Beneath Thy Protection is the oldest known Marian hymn dating back to the third or fourth century. Translated from the Greek: Beneath your compassion, we take refuge, O Theotokos, do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one. (O, Dea or O, Thea, may be substituted for Theotokos).
Those who have had Near Death Experiences have always shared with us that God does not care what religion we are, the only thing that matters….the one question we are asked when we die is…. how did you love?
Love is the Essence of the All. Love is the driving force of the Universe. Love is the why of Creation. And Love is simple. It need not be explained by philosophers and theologians. It is inherent in every single one of us. We do not need to be taught how to love, why to love or how many different ways we can love. Love is simple such that even a child can understand it and Love is the greatest Truth that exists.
NDE’s have explained that when they reach the Light, it is brilliant beyond all comprehension, and yet, it is not too bright for the eyes. And the one thing they all say….every single one of them no matter their religious background….is that the Light is unfathomable, unconditional Love such as they never thought to experience. And when they return, they strive to live and share that Love in new ways.
From what little first hand knowledge I have of the Secret Madrians, they had left Lux Madriana and turned to the contemplative/mystical life. They taught and believed that the Truth is simple enough for a child to understand. They did not appear to have need of thealogical arguments or discussion. They concentrated on the one thing needful, love of Dea and love of Her children.
The greatest saints I know weren’t the Aquinas’s, the Augustines, the Gregorys, rather they were the Orthodox Fools for Christ, the St. Marys of Egypt, the Padre Pios; the French priest of the countryside who continued to serve and protect his people despite the threat of being executed during troubling times; the quiet nun who spends her day in prayer for the children of the Earth, the mother who lives her life in service of her family and of her Lady, the quiet gentleman who spends his mornings praying the rosary before Our Lady to begin his day. These people didn’t spend their day arguing philosophy and theology, they spent their day in prayer, contemplation, love and service. I really believe this is what our scriptures are teaching us. These are timeless teachings that have never failed humanity.
21: In thy work praise Her and in thy resting, in thy speech and in they silence. 22: For thou wert made one with Her and this is thy true estate. It is good for a maid to till the soil, but it is better to live with her Lady. The Pillar of Truth.
This very much reminds me of Marian teachings, especially what we learned through the Total Consecration to Mary. Everything we did during the day, each word we spoke, each service of Her children, were to be performed through Her, with Her and for Her. (The motto was to Jesus through Mary.) When we live each day in union with Her, that is when our beliefs ring true, not through arguing about human-made theology or philosophy, human words, human opinions. This is something that I once knew, had clearly forgotten, and am remembering once again.
I have learned, over time, that each one of us is so different, each of our Soul Paths to Deity are so unique, that one size definitely does not fit all, even if we are members of the same religion. This is why there are so many schools and denominations of all the religions which have withstood the test of time. We cannot expect others to believe in the exact same way that we do. Like each snowflake, we have been created to be singular in this world. But we do have a shared experience in Her Love.
In the Near Death Experience of Mellen Thomas Benedict, he was shown a mandala of souls encircling the world. Each of us has a vital place and purpose here. And that purpose isn’t to strive to be like everyone else, it is to be ourselves, the way we were created, to follow our own Path wherever that may lead.
The person, no matter their beliefs, no matter their religion, who spends his or her day in quiet prayer, contemplation, love and service is worth more, in my mind, than the greatest theologian who ever lived.
Love of Dea flows through our service to others. Service to others can take place in many ways such as service to our families; praying for our world and for others; being kind in the work place; offering donations to places like Exodus Cry or helping animals, volunteering at soup kitchens, offering the Sacraments, there are all kinds of ways to serve no matter our station in life, but the ultimate way to serve is in the simplicity of Love.
Yes, philosophers and theologians have their place, but we must always remember, words are human and fallible, it is Dea Who is Divine and infallible.