October 9, 2021
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
We hear much lamenting these days about the state of the World. The daily grind of the News is more than enough to depress the most hopeful person. The human condition is one thing, but the relentless assaults of the forces of Nature are overwhelming. So, the fact that many people feel powerless, sad, and exhausted is quite understandable. Yet, it always surprises me that no matter how bad things get, there are always people who rise to the occasion with their optimism, guts, and courage to improve the World in any way they can.
I think of the countless people addressing the climate issue, the cause for human rights, and the poverty afflicting so many in our World. We do not need to look far to find people of all ages who give of themselves in the cause of what is right and just. Simply remembering such people brings hope to our struggling selves.
The great Buddhist Traditions remind us of the Bodhisattvas who delay their ultimate blessings for the sake of others. Such generosity of heart is a blessing in itself. Unfortunately, I often find myself seeking my own happiness at the expense of others. I delay responding to a message thinking I need my relaxation. I am tempted to think my response is not required or worthless. I can easily forget how important I might be in the life of another person.
As we consider the Faith Traditions of Humankind, we become aware once more of the great teachings inviting us to care for and love one another. Now, as I look out into the World around me, I pray to discover the love within me. Perhaps the time has come to stop thinking my happiness comes with wealth, security, and status. It takes so little to bless another person. It takes great courage to trust such efforts are worthwhile. I pray for the courage to practice understanding, compassion, and love to all those I meet.
Someone once said, “Do not let the madness around you become the World within you.” Let us pause in this moment to discover the World within our hearts.
When we are upset about the World around us, is this not a strong indication of our concern and love? We desire better for our World so all people may live in peace. Is this wishful thinking or the deep desire of our hearts? Either way, I will commit myself to making your wish come true, or your desire fulfilled. The wonderful thing about wishful thinking is the deep desire to bring compassion to others.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for your concern, your love, your compassion, and your heart.