- Sermon 50 -
Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Trinity. The Stilling of the Tempest

t. Matthew VIII, 23-27: "And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save use: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"

(May 1, 1872)

This Gospel tells how I once had boarded a ship and fallen asleep, when a great tempest arose and My disciples woke me that I might still the tempest and the sea.
This happened only before the eyes of My disciples, although people on land, too, had observed how, upon My Word, the waves calmed down and the tempest ceased. Thereby I gave My companions another proof that I was not only the Lord of death and life but also the Lord of all visible nature.
Although this act should have opened the eyes of many as to Who I actually was, only few comprehended that I was more than a man, that I was the Son of God, or God Himself. As the storm kept growing in force, My disciples lost heart and woke Me full of fear, thinking that the end had come. They shouldn't have thought that seeing Me sleeping so peacefully! However, the concept 'Son of God' was not clear to them as yet, and that is the reason why you see them on various occasions lose heart and doubt My omnipotence, notwithstanding the fact that they had only just seen Me perform deeds no ordinary man could perform, but only He Who, far above all that is physical-material, is firmly holding in His hand the threads of all creation.
I often revealed My power to My disciples through miracles, but they still could not quite get used to the idea that they were not dealing with an ordinary mortal, but with a divine man. At all times I arranged the circumstances in such a way that besides My teaching My deeds had to bear even clearer witness of Him Who had sent Me. Even when I returned after My death there were still doubters as, for instance, Thomas.
That which was already so difficult in those times under My direct, visible influence, has now, when I speak to you either through specially chosen scribes or through a person's heart, become even more difficult and doubtful. Now My words shall and must suffice, since the time of compulsory belief is past and no more miracles are performed or allowed through the participation of other people. Most of those who now believe in My Word are not in the least convinced of its infallibility. At the slightest danger, that which happened to My disciples is also happening to them now, that is, they, too, doubt My promises, My words.
The situation as it was when I was on the ship with My disciples corresponds to everyone's own ship of life, wherein I am asleep as the Divine Spark until all kinds of calamities compel a person to seek refuge with Me.
With most people it is the same as it was with My disciples: While they are not in danger, they do not come to Me. My disciples believed that they were lost and called to Me. In difficult situations, when the frailty of all earthly things reveals to him plain reality unmasked, man seeks comfort and peace within his heart, which he expects from the outer world in vain. Until then I had been lying asleep also within him. He did not regard Me as something essential and real, but as something imagined, unreal, a make-believe which others, usually priests, taught men for the sole reason of enhancing their own power, whilst man's spiritual welfare was being ignored.
But when the little ship of life is tossed about by worldly storms, then worry, doubts and fears arise. All the doctrines that were drummed into a person through his education are then remembered, but he finds that neither dogmas nor nice aphorisms are of any use for bringing tranquility and peace to his frightened soul. Then man turns to the divine spirit dormant within him, seeking support in the so far ignored inner centre of human life, so as not to perish under the force of circumstances. And when he has discovered this inner treasure, when he has comprehended how little all material things are worth compared with a single flash of thought from this sanctuary, then the waves will calm, the winds of passions and anxieties will be stilled, and tranquility and peace will return to the external world. Acutally, this external world itself has not been disturbed, only the view of it. Then the divine spark awakened within man's heart says to the frightened soul: "But why are you so faint-hearted when you are carrying within you such a Lord over all that is physical?"
Behold, this is the spiritual correspondence to the individual human life of that act on the sea.
In the life of nations, too, there is a spark of the divine motivating force which at times causes them to think, so that just as the individual, also a whole nation may become conscious of its mission on this earth. For everything that happens in this visible world is only a simple effect of love destined to bring out that which is of the soul and spirit in man.
This process also takes place in the life of animals, plants and stones, where it is, however, visible only to the eyes of the spirit. The forming, shaping and dissolving of all matter is nothing but the impulse of the awakened spirit that had been lying bound and dormant in matter. The progression and self-perfection from stage to stage could not take place if there did not dwell within matter the spirit awakened through outer circumstances.
As in those times the little ship with My disciples and Myself constituted the whole world being tossed about on the water, the changeable element, thus the stirring up through external effects of the spirit within matter is that factor which urges toward progress and perfection. My disciples' progress in faith and trust had to be brought about by various events. They had to become strong so that in the future storms of life they would not doubt but have firm trust.
In solid matter the spirit is an unconscious impulse which, in the animal, manifests as instinct and in man as the most highly developed divine spark. Man shall become more and more aware that he is not only a mortal, but a universal being which, standing between two worlds, has its material envelopment on this earth, but at the same time is also the spiritual image of a Supreme Being, the Creator, Who dwells in infinity high above all that is transient. He wants to educate His descendants to that for which He has created them, namely, purifiers of matter, spiritualizers of the coarse and the solid, and eternal dwellers in a realm of the spirit where matter once originated and where it must and will find its ultimate destination.
Therefore, you, too, must make every effort to awaken the divine spark within you, cultivate and understand it, so that on life's rough seas and in the tempests of passions, circumstances and events, you do not lose courage as did once My disciples in the ship, but keep remembering that your Father is with you. His voice may not always be heard, but He is not asleep, just as My Divine Spirit was not asleep in My disciples' little ship, but was waiting patiently for another faint-heartedness that would reveal the weakness of My disciples.
There I rebuked the winds and the sea, so that they became calm; thus the person who will seek Me within himself shall have, thanks to the divine spirit awakened within him, tranquility and peace - first in his own heart, and then he will be able to pass it on also to the external world.
Remember this and do not despair the moment your wishes are not promptly fulfilled in the way you would like it! You, too, must become strong in faith and trust in the divine spirit within you! Amen.