FROM RELIGIOUS CHILD TO GIVING UP ON GOD
I was a deeply religious child – I felt the immense divinity surrounding me. I remember driving along in the backseat of our family car looking at trees in wonder of how they came to be. I used to pray to God at night because I could feel his presence around me and I wanted to honour that by saying his prayer.
And then I got older and started to see more… I saw the hypocrisy of the adults in the church, e.g. men having extramarital affairs and going up for communion: a Priest who told my teacher I didn’t know what Easter meant because I had not been able to answer a question in confession with him at Easter. I saw this for what it was – a breach in confidentiality. I could feel there was no love in the Priests or the parishioners. I was about 10; I gave up on feeling I was a son of God.
It was my choice to give up on God: fortunately, I now know God doesn’t hold a grudge.
I had to attend Catholic mass for another 5 years. My disillusionment only continued and strengthened my resolve to leave the Catholic Church at my earliest opportunity, which was when I was 15. It was time to make my confirmation, a ceremony that represents a child entering the church as an adult, to which I initially said no. But for the sake of my parents’ relationship with their parents, I made a deal to go through with the farce on the condition that I would never enter the church again. And I never have, apart from the odd wedding and a funeral.
A LINE FROM CATHOLIC MASS… CONFIRMING I AM NOT WORTHY
In the last few years I have started to reclaim my true deeply religious nature, my connection with and to God, but realising that something insidious has been stopping me from fully claiming that I am a living Son of God. And a theme keeps appearing when I even consider writing about religion:
Who am I to write about this?
Little ol’ me? I don’t live well enough, I am simply not good enough to claim I am worthy as a Son of God.
So I have been pondering “Why is that?”… when up popped this – a line from a Catholic Mass: “I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed”.
For those not familiar with the Catholic mass service you say this as a congregation before you receive the sacrament – the body of Christ, symbolised by a wafer of bread.
Pretty powerful stuff when I stop to think about it – and that every week since I was a baby, for about 15 years, I had heard this phrase.
What is the real impact of this line? How has it impacted my life?
Well, the impact is somewhat predictable – just as the phrase had asked of me to keep confirming, I haven’t felt I am worthy of much at all, much less a son of God. I haven’t felt I brought a lot to a situation; I used to drink a lot, party hard and ate what I wanted, not what was supportive of my body, and all these unloving acts I kept choosing continued to further confirm I was not worthy of much.
The second part of this statement, “but only say the word and I shall be healed”, is also deeply troubling to me because as I hear it, it seems as if a magic wand is being waved and all will be ok! But the key is, it’s reliant on someone else waving the said wand. Could there be some major disempowerment going on here? That the power is outside of us, that our relationship with God is outside of us, even though it is clearly stated by Jesus that ‘the Kingdom of God is inside you’.
This of course feeds into God being transcendental and Jesus saving us. Another theme in Catholicism – you can live as you want, confess, pay up and you get your ‘pass into heaven’ card all the same.
When I feel the line “I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed” in my body, my entire being shrinks, contracts and becomes less. It is the OPPOSITE of my experience with what True Religion is and is meant to be.
DONATIONS IN EXCHANGE FOR A PLACE IN HEAVEN?
At my final confirmation ceremony and my final confession in the Catholic church (Note: confession is where you go and see the Catholic priest in a private chamber and confess your sins and he talks to you about it and then gives you penance… normally a certain amount of prayers to be said), I went up to the priest, and when asked what my confession was I stated:
“If God is inside us like you tell us He is, why do I have to tell you what I have done wrong? God knows I am remorseful; what is your part, why the third party?”
To which he offered that it’s good to offload to someone else. In the not too distant past, priests were in a position of great power knowing everyone’s secrets and taking donations to help with the parishioners’ pass into heaven. There is a contradiction here: if we are all sons of God as the Church proclaims we are, how come only a few (and only within the Church) are able to ensure others a place in Heaven? And that for a donation!
ACCEPTANCE AS AN EQUAL, WORTHY, LIVING SON OF GOD
In a session yesterday with an Esoteric Healing Practitioner I felt my expansiveness to be that of the whole universe, at a cellular level feeling love, the love of God and its infiniteness.
