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How to Be a Spiritual Warrior and Why

Suzy is an ordained Interspiritual Priest with the UAIC-Not Your Grandma's Church! She holds an M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology.

Following Our Bliss

Life can be hard, all the time, and when we begin new things, start new paths, meet new people, it can be even more difficult. It takes strength to meet the demands of daily life and even more so to endure hardships. Of course, there are many kinds of hardships, but today I want to address the kind that that comes doing what we perceive is right and true. The kind of hardships that come with following what in spiritual terms is often termed a call. This is something that we all have, whether we are spiritual or not; whether we are theistic or not. Joseph Campbell, the famous mythologist, called it, following your bliss. The late writer and theologian Frederick Buechner said that our vocation – that is, our calling – is “the place where our deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger.” In other words, we are geared to serve the world through the gifts we are given, and we will only be truly happy when we have discovered what that is. You could say that it’s in our DNA. At the quantum level, we are already One with All That Is. In order to consciously experience that that oneness, that unity, we need to find our vocation, our calling, our place where our hearts meet the heart of All That Is.

A Famous Spiritual Warrior

The Jewish rabbi we know as Jesus discovered that his heart met the heart of God through living his life in Love, respecting all people and offering them healing from their pain, both spiritual and physical. He met the world’s hunger by speaking out against oppression and by literally feeding the people. He reflected the face of the Divine in this world, lighting the way to becoming the whole Beings that we are meant to be. It took strength and power for him to live as fully in Love as he did. His call to become a Light in this world required him to become a Spiritual Warrior. In fact, his example shows us that to live fully in Love is to challenge the status quo of both the physical and spiritual worlds.

Spiritual Clothing

The New Testament letter writer Paul was at first one of the most stringent of those who punished Jesus-followers after Jesus’ death. Paul later recognized the power of the Light Jesus had shared with the world, and soon became empowered through is faith in that message. Although Paul was part of the Jewish sect called Pharisees, he was born a Roman citizen. His Greco-Roman upbringing gave him an almost natural love for sports, the physical contests, and the warrior culture that so permeated his world. Paul wrote to the Ephesians to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” In his letter to them, chapter 6, verses 11-17, he instructed them to put on the Light of Christ, which he interpreted as armor to clothe and protect those who are called to live spiritually. The concept of girding oneself with strength and power is an ancient one. The pre-Christian Nordic God Thor is said to have clothed himself with his hammer Mjolnir, a pair of iron gloves and a belt with which he used to protect both the spiritual realm (Asgard) and the wordly realm (Midgard). This illustrates the fact that the idea that we can “clothe” ourselves with the power of God for protection and strength is not unique, but is part of a great spiritual Truth.

Thor crashes through the heavens wielding the lightning-sparking hammer Mjöllnir, the gloves Járngreipr, and the belt Megingjörð

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What Is -- and What Is Not -- a Spiritual Warrior?

To be a Spiritual Warrior is not to fight against those whose paths to the Divine differ from ours, but to maintain strength against those who would challenge our right to the paths to which we are called. It is not to force our way against their ways, but to give us strength to maintain our own ways in the melee of voices that attempt to drown out the voice of God in our lives. It is to find the strength to know who we are, what we stand for, where we are called, and how we are going to get there. It is to be strong enough to get knocked down and get up again. It is the strength to recognize that each of us has the power to endure the suffering of this world and to know that even though we might be defeated, resurrection is a reality. After our old life is destroyed, there is new life.

Join Me Here for the Series

Let us become Spiritual Warriors, learning for ourselves what it means to be righteous and true. Let us learn to live in Love. Let us listen in the silences and in the voices of others who seek for the voice of All That Is, the Source of Life, the Eternal Aum as It calls us back to Itself. Let us clothe ourselves in the strength, power, and humility that is the basis of true Love. May we be the Light of the World to one another that we might become who we are called to be and continue the work of God (however we may perceive of this) in our world. In this series, we will be exploring a speech that is recorded in the Christian gospels as being given by the Rabbi Jesus on a hill before thousands of people. We know the speech as “The Sermon on the Mount.” Come with me as I present an Interspiritual perspective on the concepts known as “The Beatitudes,” and how they provide guidance on becoming a Spiritual Warrior.

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Until next time, Blesséd Be, my friends.

© 2022 Suzy Jacobson Cherry

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