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Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Little Way Through the Interior Castle: The King and the Castle of Truth and Light

           
         " The precondition for the epiphany of the eternal is that something is broken to pieces." Reinhold Schneider

Art and Blog By: Maryann D'Amico Copyright 2016/2017  All Rights Reserved for All countries


           Looking to the kings of the earth, and to the King of Kings, I wonder many things about  a world on the brink of World War III, as I make my journey through the Interior Castle.  I see the King of Kings with His Crown of Thorns and far too many Kings with riches beyond compare with little or no search for holiness within themselves. It makes me shiver with fear for our world. With threats of nuclear war in the headlines daily, millions running for their lives and terror breaking out all over the globe, I pray for the kings of the earth. But, deep down, I know, the world must  be broken to pieces for the new epiphany of the eternal to shine bright in the heavens. For the Kings of the earth have stored up many treasures and palaces for themselves and have forgotten the people of their countries for whom they are indebted to by eternal laws. And, with all their wealth and splendor, at the end of the day, they are mere men who shall one day be subjected to the King of Kings for their inaction's in this temporal world.

          The world needs holy and wise Kings. We have enough of the others. Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, is the Light of the World. No star in the heavens will ever shine brighter than Him. I look to His Crown of Thorns and see Light beyond compare. Each thorn sparkling like diadems in the heavens. His death on a cross which gave hope to all of humanity. Each of us, are broken in our own ways. Each of us has felt the Thorns at one point or another. His Crown is the Most Glorious of all, and the Most Humble of all. It aides all of humanity to see both the humanity and divinity of Christ simultaneously. I am reminded of Saint Louis, who in his Kingship kept ever before him Christ's Crown of Thorns as he fulfilled his duties to God and man. And, by the light of his faith, and the power of Christ, his earthly power was illuminated both historically and eternally, thus so, his Kingship was not in vain. By the light of that same faith, believing in the Communion of the Saints, I plead for his intercession for the kings of the earth, that they may become holy and wise. For only by the grace of God is one truly illuminated. All other light is a mirage, a trick of the devil.

     Within the Interior Castle, by experience, I have found the greatest of Light when I am most broken. For, the Royal Road to heaven is by the Way of  the Cross.  True light comes from eternal light. When we are shattered into a million pieces by the weight of the cross, His light shines bright  upon every piece of our being. Though, we may not feel it or see it ourselves, it is there penetrating each piece. He, Being the Master Artist, will pick us up and refashion us according to His design and Perfect Will.  Trusting Him is the key to shining even brighter after being shattered. And, humbly submitting to His Divine Will, no matter how heavy the Cross, leads the soul to heights it never would have been able to reach, to Light it never thought possible.

     Just as diamonds are formed under intense pressure and extreme temperatures  that changes the molecular structure of carbon by crushing its atoms together and forcing them into a new structure, so too the soul is crushed by the weight and heat of the Cross, but, God transforms souls who trust His Mighty process of transformation. And, then, once the diamond is formed, it is brought up to the surface of the earth, by way of small volcanic actions and the liquid cools the diamonds  within the rock. So, too, with the soul, as it is recreated by the Creator's Will, it must go through many trials and sufferings, until it arrives to rest within the Rock. But, what a Royal Road this is for a soul! Some souls remain hidden in the Rock for God alone. Others, are found and brought into the light of the earth. But, in God's eyes, each and every diamond in the Rock is of priceless value to Him. 

     There are so many amazing things to speak of within the Kings Chambers and His Castle of Eternal Truths. Remaining Little and staying on the Little Way Through the Interior Castle , is to be mindful always of the Christian's great inheritance. And, in that mindfulness, to believe you are a Child of God, making every effort to live up to that inheritance. Yet, when failing in sin, to never cease to fly to the " Clefts of the Rock." Those clefts of Divine Mercy found within His wounds. His Merciful Wounds heal all things. When we are truly sorrowful for our offenses, His grace abounds. Truly, the wounds of Christ are  the most priceless gems in  the Little Way Through the Interior Castle. All the gems in the world cannot compare is value or beauty to the precious wounds of the Saviour. To fear God, is to find the Light. To trust God, is to find even greater Light. But, to Love Him above all things He created, is to be most illuminated.

     I have had dreams of sanctuaries 100 feet high all made of genuine precious gemstones of diverse forms and colors. And, I marveled at the site of such things as I have never seen in my life. But, when I am brought to these rooms of splendor in my sleep, I have found, that as amazing as they are, they are truly nothing, compared to the Beauty of Christ that He has shown me through my journey of the soul on the eternal and ancient paths of the Little Way Through the Interior Castle. And, in my art, as well, I have seen beautiful gemstones and jewels arise like springs of water. I see great beauty in it, because I know it springs from my spiritual journey. There is something eternal in it. Yet, still, it is nothing compared to the King of Kings and the spiritual chambers of His Mighty and Eternal Palace that is infinite in treasures far beyond the scope of this world.

     Through this Little Way Through the Interior Castle, the Lord has shown me infinite possibilities of design and creativity. And, I have been amazed at the Ways of the Creator and His manifestations of beauty and art. But, it is the Creator, that I am captivated by. It is the Creator, I love.  And, my greatest prayer is to be set as a seal upon His heart for eternity. I thank everyone, who has been on this long journey with me. And, I thank everyone who has appreciated the art of the " Symphony of the Interior Castle."  Praise God for His Goodness and generosity to me in this passage of time and prayer in the incredible Interior Castle! May your journey within your Interior Castle be blessed, always!

                                                                      Happy and Blessed  Easter!



Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Little Way Through the Interior Castle :The Clefts of the Rock Where the Martyrs Rest

                The Clefts of the Rock, Where the Martyrs Rest            


             In Loving Memory of the 90,000 Christians who died for the sake of Christ in 2016.

           " My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the wall, show me your face, let your voice sound in my ears." Song of Songs 2:14

     Taking this journey of The Little Way Through the Interior Castle has not been a direct route for me personally. It has been full of hopes, disappointments, falls, landslides and even avalanches. Every season has been met with storms of their own kind, challenges, obstacles, failures and detours. And, in some instances, I have been totally lost in darkness so thick, I never think I am coming out of it. It has been a true spiritual battle, some fiercer than others. But, what I am suffering, is nothing compared to my fellow Christians around the world.

      Having left off, last April, at the beginning of the Seventh Mansions of the Interior Castle, by Saint Teresa of Avila, I am returning now. The last four chapters address the Spiritual Marriage within the spiritual life. Knowing none of this by experience, I can only look to the saints for guidance in these matters. Following, is an excerpt from the Interior Castle. St. Teresa of Avila describes the state of a soul that has attained Spiritual Marriage. When I read it today, I clearly saw the state of the martyrs around the world.

      ..." A king is living in His palace: many wars are waged in his kingdom and many other distressing things happen there, but he remains where he is despite them all. So it is here: although in the other Mansions there are many disturbances and poisonous creatures, and the noise of all this can be heard, nobody enters this Mansion and forces the soul to leave it; and, although the things which the soul hears cause it some distress, they are not of a kind to disturb it or to take away its peace, for the passions are already vanquished, and thus are afraid to enter there because to do so would only exhaust them further. Our whole body may be in pain, yet if our head is sound the fact that the body is in pain will not cause it to ache as well..."

      It became clear to me today, that there is no need to look back into history for guidance on this as present day Christianity offers the reader the opportunity to see the wonders of those who reach such degrees of sanctity. In 2016, an estimated 90,000 Christians worldwide died for the faith. And, in the past 100 years, more Christians died for the faith than in all centuries combined prior. Pondering the realization of the magnitude of grace in our century, in the midst of such tribulation is hard to wrap the mind around. But, hopefully, the heart will enlarge as we consider all things for the glory of God.

     I have found myself asking God often to give me the grace of courage as I read the stories from around the world of the faithful being put to death or imprisoned. Frequently, the Song of Songs comes to me during this inner battle of fears. I will say little verses as they arise, most frequently,
" Set me as a seal upon Thy heart. For, greater than death is Love... Deep waters cannot quench Love, nor, floods sweep it away...."  ( Song of Songs 8:6-7)

    
     But, this past Holy Week, the scripture that took hold within me and would not refrain was also from the Song of Songs.  " My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the wall, show me your face, let your voice sound in my ears." I recalled that  Saint Gregory the Great has compared the "clefts of the rock" to the wounds of Christ . For, Christ is the Rock.  Thinking of how the human wounds of our Lord, have brought the tender mercies of the divinity , I have often found the most shelter within these sacred clefts. Recently, while speaking about the victims of  terrorism, someone asked me  where was a safe place to live, I responded, " The only safe place left to live is in the wounds of Christ."

     Still, as each day passed this Holy Week, the scripture verse above  just kept playing over and over in my mind, like a song set to  constant replay. It did not want to quit. So, today, I returned to reread what Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote on the verse. Following is an excerpt of his Sermon 61 on the Song of Songs. Here, he profoundly expresses a soul in the Seventh Mansions of the Interior Castle, which also beautifully expresses the soul of the martyrs and their Beloved Saviour. In essence, the soul in the Seventh Mansions, dies to itself for the love and glory of God.  I felt in my heart that God kept giving me the verse this Holy Week to lead me to the Mansion of the Martyrs. And, just to give this beautiful writing of Saint Bernard for the consolation of the worldwide Christian persecution.

    " ....I shall leave the cities and dwell in the rock I shall be as the dove resting in the highest points of the cleft, so that like Moses, in his cleft of the rock , I may be able to see at least the back of the Lord as He passes by....One day, He will show His face in its dignity and glory, now let Him show the back of His gracious concern. He is great in His Kingdom, but so gentle on the cross... The back of His back is pale gold. Why should He not grow pale in death?...The foolishness of God is wiser than men. Gold is the Word, gold is wisdom. This gold discolored itself, concealing the form of God and displaying the form of a servant. It also discolored the Church...So then, her back is like pale gold, because she did not blush at the swarthiness of the Cross, she was not terrified by the bitterness of the Passion, she did not flee from the ugliness of the wounds. She even takes joy in them and hopes that her last end may bear their likeness. Accordingly, she hears these words ' My dove in the clefts of the rock.', because all her affections are preoccupied with the wounds of Christ; she abides in them by constant meditation. From this comes endurance for martyrdom, for this her immense trust in the Most High. The martyr need not be afraid to raise her bloody and bruised face to Him by whose wounds she is healed, to present to Him a glorious likeness of His death, even in the paleness of gold. Why should she fear, since the Lord Himself, says to her,: 'show me your face'? ....While gazing on the Lord's wounds...the martyr remains jubilant and triumphant though her whole body is mangled...Where then, is the soul of a martyr? In a safe place; in the rock, of course; in the heart of Jesus, of course, in wounds open for it to enter. Left to itself, it would not endure the pain; it would be overpowered and reject the faith. But, now that it dwells in the rock is it any wonder if it endures as rock does?...From the rock therefore comes the courage of the martyr, from it the power to drink the Lord's cup....'For the joy of the Lord is our strength..."