I now feel I am worthy. We are ALL worthy.
The choices I have been making over the last ten years have been to honour my body on a physical level – not eating or drinking foods that stimulate or stagnate the body. On an emotional level I have learned to observe my reactions and deal with them. All this is an unfoldment, an unending commitment with no end point, no fireworks, just me being me allowing the love that is God and that is me to flow through me.
No perfection required, just my turning up willing to be honest and allow and accept that I am a living Son of God.
My soul recently said to me “NEVER DOUBT YOU ARE A TRUE LIVING SON OF GOD” In writing this, I feel I have realised what has created the doubt was my subscribing to this teaching of the Catholic Church that we are not worthy! Is it possible that this is all a set up to keep us small, to doubt ourselves… but ultimately to doubt our connection to God?
And if so, how insidious is that?
This is not a finger wagging exercise but it is an offering to allow us to take responsibility for our part in allowing ourselves to give up, to accept less than the glory that we truly divinely are.
What if that line from the Catholic Mass is rewritten to say:
“I am worthy to receive me and to receive you in equalness: through my choices and self-love I shall be healed to then know the true love that I am – an equal son of God – at one with all, divinely so.”
I would like to appreciate and acknowledge that the teachings of Serge Benhayon as the founder of a true religion, The Way of the Livingness, has allowed me through the many different presentations of livingness to realise that my true pure divinity has always been living inside me, and the knowing that I am worthy, and a son of God. I am Eternally grateful.
By Vanessa Hawthorne, M.A. London
340 thoughts on “I am Worthy. Reclaiming Myself as a Son of God”
I was not brought up as a Catholic, however I can still see and feel how the dominating consciousness of this religion, and other religions, affect many of us to some degree.
People and organisations always complicate things but God is simply Love.
This just reminded me of one of my colleague that I actually feel a bit of friction between us underneath the surface of niceness, and how I judge her for not being as capable as the rest of the team yet being paid the same, and how I see this as unfair – as in thinking that we should be compensated according to the degree of contribution and capability, and actually it already rattles me if I am honest to admit that she might just be more accepting and loving of herself for just being who she is, never mind how little she might be doing. It is interesting to clock my reaction to someone else’s relationship with work. Like, I would want to change how much I would commit and give to work because of how I see someone else is committed and giving. Who knows, they might be thinking they are trying their hardest, genuinely. We see the world and its relationship with God – which is predominantly a big fat lie, and we let that affect our own relationship with God, and many of us have consciously walked away. And I read your line “God doesn’t hold a grudge” and I am floored.
Thank you Vanessa, and when we consider what you have shared, this is only one way that organised religion shifts us away from our essence or most divine connection. And seeing we are all divine beings, we do search for a deeper relationship, a Soul-full relationship that is simply a normal way of living, without the exhalations that are placed on us by religions as they are today.
If the Soul comes from God and any one religion takes you away from that, or does not support you to return to your soul, how could that religion be from God?
Imagine the vital role of mainstream religions to suppress our connection to divinity. If mainstream religion really instilled a connection between ourselves and God, the world really would not be in the mess we are in right now. There will be no blame of God for the hurricanes, for war & for misery but we will seek a true understanding of why all of these occur.
Mainstream religions in my opinion have always been so full of hypocrisy.
Given a gift of a brightly coloured Indian hanging to position outside my front door to ward off evil spirits, I felt uncomfortable because it had the potential to diminish my responsibility to live in a way that is of God. If we are all worthy and of God, do we need to protect our homes with talismen and charms?
We can give up on God but God never gives up on us.
Yes Andrew, the path of return is always open for us.
Most religions seek to make us lesser than, in that way they hold the controlling power over humanity. We just have to look back at history and the vile acts that we did to each other, all in the name of some religion or other, to know this is true.
If through religion we hold human beings as unworthy of God, doesn’t it then contribute to allowing us to do unspeakable things to one another?
Some of the most vile acts in history were under the banner of religion.
