In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
I have come to believe what I consider to be an essential aspect of Interfaith Spiritual Practice. No one can claim to know that what they believe exhausts the totality of the One we name “God.” No matter how profound our beliefs might be, we must be humble of heart. No matter how certain our convictions might be, our minds must be open. No matter how firm our experiences must be, we must be willing to be surprised. Our practice of faith invites us to be gentle of heart as we seek to see the face of God.
One physicist put it this way, “When all is said and done, the fullness of time will be beautiful.” The Scripture invites us not to make an idol of the divine. Instead, every image of the divine points to the Mystery we cannot comprehend. We sense the divine in our guts when life runs over us like a runaway truck. For some reason, even in the midst of heartbreak and sorrow, we seek truth, light, purpose, and sense. The divine, living with us, will not allow us to compromise with gloom or defeat easily.
Is this not the true meaning of religious pursuit? Every Spiritual Tradition seeks to make sense out of a World that is often senseless if downright mean and baffling. Devout people wrestle with the great mysteries of life. What parent does not pray for the well-being of their children? What lover does not ponder the beloved with gratitude? What person does not care about another in their heart of hearts?
Some of us burn our incense sticks, others bless with water, some chant through the night, many dance as the sun rises, and still others breathe in the sorrow around them as they breathe forth peace.
Those of us who practice our spiritual arts can easily recognize the signs of faith in others whose words and actions bless us in ways only the heart knows and experiences.
I have come to believe we must practice religious peace in all the affairs of our faith. Prejudice, exclusion, and harsh judgments have no place in our pursuit of the divine. Our judgment of another must be motivated by generosity, graciousness, and hospitality. Nothing I believe is more sacred than a person I might meet today.
My politics, religion, status, or race must not be an obstacle to sensing the divine in everyone I meet. I learn to treasure the divine presence in the expanse of everything and everyone, everywhere and all the time. I come to the realization I live in the Mystery I seek.
If religious people cannot exemplify the beauty of their faith in the graciousness of their lives, we curse the World and wound the heart of God. We must discover the universal love often buried in the field of our beliefs. We must dig deep underneath the debris of self-righteous attitudes and ideas so we may find the treasure of the divine love within ourselves.
The author of I John wrote, “If God loves us, we must love one another.” (see I John 4: 11-12). Deep in our hearts, we sense a Presence greater than any word can grasp or thought can contain. Love is the mystery, love is the beauty, love is the energy we seek as we ring our bells, break our bread, turn our pages, dance and sing, bow and rejoice.
Blessed are you, Holy Community, for seeking and searching. May you find the fullness in your heart for the sake of another.