Make Your Own Miracles
By Father Leo Booth
Recently, I've noticed a flurry of interest in angels and mir- acles. People send or hand me articles and tracts, and even little pins. I've been in treatment centers where patients proudly display their little angels. They seem to assume that because I am a priest, I would share this belief in angels and would support all this activity. Actually, I fear that this interest in angels will only contribute to more spiritual disempowerment.
Yes, I do believe in angels, to the degree that I have met and worked with people who have done incredible, miraculous things. They aren't celestial, other-worldly beings walking around in human form, but are simple, ordinary people who, through the use of their God-given spiritual power, achieve extraordinary things. They don't rely on guardian angels to magically intervene on their behalf. Rather, they use their own spiritual power to co-create with God the miracles, great and small, that abound in their lives.
I believe we all contain within us the spark of divinity that is manifested through the spiritual values of truth, love, change, and harmony. These universal values help us to connect not only to ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically, but to others and to God. I also call these values the God values because they are qualities many people attribute to God.
Truth allows me to be real, to connect honestly with my feelings, my thoughts, and my physical reactions to the world.
Love brings acceptance of human imperfection, and with that acceptance, the healing balm of forgiveness of myself and others.
Change allows me to grow, to utilize my God-given freedom to think, reason, and make choices. When I am able to make choices and take action, I manifest my spiritual power and co-creatorship with God, by connecting with and utilizing the spiritual values of love and truth.
Harmony allows me to discover balance, to embrace both my strengths and limitations. It is through the use of these that I am able to become my own angel, to make my own miracle.
I have met several people who use such tools as 'Angel Cards' or 'Medicine Cards' to affirm they have certain qualities or strengths within them. I think this a very healthy use of this kind of resource, for it implies that these qualities are already there and merely reminds us that we have them and can use them. A spiritually disempowering use is when people think that drawing a card with the word 'courage' is actually going to give them courage.
Wearing an angel pin to symbolize a guardian angel 'out there' is very disempowering, for it reinforces dependency on an external rescuer/fixer. It can also cause people to want to disown or abandon parts of themselves that are considered not angelic. Perhaps I should create human pins that celebrate all of humanness - our strengths as well as our imperfections, for in accepting our humanness we discover the angel within us.
The most dramatic example I've seen lately of becoming one's own angel is the true story of a man who was pinned beneath a tree, and to save his life, cut off his trapped broken leg with a pocketknife, then drove himself to the nearest house to get help. If he had waited for an angel to come along and save him, he would have died. But he found the angel within himself, tapped into that tremendous human spirit, and so co-created his own miracle.
I believe the world is full of wonderfully unexplainable, mysterious things. And I think we miss a great deal of them because we are not connected to our own spiritual power which would allow us to recognize the miracles whether it's a baby who survives an earthquake, or an abuse survivor who takes a risk and says No for the first time. My job, as both a priest and an addictions counselor, is to help people learn to discover and utilize the spiritual power within that lets them be the authors of their own miracles.
Father Leo Booth, MTh, CAC, CEDC, is a nationally acclaimed author and educator on all issues relating to spirituality. A recovering alcoholic and Episcopal priest, he has developed a new spiritual model for treatment of depression, addictions, and low self-esteem. Father Leo is parish priest of St. George's Episcopal Church in Hawthorne, California, outside Los Angeles, and a national consultant to treatment programs and organizations. For more information on Father Leo's consultancy services, books, tapes or videos, contact Spiritual Concepts at (800) 284-2804.
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