Vanessa I was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith and hated everything about this particular religion, What I have discovered is how insidious this religion is, in that it is circulating around our bodies. And for the most part we don’t even know it is there, we are caught in the consciousness of it without knowing. This to me is pure evil because we are no longer in charge of our bodies. but are being run by a consciousness that is not who we truly are. As you say if you are drip fed certain words they stay with you and colour how you perceive life. To me this is the evil I’m talking about, because you are not the true you; but a puppet for that consciousness that is coming through you.
During every kind of troubling times, I find these words so reassuring: “the kingdom of God is inside of you”. This shows to me the power of words when they are spoken to re-ignite the power in each and every person, because when we are all considered equally there is grace and the movement against it, but never is there not the kingdom within.
It sends shivers down my spine saying the phrase before communion. From the age of about 8 when I was made to go through the first communion ceremony up until I was about 16, going to church and repeating these words -“I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed” – Every time it never felt okay, then the moment I could get out of going I did. Ten years later I entered what I knew was true religion, but at the time was unaware of it. My first meeting with Serge Benhayon and attending his workshop in London was returning back to God as an equal. I have never looked back, and each step I take I am claiming this almighty power that I am, without reducing it for anyone or anything. We are all equal and come from the same place, we are all Gods.
This really brought my attention to the power the church seek to yield, and how there is no confidentiality although when it suits them they hide behind it, and how the church seek to make us lesser, when we are all equally worthy, as we are all the sons of god.
The church, or the consciousness of religion, very much seeks to keep us lesser, and this is even more so for females.
What you share Vanessa is is new to me. Not raised in a Catholic church myself, I was not aware of the depth of indoctrination and harm inflicted on congregations from a very young age. A church designed to crush a persons sense of self and worth is evil to the core and legitimised abuse.
I accompanied someone to a church service recently. What I met were presenters going through the motions of communing with without truly connecting to me or congregation. There was no love. We are conduits of God and God is love, To speak empty words without feeling leaves a congregation at a loss and wastes an opportunity to truly connect and support people seeking answers and struggling to make sense of their lives.
There are many lines in religious ceremonies where the congregation speak lines that are not honouring, and when you consider them you can feel there is a confirming of a separation to the divinity we are all a part of. It is quite prevalent, and I wonder how many people are still held by just the one you write about Vanessa? I walked away from the Catholic Church in almost an identical way to you – even did the confirmation to please my mum, with the deal to not go to church again… but I was still massively affected by it, even now, I still feel stuff intrenched in me… great to expose!
“I gave up on feeling I was a son of God.” From the teachings esoterically we are a son of God, occultly we are in equalness to God. We are a God. I do not hear any other religion like The Way of The Livingness present this. This is who we are .. a GOD yet, we have an unGodly spirit also that does the exact opposite, and a spirit knows this. It does what it wants when it wants. We are responsible for a lot here. A whole blog is calling to write about this …
To be growing up as a son of God you don’t really have to do anything. It’s so easy. Maybe that is why we have been presented with teachings that want to control this otherwise inevitable unfolding saying you have to do this or that to achieve contact with a higher power or deity, when that connection is already there from the word go.
For me it was clear The Way of the Livingness was a true religion, as Serge Benhayon walked his talk and expressed love and care with everyone and everything equally.
It is such a joy to finally have come across someone, Serge Benhayon, who lives what he shares, living a life of Truth, Love, integrity and so much more.
Vanessa this is exquisite a true claiming of worthiness and a renunciation of the giving up that allowed the inequality to be, something so many including me have experienced. To know and feel our divinity, our connection to that divinity and the equalness we all share in this is such a blessing and there for us all.
What I have come to realise is that there is a big gap between observing/clocking and reacting and in that we take a step aside from the truth, and no matter how small the step might be, we are already being affected. So, do we take a step back, or carry on with side-stepping?
It is impossible to get disillusioned with true religion.
If we are Divine, then we are all experts on God and religion. If any part of us is Divine then we are Divine.
I can feel the memories of the catholic mass in my body as I read this, how it was a knowing of being less, and of waiting for someone to redeem you so you could be worthy of the sacrament. Yet I can also feel the expansion in what you shared “I am worthy to receive me and to receive you in equalness: through my choices and self-love I shall be healed to then know the true love that I am – an equal son of God – at one with all, divinely so.” At One with ALL. There is a very stilling feeling in that sentence that offers a physical reflection of our interconnectedness.