        In Loving memory of the faithful martyrs worldwide. Following are videos from 15 countries.  Warning: Parts of some of these videos are brutal. We know scripture teaches us that ' He who dies in Christ, shall also rise in Christ.'  My deepest and sincere sympathies extend to all the faithful who are suffering from the Christian persecution and have lost loved ones. " Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

                                           Martyrs in Lybia
                                           Martyrs of North Korea
                                           Martyrs in Egypt
                                           Martyrs in Nigeria
                                            Martyrs in Syria
                                           Martyrs In India
                                           Martyrs In China
                                           Martyrs In Iraq
                                           Martyrs In Saudi Arabia
                                           Martyrs in Malaysia
                                           Martyrs in Afghanistan
                                           Martyrs In Somalia
                                           Martyrs In Sudan
                                           Martyrs In Iran
                                           Martyrs In Yemen
                                           Voices of the Martyrs
                                          
 The Christian persecution is worldwide. Following, is the link to the World Watch of Christian Persecution: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/


    

As the West, Oozes Into the Sea

                                  As the West, Oozes Into the Sea

In the past 100 years, more Christians died for the faith, than in all prior centuries combined.
In 2016, an estimated 90,000 Christians were put to death for their faith in Christ.
Since the Islamic Caliphate was declared in 2014, Christians are nearly extinct in the Middle East. Then, under the disguise of immigration, Islamic terrorists have infiltrated all over Europe. Many Christians were thrown overboard on their way by Muslims. Less than 3% of all immigrants fleeing are Christian. Christian women are being raped all over Europe. It is only a matter of time, America shall suffer the same fate. But, as Christians, we know, in the end, Christ prevails. Though, this poem is dark, it is also light, to remind all Christians, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Glory of the Most High.

                  

                                           Art and Poetry : Copyright 2016/2017  Maryann D'Amico



         Here, there...no-where to flee,
     As the West, oozes into the sea.
Is this our final destiny?

We are burning.
We are yearning.
We are discerning.

To the tune of the Titanic.
We are sinking.
We are drinking.
We are thinking.

As we slowly plunge into the abyss,
Here, there... no-where...to flee,
As the West, oozes into the sea.

Only in pain, can we find ourselves, again.
We are dreaming.
We are screaming.
We are gleaming.

In distant visions of heaven and earth,
We are weeping.
We are sleeping.
We are creeping.

In an ever fading American Dream,
Here, there and no-where, to flee.
As the West, oozes into the sea.

Only in pain, can we find ourselves, again.
Our nation, scattered.
Our heads, splattered.
Our lives, shattered.

The one door left, is all that matters.
Where earth shall be clinging.
Where heavens are singing.
Where Christ is bringing...

Here, there and everywhere...
The wisest  place to flee...
The Merciful Heart of He.

Oh! How terrible; yet, wonderful,
To live in a century,
Where the most saints ever did flee,
For the greater glory of He!

Here, there and everywhere,
As the West oozes into the sea,
Saints all over the globe, rise up!
For the greater glory of He!









Thursday, October 6, 2016

Through the Dark Night to the Mystical Noontide


Through the Dark Night to the Mystical Noontide

Dedicated to Christians suffering for the faith worldwide.

There is no Light that I can see.
I believe in God.
But, He has left me
In the darkness.
In Sorrow.
In Distress.
Crosses beyond my strength to carry.
Suffering for Him.
But, is seems, He no longer loves me.
Buried alive.
Broken beyond repair.

None believed me.
The cross to accept misunderstandings.
Falsely accused.
The cross to accept misrepresentations.
Forgotten.
The cross to accept rejection.
Years of work ruined by another.
The cross to accept injustice without bitterness.
Sins too many to count.
The cross to confess many failures.
Stripped of my belongings  as public property.
The cross to accept the humiliations.
Hardened hearts choosing never to forgive.
The cross to ask God to forgive them.
Expected to do the impossible.
The cross to be contrite for my self loathing.
Crushed, broken, shaken, stripped, crucified.

Wanting to be like Christ.
But, The Way of the Cross I have failed miserably.
Fighting battles beyond my capacities.
Only He can win the battles.
Meeting failure after failure.
Despising my work.
No money. No possessions.
But, He supplies my daily needs.
Hidden in obscurity.
My credits all robbed or destroyed.
I can only hope...
My fruits are in the shade.
In my Secret Heart where He abides.

This Season of Night testing me to the max.
How I fear my failures in the Dark Night!
My spirit is a Dark Moon and a Dry River.
My garden is withered away.
Discouraged and defeated.
Desolation is my daily bread.
Understanding Job now,
" I looked for good; but, only evil came."
" I looked for light; but, only found darkness."
At noon, I stumble as if it were midnight.
My daily prayer, " Arise, Oh Holy Light in this dark night!"

I surrendered to Him and was led to the wilderness.
He left me to myself to stumble drastically.
That I may find in myself nothingness.
And, in Him, everything.
This darkness was only myself.
For, only in Him is there Light.
How He has shown me,
             " I am dark; but, lovely." (song of songs)
Indeed, I am dark as night!
Do not look at me.
You shall only find darkness.
Behold, Him!
The Way, the Truth and the Life!

He weakened me.
He humbled me.
That I may know the Truth.
That I may serve Truth.
That I may love Truth.
That I may surrender wholly to Truth.
He melted me in the Fires of Suffering.
Only torture could lead my troubled soul to Truth.
At the end of the day, I am only a sinner.
I am only darkness.
I am only misery.

