St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

June 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Christ is Risen!

I have loved reading John Sanford’s books with his deeply spiritual and psychological insights informed by his expertise as a Jungian analyst. He appreciates the metaphorical richness of Holy Scripture and manages to bring it out in his wonderful book THE KINGDOM WITHIN. 

Here is one of his insights I particularly love as he speaks of the spiritual calling of us all: “to lift the cover off our souls, to peer into the depths below, and, using the teachings of Jesus as a rope, to draw upward the timeless, renewing, healing waters of God.” 

The title of his book reveals why he believes this is so and is a partial quote of the Lord’s first sermon recorded in Mark’s Gospel, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.”

The Holy Father and Mothers often call this journey within “the descent of the mind into the heart”, that is, the turning inward of our gaze that is most often directed towards the things of this world.  Jesus speaks of this as entering the closet to pray.  I believe this is the missing element in most of our lives. We rarely, if ever, spend time looking into our souls.

This inward, spiritual journey begins when we recognize that there is a “within”, there is a soul whose life we hardly know. There is an internal world, rich and varied, full of wonders and surprises, peopled, as St. Isaac of Syria writes, “with angels and demons”, that is with light and darkness, and there in the midst of it all, perhaps, we might say, in the deepest depths, is the kingdom of heaven and Christ, His Father and the Spirit. 

This is the journey of our lives. This is the pilgrimage that matters, from head to heart, a short distance and an infinite horizon. The Paschal pilgrimage, in fact, never ends.

With love in Christ,
Fr. Antony