The Pearl of Great Price
The Pearl of Great Price
The Spiritual Journey of a New Age Seeker to the Light of Christ and the Eastern Orthodox Church
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How did a New Age seeker wind up in the Eastern Orthodox Church? The Pearl of Great Price is the story of a unique Christian conversion. It is about the spiritual journey of a wayward Catholic New Age Baby Boomer to Jesus Christ and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. • "If you don't believe in the reality of spiritual warfare, • if you are convinced that miracles belong to a bygone era, • if you have always assumed that all paths to the Orthodox Church are basically the same, then you must read The Pearl of Great Price. The book is likewise a precious gem—a moving memoir that you are sure to treasure for its grateful testament to the grace of God." Bobby Maddex, Operations Manager, Ancient Faith Radio Senior Editor, Salvo Magazine" My book is about seeking and finding. It is a unique story of Christian conversion. "I journeyed long and far to discover my Pearl of Great Price." Through a series of remarkable relationships and deep reflection I realized I had to come to terms with my past and my issues not only the church, but Christianity in general. Not until I had healed and reconciled both personally and with the church could I move beyond judging it and myself to be able to touch the heart of my personal struggles to find the "Truth, the Way and the Light" in Jesus Christ and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. How God could bring me from a total immersion into Eastern Religions and the New Age to the Eastern Orthodox Church amazes me still! I would not have imagined becoming Christian would have been the outcome of my struggles and spiritual journey. For a more in-depth window into my book and my experiences you can go for: Podcast interviews Videos Book Reviews and much more…
“Go ahead,” I sniffed. “I’ll listen now. What I’m listening to in my head is destroying me, and I fear it will destroy all that I hold precious. I see in you what I do not have in myself. You have inner peace. Please help me.” My dear husband replied, “Forgive me for saying this, but you are spiritually arrogant and do not know the first thing about prayer or how to be in a real relationship with God. I can only say this to you based on my own experience of the cost of my form of arrogance. You need humility, prayer and Christ to get you out of the mess you’re in. You know I’ve been where you are now.” His words went straight to my heart. In his own kind way, my husband was saying I was a spiritually arrogant hypocrite! I had built a very good case maintaining that priests, nuns and others were hypocrites... but, me? For years, I had felt hard-hearted towards Christ like the Jewish elders and people of Christ’s time. His presence sent shock waves through the Jewish community. Even though they’d been waiting for the promised Messiah, they wanted Him to liberate them from the Romans and from oppression at the hands of other nations.

Many expected a worldly warrior king. Yet Christ said that He and those that seek to follow Him are not of this fallen world (John 16: 18-19). He came to free people from their egos and negative passions, not to take on the current political establishment, which was a deep disappointment to those seeking a worldly liberator.

I, too, had been seeking liberation from my worldly suffering. Bitter and angry, disappointed with the Church, I grew to hate what I had loved as a child. I turned away from Christ and the Church to the New Age and Eastern Religions. In a moment of truth, I had to admit Greg was right – I was spiritually arrogant and a hypocrite. What I witnessed in Auschwitz caused me to doubt my New Age beliefs. My eyes were newly opened to the essential value of Christian teachings on good and evil.

Greg continued, “How can you claim to be ‘spiritual’ while negating the importance of God?”

“What do you mean?” I said. “I believe in God!”

Greg continued, “You believe in God when it’s convenient for you and on your terms, but you have a rather one-sided relationship. You want to have your cake and eat it, too. How can you have time to be with God when you spend all your time talking and praying to your “guides and ascended masters”? Do you truly know who you are praying with and to?” Greg went on, “Based on your state of mind lately, would you finally be willing to reconsider the possibility that you’re being misled in your meditations and thoughts?”

How many times over the last few years had Greg tried to have this conversation with me? How did I always respond? I’d get angry and defensive. Me misled? How could I, a master channel, who had foolproof methods for screening out demonic forces, be misled? I was right and he was wrong. How could he think that what I was doing was not good for me? Such grief I caused him!

Yet, out of my suffering the last few months, I was finally able to hear what he was saying. Although I didn’t want to admit it publicly, I had been asking myself the same question from time to time. Could I truly be listening to the wrong voices?

I am a native San Franciscan currently living in Novato, CA. I have been married for twenty-five years to Gregory Hughes, my spiritual buddy and the love of my life. We have 2 adorable dogs, Bisou and Bubba. I have a step-son is Shayne, who is married to Lara. We have 2 grandchildren, Gabriel and Jeremi. From my early 20s I was fascinated by the life of the soul, alternative medicine treatment (I was a massage therapist and healer for twenty years), meditation techniques, finding God and “What is inner peace?”. Due to my reactions to my early Catholic experiences I decided in my late teens that Christianity was not for me. I went on a quest to find inner peace elsewhere. Years later, in an amazing and shocking series of events, my spiritual journey lead me to the Eastern Orthodox Church. I found the “the peace that passes all understanding” and what I had been seeking for so many years, with so many tears. Shortly after my conversion, I knew I needed to write a book, share my story and find a way to reach others. My book and blog are for modern seekers with issues to work out about Christianity and God, as well as Eastern Orthodox Christians struggling to find a way to share their faith with family and friends. Reviews for my book Check out this wonderful video review of Veronica's book by David Withun released 12/28/11 A moving biography about the process of Christian conversion that takes you into not just the story, but a part of Veronica's soul and its journey to Christ and the Eastern Orthodox Church. 5.0 out of 5 stars A seeker's journey through,May 17, 2011 By Daniel R. Duncan (San Francisco, CA USA) What's remarkable about Veronica Hughes' "Pearl" is its quiet candor, where one usually finds a strident and defensive proselytism. She describes her previous spiritual explorations with even-handed respect, even when she has found a greater fulfillment in Orthodoxy. Especially interesting is the respectful way she describes her previous relationships in New Age organizations in which she was even a pioneer. This readiness to describe while being reluctant to judge seems to be part of an Orthodox perspective. She does not call names, but describes events, again, in an even-handed and honest way that is rare in accounts of conversion. She thus honors the search that has led her, and may lead others, to Orthodoxy. And now that she is fully immersed in Orthodoxy, this reader looks forward to her further adventures in its spiritual landscape for, indeed, every Christian must heed Christ's admonition to seek and to knock so that the truth may answer. For when truth is alive, it does not stand and stagnate. Veronica's account so far promises a similarly quiet candor as she finds the next steps in her journey. Indeed, her measured perspective will be especially welcome as she goes more and more deeply into this great tradition., 5 of 5 stars review Amazing book, unique perspective, February 15, 2011 By a Mom in Bay Area (Redwood City, CA) When I first starting reading this book, I was thinking, yet another confessional book written by yet another screwed up baby boomer. I have to confess that I began to like this book more and more as I kept reading and I wasn't able to put it down until I finished. The author's journey is worth reading about, especially if you are a woman interested in spirituality and in Christianity. I appreciate that Paula Sivori (the author's real name) could tell us this story with honesty. The book is not as well-edited as I would like especially in the beginning. There are lots of parts where the writing is awkward and amateurish (good editing would have fixed this!) Otherwise, I heartily recommend this book for anyone who has been searching for answers to the meaning of life.

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