This Spiritual Depression,
These Chambers of Darkness,
Are within my head.
But, deep within my soul,
Is Joy!
I know it because I have not been driven to despair!
This profound spiritual depression is not fatal!
In solitude I lost all, including myself!
I can no longer be who I was.
The Darkness profoundly changed me.
I asked Him to tell me where He lays down at Noontide.
"Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
                        where you make it to lie down at noon."       (song of songs)
He led me to storms with rains overflowing the rivers.
Then, to sun shining deep into the rivers.
He forced me to lose the flocks I had been following.
That I may someday lay down at noon.

But, the Royal Road to Noontide is the Cross.
There is no other way.
And, if He had to take the cross, carry it and be crucified.
Than, I should ask for nothing less.
Knowing, "He that dies with Christ shall also rise."
And, soon the Mystical Noontide is coming.
Until then, all that matters is...
To Know Him,
To Believe in Him,
To Hope in Him,
To Love Him,
To Serve Him..
For, "only in God is my soul at rest."




Monday, April 11, 2016

The Little Way Through the Interior Castle:Metaphysics ,The Resurrection of Christ and His Presence On Earth Right Now

 
"From the Cross to the Eucharist" By: Artist Maryann D'Amico 
This work is derived from a photograph I took of a large crucifix that hangs over the altar in the Chapel of the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA . A very special thanks to the saintly Mother Barbara for permission to photograph the chapel. All original images and derivative images of the chapel will be included in the DVD of the , " Symphony of the Interior Castle."

Receiving over 4,700 views overnight of the abstract composition above was a nice surprise! That is the most views I ever received overnight for one of the compositions of the " Symphony of the Interior Castle." I posted it in the Abstract Art Community on G+ that I enjoy being a member of.
When I posted the composition in the Abstract Art Community, I did not say what it is because I wanted to see if I would get any comments of people's impressions without suggesting what it really is. 
One person commented on the impression of the composition that it was a manifestation of 
" teleportation." This was very interesting to me and surprising. According to the Wikipedia :"Quantum teleportation is a process by which quantum information (e.g. the exact state of an atom or photon) can be transmitted (exactly, in principle) from one location to another, with the help of classical communication and previously shared quantum entanglement between the sending and receiving location. " 
The science of quantum physics is truly incredible with all that has been discovered in this century about it. It is fascinating to me. However, I was not actually thinking of teleportation when I composed this work. Though, on a subconscious level, I understand the nature of my work is spiritual and operates on the metaphysical realities. And, God is the beginning and end of all things created, including quantum physics, teleportation, sacred geometry and metaphysics. To me, the sciences are not separated from art. Art manifests science. But, without God, neither the arts, nor the sciences would even be. And, I also believe we cannot separate any of the academics of art which manifest both seen and unseen realities. It is the Vocation of the Catholic Artist to manifest the unseen realities in the Kingdom of God and to attribute all the good that is created to Him.For when we separate the academics of art from God, we lose great opportunities to understand Him and the world we live in.
Getting back to the composition: What the composition really is , is derived from a photo I took of huge crucifix that hangs above the sacred altar of the Carmelite Monastery Chapel in Philadelphia. As I was working on the image, a large circle was formed from the digital art software while I was trying to work with the lighting of the image. I was surprised by this. Then, I thought it looked like the Holy Communion Host and Christ reappearing not as crucified but as risen and now present on earth in Holy Communion. The greatest thing about Abstract Art is that it teaches me, I don't teach it. So, I study each composition and contemplate any spiritual understandings within it. And, that is what I saw in this composition. So, I gradually reduced the image, so that Christ was being slowly dissolved into the Host . The title of the composition is " From the Cross to the Eucharist."


The Catholic faith teaches that at the Last Supper the Lord gave us the Eucharist and told us that He would be present in the Blessed Sacrament on earth until the end of time. So, in this process of creating my art, by dissolving it into a recreation,, from the same form, a new form is present , yet, in essence it remains the same substance. It's like creating a " DIGITAL SCULPTURE" electronically.That's the only way I can explain it, though I never heard of the expression of a digital sculpture.
Quoting from the Wikipedia," Quantum teleportation provides a mechanism of moving a qubit from one location to another, without having to physically transport the underlying particle that a qubit is normally attached to." So, I can see how the commenter of my art could see the process of teleportation in what I was trying to manifest as the resurrection of Christ and His new form on earth in the Blessed Sacrament. I was shocked by the individual who commented he was being 
" teleported" by looking at my art. This insight was excellent. Following is a link from a Catholic perspective, of the relationship of metaphysics to theology.


