World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in resolution A/RES/65/5 adopted on October 20, 2010. In the resolution, the General Assembly points out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace. The resolution establishes World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. It is an annual event observed during the first week of February beginning in 2011.
In John Phillip Newell’s book, A New Harmony: The Spirit, The Earth. And the Soul, he writes:
|“New science now speaks of being able to detect the sound of the beginning in the universe. It vibrates within the matter of everything that has being. Here again new science is echoing the ancient wisdom of spiritual insight. In the 12thcentury, Hildegard of Bingen taught that the sound of God resonates ‘in every creature.’ It is ‘the holy sound…which echoes through the whole creation.’ If we are to listen for the One from whom we have come; it is not away from creation that we are to turn our ears; it is not away from the true depths of our being that we are to listen. It is rather to the very heart of all life that we are to turn our inner attention. For then we will hear that deepest sound within us is the deepest sound within one another and within everything that has being. We will hear that the true harmony of our being belongs to the universe and that true harmony of the universe belongs to us.”|
John Newell’s words here, inspire us to approach Interfaith Harmony Week from a deeper, more inter-related, holistic vision of our creative origins, faith traditions, spiritual understanding, and way of living. Interfaith Harmony in our hearts and in our world includes living and embodying the presence of Love, Compassion, and Mercy. Invoking and attuning our prayers through this presence in the form of our thoughts, words, and deeds opens and expands our hearts and hands to creatively participate in our deepest yearning and vision for ourselves and our global community. We become more aware of an emerging common ground in the joining of good will and spirit, for healing, serving, and making our world more whole. This growing realization inspires and affirms our further potential for co-creating an abiding home that honors the sacredness and reverence for all life and creation, and a way of living that sustains, upholds, and expands the humane ideals and values of equality, justice, freedom, and peace.
This year for Interfaith Harmony week, The Interfaith Peace Project will daily offer and present the themes of Lovingkindness, Compassion and Mercy as expressed through the voices representing our world’s unique and diverse faith traditions. Through deep listening to these words of wisdom, and shared reflections may we hear the resonant song of our own vocational calling and may this help us awaken the radiant guiding compass of our common vision.
Advisory Board Director
The Interfaith Peace Project
Just as white light consists of colored rays
so reverence for Life contains all the components of ethics:
Love. kindliness, sympathy, empathy, peacefulness
and the power to forgive.
The holiness of God is like a white light:
pure, simple, complete.
But when that light shines, as it were
through the prism of individual human lives,
it breaks into an infinite variety of colors…
each one reveals a unique dimension of divine holiness.