The Love of Devotion: Simple Pleasures

Little Oakey

My grandfather, Michael John Pope, was a pioneer farmer in outback New South Wales, Australia. He built his small, four-room home, Little Oakey, from the creek-stones of the area. Behind the house was a wattle and daub (clay) kitchen and cellar. In that little home, with his wife Mary Jane, he raised five children in, what would be considered by today’s standards, primitive isolation.

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The Love of Devotion: Existential Crisis

The fruits of serious spiritual devotion have an unmistakable flavour, sometimes even more so in retrospect. It had been a challenging few years. I was twenty-six and had been progressing through an existential crisis; an involuntary falling apart of life’s meaning. I felt a deep human aloneness and with all my praying, I failed to feel the love of God in any way which could help my state of being. Other than the care and protection of my two little children and my spiritual studies, I had no interest in anything. Everything seemed trite to me; meaningless and often painfully intolerable. I had lost faith in everything human to give solace to my soul. It was not intentional. It is simply what happened over the space of a few years. I was at the bottom of the valley – all things lost but nothing gained. 

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The Love of Devotion: Healing Repressions

Repression

Major fears, sadness, and anger tend to be repressed because they are unpleasant to face. We do not know how to deal with them. Of course, society demands restraint. We obviously cannot rant and rave to every person we feel annoyed with. We cannot go around angrily blaming every poor soul that crosses our path. We cannot crumble into a bumbling heap of fear whenever we are challenged or anxious. We cannot crawl into a little ball of despair and refuse to face the world because we are disheartened and sad. Hopefully, as a child, we learned some restraint and level-headedness. However, we transfer these necessary learned responses into indiscriminate repression. 

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The Love of Devotion: Life is Immortal

We are here to evolve. All life forms serve one ultimate purpose – to align themselves with the good, the beautiful, and the infinite. As human souls, this takes a tremendous amount of growth; much more than one short time on Earth can give. We gradually become more aligned to the higher life-force over a long period of soul evolution. What may seem a tragedy by the standard of one short lifetime is merely a page in an ongoing story which has a higher purpose and plot far beyond the momentary appearance. We can trust the Divine nature of the story with all its twists and turns. 

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