Excerpt From the Catholic Encyclopedia ..." metaphysics, as Aristotle pointed out, culminates in the discussion of the existence and nature of God.God is the object of theology. It is only natural, therefore, that metaphysics and theology should have many points of contact, and that the latter should rely on the former. Finally, since all truth is one, both in the source from which it is derived, and in the subject, the human mind, which it adorns, there must be a kinship between two sciences which, like theology and metaphysics, treat of the most important conceptions of the human mind. The difference in the manner of treatment, theology relying on revelation, and metaphysics on reason alone, does not affect the unity of purpose and the final harmony of the conclusions of the two sciences...."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Today, continuing  to journey through the Interior Castle. Now entering the Seventh Mansions in the Castle! The following is an excerpt for the Interior Castle by Saint Theresa of Avila:   
      Now, when His Majesty is pleased to grant the soul the aforementioned favour of this Divine Marriage, He first of all brings it into His own Mansion. And His Majesty is pleased that it should not be as on other occasions, when He has granted it raptures, in which I certainly think it is united with Him, as it is in the above-mentioned Prayer of Union, although the soul does not feel called to enter into its own centre, as here in this Mansion, but is affected only in its higher part. Actually it matters little what happens: whatever it does, the Lord unites it with Himself, but He makes it blind and dumb, as He made Saint Paul at his conversion,[215] and so prevents it from having any sense of how or in what way that favour comes which it is enjoying; the great delight of which the soul is then conscious is the realization of its nearness to God. But when He unites it with Him, it understands nothing; the faculties are all lost.
        But in this Mansion everything is different. Our good God now desires to remove the scales from the eyes of the soul,[216] so that it may see and understand something of the favour which He is granting it, although He is doing this in a strange manner.It is brought into this Mansion by means of an intellectual vision,[217] in which, by a representation of the truth in a particular way, the Most Holy Trinity reveals Itself, in all three Persons.[218] First of all the spirit becomes enkindled and is illumined, as it were, by a cloud of the greatest brightness. It sees these three Persons, individually, and yet, by a wonderful kind of knowledge which is given to it, the soul realizes that most certainly and truly all these three Persons are one Substance and one Power and one Knowledge and one God alone; so that what we hold by faith the soul may be said here to grasp[219] by sight, although nothing is seen by the eyes, either of the body or of the soul,[220] for it is no imaginary vision.
Here all three Persons communicate Themselves to the soul and speak to the soul and explain to it those words which the Gospel attributes to the Lord -- namely, that He and the Father and the Holy Spirit will come to dwell with the soul which loves Him and keeps His commandments." 

The following link will include the entire chapter:


      I don't think I can comment at length on this chapter because, I have never had the experience of all three Persons of the Trinity speaking to me at once. So, I will leave that in the hand of the Saint to speak herself. But, I can say that when I saw the this image below for the first time, I said out loud immediately, that explains the possibility of the Trinity! And, I saw clearly without a doubt how the Three Persons are One. Once I saw the image, I wanted to paint it. And, that is how, my " Symphony of the Interior Castle" began. I painted the image on a huge canvas. And, when it was completed. in prayers, I was given the name, "Symphony of the Interior Castle."  And, since that day, I have done over 1000 images for the work. 
      So, I can see how in one moment's time we can see the the Trinity and I understand the words of the Saint, "... First of all the spirit becomes enkindled and is illumined, as it were, by a cloud of the greatest brightness. It sees these three Persons, individually, and yet, by a wonderful kind of knowledge which is given to it, the soul realizes that most certainly and truly all these three Persons are one Substance and one Power and one Knowledge and one God alone;..."
       I later found out that Saint Augustine used the image to explain the essence of how the Three Persons can be One God yet distinctly different persons. In addition, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux has translated Sacred Geometry and this form is the most fundamental  form of all of Sacred Geometry. Catholic Churches all over the world have been constructed using Sacred Geometry and so I then understood I was to photograph the Churches related to my spiritual journey to be most accurate of relating my journey through the Interior Castle.

     Please Note: I am against freemasonry , corruption in the music industry and New Age religion. While I understand principles of Sacred Geometry have been used for evil purposes by Freemasons , the music industry and  New Age philosophy, Sacred Geometry itself is not and cannot of itself be evil. God created the world with it and said it was good. And, I am against any denomination or industry that uses what God intended for good to do evil with and try to take away the glory that belongs to God, the Creator of all.  





Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Little Way Through the Interior Castle: The Battle for Souls Amid Political Correctness With Islam and the Crisis of the Loss of Love

Dangers of Political Correctness

    Political correctness has put us all in danger of thinking correctly. On some level, we all need to become more aware that we are being told what we "should " believe and many  have lost or have never even gained the capacity for critical thinking due to mass media indoctrination and politicians. A reasonable amount of "stepping back" from the so called " experts" and television is needed to even begin to think freely. Political correctness and fear are the driving forces that are reducing the human mind to shadows of what " should, could, would be if..." and over generalizations and cliche's of common phrases are repeatedly stated so frequently that people are brainwashed and incapable of thinking clearly or for themselves. 

     It is good to try to deprogram and empty the mind to counteract this zombie like state. Then, step by step look at the language we are using to clarify if we have an accurate understanding of what we are even saying and if it is true. For, Truth is Truth and it does not change. And, Political correctness is not Truth. It is tainted with deceit and facades like a monster wearing a mask  of a prince. It's time to peel the mask off, see what we are really looking at. Then, deal with the monster as we must in order to protect all of humanity. Try to take some time just to study the language itself without " expert views and news" and then, look at the trials the world is facing with the Islamic State. 

    These hypocritical masked monsters who want to mask themselves as some sort of victims of injustice, hate crimes and discrimination commit the very crimes they charge others with. Ask yourself if the Islamic State and the teachings of the Koran are the perpetrators against true justice and human rights, I have done this deprogramming and asked myself about numerous issues surrounding Islam. And, I have concluded that numerous Islamic teachings are unjust, discriminatory against all people who will not follow Islam, that it is filled with verses that incite hate crimes worldwide against non-Muslims, that the teaching in the Koran defy human rights, especially  for women and little girls , and that the teachings of the Koran go against justice by making crimes against humanity appear as heroic deeds, when in fact, they are committing horrific crimes.

 Deprogram and Define the Words



2.-What Is a Hate Crime?

 Hate Crimes defined by FBI- “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias.





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Is it a hate crime to hate crime?



