Reflections on the Letter of St James | eBOOK
The Practicalities of Spiritual Life
by Rev Mario Schoenmaker
“Count it all joy, brethren, when you meet various trials.” These words could only have been written by James, the brother of our Lord, the “praying man” of Jerusalem. He describes what the spiritual values and ideals we hold dear really look like in every day life. As such it is a very challenging, inspiring and deeply practical letter.
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For a number of years, a small group of people met with Rev Mario on Wednesday mornings to search for God. These were reflective, prayerful meetings, exploring the deeper meaning of scripture. During these meetings, Rev Mario contemplated many sacred texts of the New Testament. In the first three months of 1977, he journeyed through the Letter of St James, exploring the spiritual teachings at its core … teachings like the soul seeks for pain, it seeks to be transformed, therefore count it all joy, brethren, when you meet various trials.
The nine discourses Rev Mario gave have been collected and published and studied over the years by individuals and groups. They introduce us to a spiritual point of view which looks at life in a completely different and liberating way.
Rev Mario’s reflections on these challenging words of St James remain very relevant to our every day application of spiritual values.
(1) Faith and Steadfastness (James 1:1-8)
The meaning of the name James. A servant and a slave. The twelve tribes in the dispersion. Trials and temptations. Joy and charm. Steadfastness. Lacking in nothing. Spiritual insight and prayer. Faith. The waves of the sea.
(2) The Needs of the Soul (James 1:9‑15)
The needs of the soul. Poverty. Riches. Blessed. The trial of initiation and the etheric crown. Stephen. Desire and temptation. Curtailing desires.
(3) Fellowship, Partiality and the Law of Liberty (James 2:1‑13)
Partiality and fellowship. Spiritual conceitedness. The trial period of three years. Faith and stupidity. Poor in spirit. The law of liberty.
(4) Remembrance (James 2:14‑26)
Faith and remembrance. Pure religion. The faith of Abraham. Rahab the Harlot.
(5) The Power of Speech (James 3:1‑12)
Speech. The responsibility of a teacher. Control of the tongue. The power of sound.
(6) Wisdom and Understanding (James 3:13-18)
Wisdom and cleverness. Knowingness: the fullness of faith. The good life. Earthly wisdom. Wisdom from above. Purity. Peaceable. Always have a goal. How to receive this wisdom. The eightfold path of Buddha.
(7) Selfish Wants and the Soul’s Yearning for God (James 4:1‑10)
Problems in the community. Desire and ambition. Security and comfort. Inferiority. Other people ‑ our mirror. Unrest. Ask. Why are you asking? Patience. Meditate on the characteristics of God. God and the world. The yearning of the soul for God. Drawing near to God.
(8) Judge Not, that You Not Be Judged (James 4:11‑17)
The fickleness of feelings. We create our own atmosphere. I'm better than you are. God's truth. A castaway? The responsibility of a pact with God. I shall do what God wills. Your goal, your task in God.
(9) Patience, Prayer and Truth (James 5)
Steadfast in the presence of the Lord. Prayer for strength. The prayer of praise. Confession. Bringing back a wanderer to the truth.
Bible, Christed Life, Prayer, Speech, Faith, Love-in-Action, Spiritual Development, Suffering.