Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Mystical Christianity Lesson 20

Questions For the Heart and Mind

  1. How have you experienced the intimacy of God in your life? I have experienced God from my earliest memories as a tangible Presence next to me, always there. Sometimes He seems far away - sometimes very near. Sometimes I have not felt His Presence at all, however at these times there is a knowledge in me that He is there; but giving me time and space as part of His Plan for me.
  2. How would you distinguish the difference between prayer and meditation? What role do each of these play in your life? Prayer to me is communing with God in every aspect of my life; in joy, sorrow, grief, pain, difficulties, anxieties, quandaries, dilemmas in which I need to make difficult decisions. God is there, and when I reach out to Him to talk to Him, within my soul I sense He answers me. Meditation to me is the structured taking time to close my eyes and senses to the world, to fix my mind on God - or a passage from the Scriptures or a holy writing - or repeating mantras such as 'Om' (God) in my mind, until I drift into a state of mindlessness where He somehow is there. Both prayer and meditation play a vital role in my life.
  3. How do the lives of Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila illuminate the mystical way? Are they relevant for the twenty-first century? Julian and Teresa illuminate the mystical way by sharing their own personal experiences of the development of their unique and individual mysticism in a spirit of sharing with us. This is helpful, as they both make it clear that mysticism is intimacy with God. I believe that each person's personal mysticism is a unique development of relationship with God, that no other person duplicates. It is the personal relationship between God and His earthly daughter or son; the familial love between the Father God and we, his children of the Most High, as Jesus told us in John 10;34. Yes, Julian and Teresa are relevant for the twenty-first century; the first-hand account of any daughter or son of God describing their unique journey (mysticism/prayer) in relationship with their Father-God is compelling, inspiration and helpful to us in the growth into maturity of our relationship with God in mysticism/prayer.

Rev. Whittle
Universal Life Church Minister

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