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My Heart is Love and Prayers 

for Muslim Women and Little Girls


    I was shopping the other day and was standing in line when a friendly Muslim woman began a conversation with me over an Italian pair of shoes. She looked very kindly was soft spoken . I genuinely liked the woman and enjoyed the conversation. And, I had a sense she genuinely felt the same. Human to human there we stood on a ground of peace and freedom talking about the Italian shoes. She pointed out to me, initially, that she was Muslim, as if she thought I would may not speak to her because of that fact. Her eyes were searching to see my response. My heart felt badly as I could only imagine how it may feel to be a Muslim woman in America with all the politics of ISIS on the foreground. My heart has, from the start of my prayers for the Middle East, been especially for the women and children ( especially the young girls)  of Islam, who are being oppressed. I thought of all the horrors committed against the little girls of Islam and the women of Islam as I spoke to the woman. There were many questions I would have liked to ask her. But, there was no time and we said goodbye.

    This was my second encounter this week  surrounding an Islamic woman. Earlier in the week, I had a long conversation with an African American woman whose sister was suffering from a demonic oppression of the false prophet Muhammad. The woman I spoke with was a Christian. She stated her sister was "normally a Christian."  However, "when she gets sick, she becomes filled with the spirit of Mohammad and cries out that she is him and that he is in hell." The woman then asked me to watch a video on You Tube entitled, " The Prophet Muhammad Is In Hell."  I watched the video. It is someone  under the demonic influence of the false prophet who is screaming like a demon that he is the false prophet Mohammad and he is in hell. I do not suggest anyone keep the volume on if you view this. The text alone is horrible enough. After I viewed this horrible video, I exchanged a link and gave the woman a site that has many prayers for anyone suffering from demonic oppression or oppression and I assured her of my prayers for her sister and her family.

   I was not surprised  that the woman was sent to me and told me her story about her sister.  This year, for me, marks 41 years of the interior practice of the Little Way. This practice is primarily a hidden life of prayer, attempts to practice virtue and the offering of sacrifices for the salvation of souls so that all shall come to know Christ, believe in Christ and be saved by Christ. This Redemptive Suffering is done, in unison, with the Lord, Jesus Christ. Please, read these links to gain insight into this spirituality if you do not understand what this really means. But, since I have been praying for all victims of the Islamic State worldwide, employing the Little Way to do so, I knew it was no accident the woman was sent to me. And, I have prayed for that situation since, 

                                                             What Is a Victim Soul?

     Today, coming to the eleventh chapter of the sixth mansions in the Interior Castle, we come to the Mansion of the Dart of True Love. This chapter can be described in one word, Lovesick.
Wounded By Love The Interior Castle Mansions Six: Eleventh Chapter By: Saint Teresa of Avila  I was reminded of the Bride in the Song of Songs. " Set me as a seal upon Your heart. For greater than death is Love. Deep waters cannot quench Love nor floods sweep it away. " In addition, " “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love. Sustain me  with cakes of raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick” .  And, " Under the apple tree, He raised me up." Each one of these expressions of the Bride in the Song of Songs is about suffering for the one you love. They are also expressions of redemptive love and suffering for love .

    What is this Mansion of Love? It is a purgatory of the heart that longs, deeply longs, for "The One" who has wounded the heart, It is a terrifying place when the one who desires the other cannot get to the other.  It is nothingness to live without the one who has wounded the heart with Love. It is an emptiness so terrible and frightening to feel abandoned by the one who was loved so deeply. In this mansion, pains of love can be agonizing. The heart is wounded by an invisible arrow of Love. No one else can comfort a heart wounded by the dart, except the One who wounded it. And, this One cannot be replaced, even if many attempts by others  to console the wounded heart, it is no use. The lover wants the One who wounded it and is without consolation. In this lovesick heart, the lover is willing suffer all things for the one who is loved. The floods, the raisin cakes and the apples all symbolize the sufferings of a soul in this state. The lover realizes that floods cannot sweep the love away. And, embraces the suffering for the One who is loved realizing that is the Only One who can heal and satisfy the wounded heart. The soul realizes that to love the One matters more than anything or anyone else in the world and that the heart will not rest except in the One. The soul is a Victim for and of Love. 

      Looking at the world today, with all it's political correctness, have we explored our souls to look at truth? to look at real justice? to look at real human rights?  Political correctness does not even begin to look at real love. It is a lie. And, Satan is the father of all lies. So, it cannot be good. It is faulted from it's foundation. It defies reason, logic and sanity by stripping souls of the dignity and respect that comes from a foundation of honesty. For, there can be no true justice or freedom when we are bound by a chain of lies. 

     Are we willing to make prayers and sacrifices for the Love of God and neighbor? Are we willing to take up our cross and follow Him who is Truth? Who is the Way? Who is the Life?  Where there is sin , freedom is bound by a chain of pain that leads to destruction of souls. Love is stronger than death itself. It is the strongest force in the Universe. It is the greatest force known to mankind. Where do we find " The One" who heals the wounds? Are we willing to suffer for the sake of Love? Are we willing to take off the masks and reveal the truths of hatred that divides us and restore humanity to what is real again?  Has God abandoned us or have we abandoned God? Where are the men of God in the midst of the horrors the world is facing? Are we willing to lay down our lives for the love of God and one another?  
     
