"A Look at the Mystical Prayer & the 12 Steps' Practical Design for Living" with Maria De Los Angeles

This Sunday: A Look at the Mystical Prayer &

the 12 Steps' Practical Design for Living

with Maria De Los Angeles

Join us this Sunday for the last session of our community-led summer series to hear Maria De Los Angeles share the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic and discuss the role it has played in her 12-step recovery.

"Embodying the words in the language of Yeshua has opened a door to a more intimate practice of being deeply present in the world and in relationship to the Beloved," says Maria.

"This talk stems from my ever-deepening study and curiosity -- both personal and academic -- of diverse wisdom traditions and mysticism," she continues. "Based on a peer-led interfaith service I led at Ashley Treatment Center earlier this year, this version is not just for addicts! Holding ourselves accountable in and being of service to the world is forever relevant to all human experience."

Before Sunday, Maria invites you to ponder the following quotes:

“‘Stinking thinking’ is the universal addiction. Substance addictions like alcohol and drugs are merely the most visible form of addiction, but actually we are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and most especially, our patterned way of thinking. . . . . Some form of alternative consciousness is the only freedom from this self and from cultural lies.”

-- Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

“Then the mystery of the cross, then, is this mystery of just being liberated from this deep addiction to the illusion of an ultimately isolated self that has to make it on its own. To realize, I’m in the presence of the love that loves us and takes us to itself. Through that inner process of discipleship, whatever we want to call it, we can come to apatheia to this true sobriety, this deep sobriety, the peace of God that surpasses understanding.”

-- James Finley, Interview with Mark Longhurst, Alumni Quarterly, September 2019, Alumni Quarterly, September 2019

For those unfamiliar with the 12 Steps, read them here.

About Maria: 

Maria de los Angeles is a contemplative and practical mystic who is in grateful recovery. Career-wise, she is an award-winning writer who has published as a journalist, essayist, poet, known also as a trailblazer for social media and blogs. A storyteller at heart, Maria has also made films, performed live, and produced multi-disciplinary concerts focused on poetry and sound healing.

Maria holds an M.A. with Doctoral Studies in English, Literature and Cultural Studies. On the more spiritual path, she is a certified yoga instructor, the founder of the #heartcamp “unconference” and the publisher of the forthcoming Heart-Centered Living News newsletter. She has also been a student of Eckhart Tolle, James Finley and is an explorer of the Gospel of Magdalene.

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Readings for The Coming Sunday

Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.


Aramaic translation of The Lord’s Prayer:

Source - Original translation by Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz from the Peshitta (Syriac-Aramaic) version of Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4 Further reading

O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos, 

You create all that moves in light.

Focus your light within us–make it useful:

As the rays of a beacon show the way.

Create your reign of unity now–

Through our fiery hearts and willing hands.

Your one desire then acts with ours,

As in all light, so in all forms.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:

Subsistence for the call of growing life.

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,

As we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.

Don’t let us enter forgetfulness,

But free us from unripeness.

From you is born all ruling will,

The power and the life to do,

The song that beautifies all,

From age to age it renews.

Truly–power to these statements–

May they be the source from which all my actions grow.

Sealed in trust & faith.


Swedenborg Insight

Divine Love and Wisdom #308

“Can anyone fail to see quite clearly that the goals of creation are useful functions? Simply bear in mind that nothing can arise from God the Creator—nothing can be created, therefore—that is not useful. If it is to be useful, it must be for the sake of others. Even if it is for its own sake, it is still for others, because we are useful to ourselves in order to be fit to be useful to others. Anyone who keeps this in mind can also keep in mind the thought that functions that are truly useful cannot arise from us but from one who brings forth nothing but what is useful—the Lord."

Recap of Last Week:

Hannah: The Way of Prayer

Last week we enjoyed hearing from  Joy T. Barnitz, M.Div, Ph.D., who brought a new perspective to the Biblical story of Hannah and her heartfelt prayer. One of the interesting takeaways from the conversation was the idea of trying prayer while in motion, whether it be while walking, or something as simple as movement of a finger.

We encourage everyone to watch Joy's message, which can be viewed here.

Here is a copy of the musical selection, Canticle of the Turning, from last Sunday:


Thank you, Joy, for your wisdom and insights!

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On Swedenborgian Philosophy:

Spirit Inclusivity

For those of you interested in better understanding Swedenborgian theology, we thought we'd share an excellent summary from one of our contacts, James Barry, Staff Chaplain at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.

Swedenborg’s theology presents the profound motivation behind why Christ was born: for the unconditional love of the human race. All people are universally included in the Divine plan of spiritual development, and none are excluded. This is so all people may be lifted up to understand, and then follow their highest purpose in life. 

Swedenborg lived in a time when many Christians believed all that was necessary for salvation was to adhere to a belief system where faith was more important than charity, and where mysteries of faith remained obscure. With the ardent discipline of a scientist, Swedenborg overturned centuries of misinterpretation of Scripture, and defined a New Age, where Divine love, and reason reveal the precious nature of each human being.  All people are included on the pathway to heaven, and none are excluded by the circumstances of their birth, religion, race, or gender, or sexual expression.

Our world is fragile, vulnerable, and wounded. Bound by love of what is highest, and unconditional love for one another, we can follow our highest spiritual principles and values and do our part each day to help heal the wounds of racism, misogyny, and violence against our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and community. 

Each one of us can say I commit myself to this task, for this is the spirit of inclusion, the Divine value of unconditional love of the human race. 


Overheard on the Grapevine:

Community Updates at CHC

Here are the latest updates from our Church of the Holy City community:


Advancing Our Mission Through Grants

We are proud to report that we successfully submitted our application for the New Pluralists grant today, August 31st. Our proposal was to develop the  Cultural Translators Project, which builds on the mission and experience of our Church community and Ref. Tafel's work in healing divides.

If successful, our Church would be able to provide  “train-the-trainer” experience for high-potential faith and youth leaders who find themselves navigating toxic environments, and to train/coach them as they go into their communities and translate between cultures. Of course what we are offering here is not just a mechanical solution, but a spiritual solution for resolving what we see as a “soul crisis” in the nation’s capital, and the country as a whole. 

Just as we were finalizing the grant, this fun study was brought to our attention on Twitter (see the graphic above). We encourage you to skim the referenced material presented by the Strengthening Democracy Challenge at Stanford University here.

Here is another interesting read on the 3 Steps Churches Can Take To Help Prevent a Second American Civil War.

Also, we invite you share with us any relevant material  and ideas you find could help inform our work in healing the divides, and keep us in your prayers as this work comes to fruition.

Heart-Centered Living:  Curated News and Stories to Nurture the Living Heart

We are proud to share with you something that Maria de Los Angeles has been working on, - 

Heart-Centered Living News is a curated collection of news, stories, resources and delightful curiosities that inspire action and contemplation. Centering topics range from spirituality to social justice, to arts and education, caregiving and recovery. Based in Washington, D.C. this bi-monthly newsletter for the "practical mystic" is international in scope and published by award-winning writer, teacher and CHC member Maria de los Angeles!

Please subscribe for the newsletter, launching in mid-September, below.

Subscribe to Receive Heart-Centered Living News

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