness. however it has to be said that the joy Valentin Tomberg speaks of, when one recognises a fellow lonely soul and journey-mate is indeed intent.
As for those other karmic relations, one can only hope they’ll stick to the soul contracts they signed up to, although it may be acknowledged that often the terms are very hard indeed and can take decades to fathom.
By the way I have endless admiration that often becomes awe for those who can suffer graciously. I’m afraid I am not like this, when bad things happen I feel very bad! On the plus side I am able to understand the opportunities for karma clearing and how such events relate to the work of universal salvation, but I cannot say I enjoy them. To those who remain smiling throughout all tribulations I bow down without reserve and hope to have similar strength of character myself some day.
You hit on an important point: we live in an age where the church is under attack. From the outside, it appears to just be currents in the modern world, but I believe that there is a very effective onslaught underway. The magnitude of it is astonishing.
That explains the closed-minded attitude of many priests to anything that is not of strictly christian origin. Contrast this to the confident approach of the church in the middle ages. Again, one reading of Dante demonstrates that Catholics of that era had no fear of our “pagan” heritage.
As far as hermeticism goes, I discuss my investigations only with a tiny circle of like-minded believers. It is a personal thing anyway. I never expect any of it to percolate into the wider church.
That said, as Tomberg recognized the current state of degeneration and he in “Lazarus, Come Forth” he expressed hope that the church’s faithful sons & daughters step up to rescue the church in our time.
On misogyny, I assume you mean from individuals and not in official church teaching. I definitely see it in many priests, and attribute some of that to the fact that many priests may have been awkward around women to begin with, hence their choice of the priesthood. That’s not an excuse though. Also, I find that among those who call themselves modern and liberal, if you scratch below the surface there is still a lot of objectifying of women going on. Probably its root is deep within the male consciousness and that is what makes it so hard to eradicate.
Despite all the problems in the Catholic church, I have experienced that there is real power here, and so I stay. I hope you don’t give up on us!
On psychic attack, what seems to work for me is the liberal use of holy water and taking the focus off myself and doing good work for others.
I had been trying so hard for so long to help rescue the church, that is why it felt so devastating and such a betrayal when the people I thought were my helpers in this respect turned out to be on a different wavelength – one doesn’t expect blows to come from within, from one’s own brothers, it is a very sad state of affairs but one lives and learns.
Of course I meant misogyny from individuals, unfortunately I’ve been associating a bit too much with right wing misogynist ‘catholics’ lately so i apologise if it seemed like an unfair generalisation. Many priests I’ve met have also been awkward around women and I do think that it’s a mistake to enforce celibacy on priests – this wasn’t how the priesthood started out if I understand correctly? And yes, women are objectified in plenty of other places. Sometimes they bring it on themselves, often they are so conditioned – also controlled and demeaned – by patriarchal societies that it is difficult to know how to behave. So many times I’ve seen different sets of rules and values being applied to men and women, with complete lack of objectivity, it’s a great sickness in society.
I agree with you on doing good works. Part of my problem is I live a bit too much of an hermetic existence and always feel better when i work for charity, pray for people and so on. So important not to succumb to acedia when the going gets tough….
I was brought up as a catholic and could have become e very devoted one if it hadn’t been for the misogyny and brutal machismo present in so many catholic schools in the 50’s and 60’s of the last century. After avoiding religion like the plague for 40 years I eventually found my way to The Christian Community, the movement for religious renewal inspired by Rudolf Steiner. There is no dogma, everyone is free to believe as their own conscience guides them, but the sacramental life is there in a renewed form for those who seek it. It has been such a blessing in my life. It was balm to my soul to find an Act of Consecration which embraces the heavenly and the earthly, whilst leaving me completely free.
Some of the people who go have a connection to anthroposophy but by no means all.
I too have a great respect for Tomberg but have not felt the need to follow him into the catholic church
Tom, I also have huge admiration for Rudolf Steiner, although his degree of clairvoyance and uncompromising nature is such that it can take a long time to fully understand where he is coming from with certain things. He is definitely one of the guiding lights….
All these allusions to falling asleep have to do with ingestion of Entheogens, in that case, most likely Psylocybin mushrooms. Steiner alerted for the day in which mysteries that couldn’t be spoken of at that time, will be revealed. All will know one day of the many, numerous references to Rudolf Steiner’s attainment of clairvoyance indicating uses of entheogens. One of the many reasons why he was so persecuted, as were the followers of the True Christianity. Christ has changed the botany of our planet so we can meet him through the plants.
Hi Amanda, I would not personally say that Steiner, a famously ascetic character, was talking about entheogens, although I could be wrong…..many devout Christian mystics would consider that to be an unacceptable ‘shortcut’ to illumination, although it’s a complex issue and my own views on this kind of thing are quite liberal, I have great respect for Shaman cultures and plant spirits
I know Tomberg’s general life history, but uncertain about his motives for joining the Catholic church as opposed to some organization, such as the Christian Community, or one of the Protestant churches… Does anyone know why he chose the Catholic church?
that is a much debated question as I’m sure you are aware, and after long consideration I concluded that several factors came into play. On one level VT felt alienated from the AS as a result of the hostile attitude of some members, including Steiner’s wife, following the death of the founder. This, conflated with the opposite attitude among other members who tried to make VT into the ‘last great initiate’ and Boddhisattva, would certainly have helped to drive him in another direction. In general he was opposed to ‘closed schools’ and the increasingly cliquey AS may have started to appear as such.
Then there is the matter of Rudolf Steiner’s own hints to VT, where he suggested that the ‘truth was with Rome’ and that the church must be reformed from within. This ties in with what VT himself writes in Meditations on the Tarot where he explains that Christian hermeticists will be called upon to actively restore the church from within. This, I feel, is key to VT’s resolve.
On another level, that would certainly have helped to confirm the impulses from above, VT came into contact with a catholic community while spending time with the Dutch resistance in Amsterdam during WWII. At the same time he witnessed the authenticity of the miracle of Our Lady of all Nations in the same city, which confirmed him in his devotion to the Virgin that is so integral to Catholicism.
As an aside, and again more generally, it is expected that the Christian hermeticist will endeavour to work towards Christian unity, in particular to unite the streams of Peter and John. As an active Rosicrucian/hermeticist with a very high degree of spiritual mastery and attainment one wonders where else there would be for him to go if Christian unity was his goal……
I hope this helps answer your question
In his article on VT at this link, http://www.fhab.org/valentin-tomberg , Willi Seiss claims there is no proof that VT ever actually joined the Roman Catholic church. I find this outline of VT’s life very interesting. It seems to be one of the most well-balanced and objective respnses to VT and his life’s work.
Tom I have heard that before, although funnily enough, earlier today I read a letter from the 70 year old Valentin Tomberg to WIlli Seiss, refusing to meet the young anthroposophist if he was hoping to find that the master was still an ardent follower of Steiner, explaining that this earlier time in his life was almost like another incarnation it was so far removed from his present view…..interesting stuff!
I have been following Alchenical-weddings for some years now and always find something interesting and often something that really speaks to me. Thank You, Charlotte
That’s very kind thank you Tom, it’s nice to be in the company of known and unknown friends 🙂