     In conclusion, I personally do not hate Muslims or hate any group of people. In fact, I have done repeated retreats for the suffering people of the Middle East.  And, I realize not all Muslims are terrorists, It is not my intention in this blog to incite any types of hatred or violence toward anyone. Hatred and violence is not the answer. Rather, it is Love that is the answer. Love! However, Love does not permit the genocide of Christians, the rape of women and children, the beatings of women, the behaedings of people who dont agree with us, the enslavement of individuals, sexual slavery. I do not see that the Koran is bringing Love to the world. I see it is bringing violence, enslavement, death and abuse of women and children. Thus, Islam cannot possibly be the answer for humanity. Islam is a cult that has killed millions upon millions of people since its' inception. It is not a religion of peace, And, really, is not a true religion at all. Religion should lift the heart and mind up to love and peace.
Who is the Prince of Peace? Jesus Christ! What was his command? " Love one another as I have loved you." How did He love us? " Redemptive Suffering. He died for us. " Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, There is no other way that leads to salvation for humanity. So, in this Battle for Souls, let us take up our cross, follow Him and love one another as He loved us. 
















Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Little Way Through the Interior Castle:On the Sixth Mansions of the Interior Castle

            Art by Maryann D'Amico from a photograph I took of a Crucifix which hangs above the altar Carmelite Monastery of Philadelphia. Special thanks  to Mother Barbara who gave permissions. The quote is by Thomas Kemphis from the classic spiritual book, " The Imitation of Christ."

    I never know at what point I will have time to continue writing the work, " The Little Way Through the Interior Castle." Nor, do I have time to go back and review what has already been written or to edit any of my writings.  My bad health is the primary cause among other factors that have occupied so much of my time, primarily composing 1000 images for the , " Symphony of the Interior Castle", in the past six months. My father is in the end stage of cancer, and this work is in collaboration with his classical music, so, the timeline of life and death is short, and I will most likely have many more years to write, while my father will not be here physically much longer. So, please, forgive me for the timeline of this work which is terrible. 
      
     All of life is really, a journey through "The Little Way of the Interior Castle. " Though, many are not even aware or may be indifferent, others, who desire to walk more closely with the Lord, often become more aware of this fact. Who can count the timeline with exactitude? Where does it even begin?  I know I began to walk ,"The Little Way" that was made famous by Saint Therese of Lisieux  two months and nine days before my First Holy Communion in 1975. So, this month of May will be 41 years of my knowledge and awareness of journey of The Little Way Through the Interior Castle.

    However, I am far from boasting about this fact. Rather, I often fear the Lord, thinking how much I have failed on this journey and continue to fail at the walk of holiness. And, with the graces I have been granted in this forty one years, I aught to be a saint by now. But, I am far from it. And, I will be judged more because of all the graces God gave me in a lifetime. The scripture tells us that the just man falls seven times a day, so for sinners like me, I have had only one recourse, that being to constantly throw myself into the Divine Mercy of God and trust Him like a child. All I know for certain is that all of mankind, especially me,  needs salvation and that can only be found in the Merciful Heart of Jesus Christ who is the Way, The Truth and the Life. 

  " What is Truth?" The answer is in the Holy Scriptures John, Chapter 14. When I left off in writing about , " The Little Way Through the Interior Castle", we were in the Sixth Mansions  of " The Interior Castle," by the great Saint Teresa of Avila.   Today, I found myself in the tenth chapter of the great spiritual classic. What a treasure to find in this room of the Interior Castle! It's simply magnificent! Interior Castle: By Saint Teresa of Avila: Sixth Mansions:Chapter 10.

    The Truth is that I am a sinner. You are a sinner. All are sinners, but one, who was and is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For many years, I have had a small group pf individuals who have been running around the community gossiping, spreading slander and committing the crime of the defamation of my character. They have spread things throughout my home town ,church and far beyond. I have met people of whom I never met before and have been told about the rumors. Or, I have been given the cold shoulder from complete strangers, of  whom I was told were a part of the recipients of this gossip club. I cannot even begin to tell you how destructive their behaviours have been to my life. However, it got so bad at one point, I was physically attacked, on an account of a false accusation made about me. I was in or at the hospital in rehabilitation for 6 months after and almost lost my life. It was a part of leading me  to being permanently disabled among a small group of conspirators. That was the final attack. But, I endured many attacks from the false judgments of others who beat me because doctors failed to diagnose me properly and they thought I was telling lies. But in reality, I suffered a spinal cord stroke and brain injury that was not discovered for 15 years. Thus, I understand deeply why the God the Father  commanded, " Thou shall not falsely accuse thy neighbor." And, have seen clearly how this behaviour can lead to breaking another command of God, " Thou shall not kill."  

     Saint Teresa of Avila gives excellent advise of how an individual can respond to the gossip and slander of another in the chapter listed above. She herself had to suffer much on account of the judgments of gossip clubs and set out to reform the monasteries back to places of prayer and not nuns running their mouths with townspeople and among themselves.  But as I write, I am reminded of the teachings of another great saint, Saint Frances de Sales on the topic of gossip, slander, false accusations and the defamation of another's character. This excellent link provides his great teachings. Francis de Sales on Gossip and Slander I believe a combination of the two saints teachings are important on the matters at hand. And, I say this due to years of experience.

     Returning to the Castle, here are Saint Teresa of Avila's  words, that are like bells in the soul, ringing truth!

      "Let us imagine that God is like a very large and beautiful mansion or palace. This palace, then, as I say, is God Himself. Now can the sinner go away from it in order to commit his misdeeds? Certainly not, these abominations and dishonourable actions and evil deeds which we sinners commit are done within the palace itself -- that is, within God. Oh, fearful thought, worthy of deep consideration and very profitable for us who are ignorant and unable to understand these truths -- for if we could understand them we could not possibly be guilty of such foolish presumption!

     Let us consider, sisters, the great mercy and long-suffering of God in not casting us straight into the depths, and let us render Him the heartiest thanks and be ashamed of worrying over anything that is done or said against us. It is the most dreadful thing in the world that God our Creator should suffer so many misdeeds to be committed by His creatures within Himself, while we ourselves are sometimes worried about a single word uttered in our absence and perhaps not even with a wrong intention.

