Adventure of Faith Tells The Life Story of a person who was certain from her very youth that her priority was God - and who consciously chose a life of celibacy and devotion to support her priority. The book presents the reader with a gripping account of the author's many steps in her life's adventure as, driven by her faith and an unflinching commitment to experience for herself its deepest meaning, she watched her life unfold.
The reader travels with the author from her early childhood days in pre-war Germany to her life as a Benedictine Catholic nun living the secluded discipline of life in a convent. We accompany her through her years spent as a Christian nun in a Hindu ashram in central India, to her discovery of the inner path of Sural Sbabd Yoga and the need for a spiritual Master to guide her in inner practice so she could learn from him to experience God within herself From India we return with the author to her land of birth as she comes back to Germany at her Master's request. She then leaves her religious order and is called upon for the first time as an adult to live her life in the maelstrom of normal worldly activity, while retaining her priority of daily spiritual practice.
As the author reflects on the many challenges she faced on the way, we witness her ever-widening perspectives and growing understanding of the relationship between the multiplicity of outward-focused religion and the oneness of the inner world of spirit. With our protagonist, we are confronted with the contradictions presented by the many religions in the name of one God. Equally, we share with her the resolution of these contradictions as, through her association with her Master, her Christian faith comes full circle at a deeper level and she experiences the Universal Christ and the Word incarnate in a profound and inner way.
Spiritual reality cannot be described in words: this is the lesson of all teachers of spirit. What truth is at this most subtle of levels can only be hinted at, suggested, or at most, indicated. Even in normal life it is an experience shared by most of us that the same words are understood differently by different people, for our interpretation of meaning is necessarily conditioned by our individual experience. Even the grammar and structure of different languages - being intimately connected with the cultures they express - indicate through their variations the multiple perspectives of humankind.
Adventure of Faith is one person's perspective of her lifelong quest for God, expressed within the context of her particular background and Christian culture and her personal experience of the teachings of the Masters. As the author delves deeply into the issues of theology, philosophy, prayer and meditation with which she has had to grapple, she explores the universal behind the bewildering variety of religious doctrines, teachings and meditative practices, making the book most relevant to seekers of that truth which transcends differences and unites, rather than divides.
The book was translated from the original German by the author herself. Some of the quotations she included are from memory or from personal notes made during her life-long search for the divine, rendered, summarized or extracted from the source. Where sources were available, they have been noted at the back of the book, and are referenced by the page number where the quotes occur in this book. When English translations of the material she used were found, these titles have also been noted so English speakers can delve more deeply into the wealth of spiritual literature that echoes the author's adventure. A bibliography of references and their English translations where available has been provided. In addition, background notes on some of the main books and authors cited have been provided.
This story is thrilling not only as the extraordinary travels and personal reflections of a seeker of the divine, but as the inner journey from the particular to the universal. For a sense of the ultimate destination of the adventure presented by this book, we may do no better than to refer to the inspiring words quoted by the author: "I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of itself with me that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, an angel, or even pure soul. Love has befriended Hafiz so completely, it has turned to ash and freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever known."
God always remains an adventure
Whose outcome we do not know.
This Experience, Voiced By The Contemporary Hungarian theologian and writer Ladislaus Bores,' runs through my life like a brightly coloured thread. That is why I have called this book Adventure of Faith, for the term describes my own spiritual journey.
In my early youth I heard the call of God, and through that inner experience God became my fate. That experience completely changed the course of my life. Since that moment my goal has been to encounter him - the One who called me by name and demanded my undivided heart. In the following years I realized more and more that it is truly an adventure to get involved with God and surrender your life unconditionally to him, because you do not know what He will make of it. It is indeed an adventure to step onto the path of abandonment to God, since the way ahead cannot be seen. Only in looking back at the part of the path already travelled does one recognize it as a path. If! had known in advance the countless twists and turns and the steep ridges awaiting me, I would never have had the courage to step on it. Yet the longer I followed this path, the clearer it became to me that there was no turning back.