It is interesting that we can experience God all around us but when we don’t feel it in other humans we can give up on God even though that would be their choice.
I recall feeling deeply religious as a child too – I used to lie in bed in the evening and pray and talk to God about my day. I loved this relationship. Then somewhere along the line I allowed this to disappear, partly as I was made fun of for this by some, and so I began to hide this, and then also I got introduced to the atheist ideas etc. which I wanted to explore as I loved Science and I was told Religion and Science were not compatible. I always struggled to bring it all together for myself as I know of a greater presence that held us and I knew we were more than the mere physical, but it was not till I encountered Universal Medicine that I felt that religion, science and philosophy were married together in harmony and what was presented made total sense – and now my life feels complete in terms of understanding how this all works, though of course there is still so much for me to embrace and look forwards to unfolding in my life when it comes to my relationship with this. But what I do know is that this all sits with me in a way that is in harmony like when I was small and sat in nature and knew that I was held by God.
Vanessa this is a brilliant blog exposing the lies we are sold by religion and the church that have nothing to do with the truth of God and everything to do with keeping humanity small and controlled and never knowing they are an equal Son of God. The more we claim and live as a Son of God, the more our movements will confirm to others this important truth that is divinely available for us all.
It is great to expose the lies of mainstream religions, and what they inflict on humanity. A lovely claiming back of being the son of God that you, and all of us, innately are.
Our connection to God is one made up of our foundation of self loving movements which then uncover our natural connection to the all and everything in between which shows that we are all divine and hence express this through the quality in which we move. Love is a movement and or expression from our bodies.
Great Blog Vanessa and I particularly love the bit where you have rewritten the line from the Catholic mass to confirm and claim what it really means to be an equal son of God.
Yes, a great confirmation, ‘“I am worthy to receive me and to receive you in equalness: through my choices and self-love I shall be healed to then know the true love that I am – an equal son of God – at one with all, divinely so.”’
It is deeply powerful to surrender to feel this innate relationship with the love we are from and the responsibility that goes with that relationship. Rather than cower, hide or live in ignorance of the effect of our choices on all others, it offers an opportunity to be more accountable, responsible and feel the connection that comes from the relationship with all we are.
We cannot no matter how hard we try know God through empty words that do not live inside us. What has become clear to me through attending Universal Medicine is the fact that there are two sources of energy that fuel me in every moment, one from God and the other not from God and it is down to me and only me to unfold and live the knowing of the energy that runs through my body in my daily living.
I did not grow up as a Catholic but reading this blog makes me realise that the Hindu religion is no different except it has a eastern flavour to it.
The religion I grew up around had many beliefs and conformities and if we strayed from this, we were judged. We were either seen as ‘good’ if we committed ourselves to the temple and ‘bad’ if we stayed away from it. The reality is the hypocrisy was what people couldn’t tolerate so they stayed away and from time to time would attend the temple occasionally.
For me it was the imposition that made me run the other way and I could not find true religion. For me true religion is coming from the one source and that is God irrespective of the colour of your skin or the country we are birthed forth.
Love has no religion……
Or love is lived religion. Both can be true.
Religion as it stands is full of hypocrisy.
Its quite funny how we humans fool each other about God, or we do silly incomprehensible things to ourselves, like smoking, or drinking poison (alcohol). But at the end of all this way of living we are all Sons Of God no-matter what we do, that truth will never change. Like the phrase “diamond in the rough” that diamond is still a diamond. You and all of us are all Sons of God in the rough or not.
I attended catholic mass until the age of 12 when I too could see the hypocrisy of the church, since then have never set foot there again, However, it has taken me a lot of my life to remove the insidious layers of guilt and fear that has made me feel less than the true son of God I am now claiming myself to be.
Instilling a sense of being unworthy and therefore dependent on someone or something else is an insidious controlling method of many established organisations. The Way of The Livingness teaches that we are equal and are all equal Sons of God and the truth of this is within each and everyone of us.