     Oh, human misery! How long will it be, daughters, before we imitate this great God in any way? Oh, let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we are doing anything whatever by merely putting up with insults! Let us endure everything, and be very glad to do so, and love those who do us wrong; for, greatly as we have offended this great God, He has not ceased loving us, and so He has very good reason for desiring us all to forgive those who have wronged us. I assure you, daughters, that, although this vision passes quickly, it is a great favour for the Lord to bestow it upon those to whom He grants it if they will try to profit by having it habitually present in their minds. " - Interior Castle: Sixth Mansions: Chapter 10 By: Saint Teresa of Avila

     I confess that I have not always endured insults gladly or loved those who have done me wrong. But, I have made great efforts to do so. And, God has not ceased loving me. Rather, God has been good to me, in spite of my many failures. And, I have some understanding of the visions Saint Teresa of Avila explains that take place in the Sixth Mansions. The vision God gave me for the , " Symphony of the Interior Castle", came in an instant. It was so perfectly described by Saint Teresa of Avila in the first sentence above of her quote. After I completed the original work on canvas I was given the title in an unforgettable moment in time. 
     
     

     I sat in the room where I painted it alone. With the ears and eyes of the soul, the Divine senses manifested. The eyes of the soul revealed this painting as both Genesis and the earth in its' entirety.
Some scientists now claim the earth is possibly a huge large crystal in form of a geometrical dodecahedron. And, then saw all the Churches in my life as one , including those in many other countries. And, clear as a bell ringing, the ears of the soul spoke the title. " This is the Interior Castle." 

    I never know exactly what will be painted or what it is. My paintings teach me. And, I have always permitted myself to be led to discover more than I create by God's grace and mercy. I later found out that Saint Bernard of Clairvaux had studied and written about was is known as Sacred Geometry. And, many of the Catholic Churches around the world are designed using Sacred Geometry. To me, it is obvious that God created he Genesis of the Flower of Life. And, thus, He created Sacred Geometry. However, one must be cautious in this study as some have used this for evil purposes, even attempting to make the geometry itself some sort of cult of a false god. And, history has shown us this because, some who came to learn Scared Geometry broke away from the Church and began the worship of the false god. That mockery of god is horrific. The false god, named Baphomet, presents himself as the Alpha and the Omega. The demonic entity is a large goat with horns but arms of a human. Many in the music industry worship this false god and are trying to pretend this evil devil as the true god. So, great care of a soul must be taken so as not to worship any false god. These individuals attempt to steal the glory of God, the Divine Holy Trinity, and mock Him. No! There is only One God, the Trinity. And, to ponder the words of Saint Teresa, with deep consideration and prayer safeguards against such an evil. Thus, I repeat those words here.

    "Let us imagine that God is like a very large and beautiful mansion or palace. This palace, then, as I say, is God Himself. Now can the sinner go away from it in order to commit his misdeeds? Certainly not, these abominations and dishonourable actions and evil deeds which we sinners commit are done within the palace itself -- that is, within God. Oh, fearful thought, worthy of deep consideration and very profitable..." - Saint Teresa of Avila

     Christ has said, " In my Father's house, there are many  mansions." And, indeed there are! In a moment of time, I saw this Truth.  And, I saw all the churches where I experienced the grace of God in my lifetime. In time, I also understood something else with the ears of the soul, " Do this in Honour your father and your mother." I saw all the good my parents taught me about God and all the Churches that led me closer to God. In prayer, I saw the Interior Castle expanding further and further. I wondered if it had an end. But, so long as we are under  the grace of the One True God, The Holy Trinity is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning and the end.  

     So, what are we to do with our voices and talents as we leave behind all the negative that we may have experienced? Currently, we are in the Easter Season of the worldwide Catholic Church. This is a joyous time to use our mouths, not to do harm to anyone, rather, to proclaim the Good News that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead that all mankind may believe in Him and have eternal life. It is a great time to renew our faith and manifest our faith using our voices,time and talents to serve God and manifest what we believe in. And, what do we believe? The Nicene Creed proclaims our faith in a summary of the things we believe. The Nicene Creed

     What do we believe regarding the presence of Christ on earth since He rose from the dead?
This mystery remains with the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament. Christ is present now on earth. The following link contains the dogma of the Catholic faith on the Eucharist. This is the Good News to proclaim! The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist 

    In conclusion, this Mansion of the Interior Castle leads to the realization of the great need for humility  and truth in the spiritual life. Saint Teresa of Avila says it very well:

     " I was wondering once why Our Lord so dearly loved this virtue of humility; and all of a sudden -- without, I believe, my having previously thought of it -- the following reason came into my mind: that it is because God is Sovereign Truth and to be humble is to walk in truth, for it is absolutely true to say that we have no good thing in ourselves, but only misery and nothingness; and anyone who fails to understand this is walking in falsehood. He who best understands it is most pleasing to Sovereign Truth because he is walking in truth. May it please God, sisters, to grant us grace never to fail to have this knowledge of ourselves. Amen. "

" From the Cross to the Blessed Sacrament" By: Maryann D'Amico
Special thanks to the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Casia and the Carmelite Monastery of Philadelphia for permission to photograph.
Image of Blessed Sacrament by Maryann D'Amico derived from 
photo by Richard Steele 
at Saint Rita's.
Image of the Crucifix derived from photo by Maryann D'Amico at Carmelite Monastery


Have  Blessed Easter Season!