Outwardly my way led at first into the 'garden in closed" of a Benedictine abbey, and sixteen years later into the 'promised land' of India. Metaphorically speaking, this way took me through deserts and over oceans and high mountain passes, until it ended at the feet of a living true Master. In an awe- inspiring moment I recognized him as the inner guide whom I had been following for so many years, but on reaching this point I realized that this was not the end of my journey. On the contrary, it proved to be the case that my life thus far had been only a phase of development and transformation, preparing me to meet my Master and to step over the threshold to a new dimension of my spiritual life.
This story, which I have written down at the request of my Master, Maharaj Charan Singh of Be as, is a personal one. But I see it as a metaphor for the endeavour of everyone who is sincerely seeking God, true happiness and inner peace. I also believe that my personal experience has much in common with the experience of anyone who is in search of answers to the fundamental human questions: What is the meaning of our life? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Why are there suffering and death in the world?
This book is addressed particularly to Christian readers. As a Christian I would like to share with them the overwhelming experience of discovering the mystic dimension of the Christian religion in the light of the teachings of the Masters: the mystery of the universal Christ and the mystic dimension of the teachings of the Master of Nazareth and of the great Christian feasts. For me, this has been an awesome and profoundly happy revelation.
Beyond that, the path of the Masters provided me with the means not just to deepen my intellectual knowledge of these mysteries, but to make practical progress in coming closer to the fulfilment of the highest aspirations of the Christian faith. Yet regardless of which religion one belongs to and regardless of one's philosophical or cultural background, this book may help one to realize why people start to search for the unnameable and unfathomable. It is because we are spiritual beings dressed in a human body. We have unlimited spiritual potential within ourselves. When we understand this, we consider it to be our highest task as human beings to tread the spiritual path, to free ourselves from existential ignorance about our true nature. Only then will our soul be able to proceed towards her origin, the primal source of all that exists.
The path of the Masters equips seekers of truth with the method needed to spiritualize their life, to attain true self- knowledge and finally to experience the ultimate reality. Realizing the potential of the path of the Masters was a fascinating experience for me, and sharing my experience with others was an important reason for writing this book.
This book is an account of how I, a devout Christian and a Catholic nun, found the path of the Masters. The book gives a short survey of the teachings of the Masters and touches also upon how I have tried to live these teachings in my day-to-day life. Although I learned the way from a contemporary Indian Master, that same way can be discovered in any religion. Most importantly; through my association with my Master, I discovered the mystic way within my own religion, Christianity.
My adventure of faith has not yet come to an end - it has only entered a new phase. The future is still unknown and the path is still steep, and as the years pass I find that it requires much perseverance, determination and an unflinching faith and confidence in the One whose call I heard so many years ago. I have no wish to hide these difficulties from the readers of this book. At the same time, I want to share with them my experience that perseverance on the path of the Masters confers a deep inner peace and an unfading joy that fills me with profound gratitude. The path requires daily meditation, constant vigilance and an untiring search for the Lord, and this cannot be done without a conscious 'Yes' to his will as it manifests itself in all the circumstances of our daily life.
Writing this book has been a wonderful experience for me, as I have watched my adventure of faith running once again like a movie before my eyes. I have become conscious anew of the divine guidance in my life. In looking back at the various phases of this way and in reflecting about so many events and experiences on it, I was able to see patterns that I had not seen before. Although the thought of making the experiences of my adventure of faith accessible to a larger circle had caused a feeling of uneasiness in me, in the course of time my main feeling was one of joy at making my way once again in the company of future readers. That is why I express my hope that this book may provide a captivating read, as well as inspire and encourage readers to pursue their own adventure in search of God.
Finally, I would like to convey my thanks to all who have followed the development of the book with interest and encouragement over the years and who have cooperated in a marvellous way. I specially want to thank the sangat of Munich, who have contributed much to the success of the book by their valuable advice and active support. Now I put this book at the feet of the present Master, our beloved Baba Gurinder Singh, whose guiding hand and encouraging words have enabled me to write and to complete it.
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