February 3, 2024
Today is the third of our daily reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. (If you missed any of the other days, you can find them in the blog section of our website, interfaithpeaceproject.org .) The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to offer you these reflections for each day of Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7, 2024.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
Adobe Stock 609886880 By Андрей Журавлев
SURPRISING PLACES OF GREAT JOY
Interfaith Harmony Week
February 1-7, 2024
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The great spiritual traditions of humankind provide rivers of great joy to anyone willing to plunge into the deep waters of their wisdom and insights. We must resist the temptation to think religion or spirituality are principally concerned with sin and human failure. In some traditions, “joy” signifies the presence and action of the Spirit of the Divine. Humans are naturally curious and often experience joy in surprising and unlikely places.
As I meandered the long, stark halls of the museum dedicated to the graphic arts of abstraction, I was amazed by the shapes and patterns revealing the stories of war and peace.
So many people, including myself, were thinking, what nonsense is this and to think they charge admission. I was caught somewhere between amazement and nonsense. Life often feels like my museum experience. I decided to continue my journey through the labyrinths of the beautiful and the confounding.
I was fascinated by the onlookers and observers who revealed their playful pretentiousness and profound knowledge by exclaiming what the artist meant and intended. I thought their observations were somewhat silly but admired them just the same.
We often think the beliefs of others to be silly, if not odd. It takes great openness of mind and heart to explore and appreciate what you might find baffling and absurd. When I hear myself being harsh about the beliefs of others, I invite myself to seek and find the beauty of another person’s heart and soul. Think of a child’s first painting; the scribbles and oddities of shapes and sizes often say, “I love you!”
As I continued my journey, I passed by the elevators. An elevator door opened, revealing a symphony of laughing, giggling little kids brimming with life, curiosity, and wonderment. They found the museum to be an adventure, a celebration of shapes, sizes, and colors. They kept saying, “Look over there, did you see that? Wow.”
Now, I cannot pass by an elevator without wondering if the doors will open, inviting me to see anew and rejoice. As we journey through the ups and downs of life, may the doors of insight open, inviting you to laugh and rejoice as you continue to discover the dignity of your companions on the road of life.
THIS IS MY DELIGHT
This is my delight, thus to wait and watch at the wayside where shadow
chases light and the rain comes in the wake of the summer.
Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies, greet me
and speed along the road. My heart is glad within,
and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet.
From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door, and I know
that of a sudden the happy moment will arrive when
I shall see. …
Today, I will practice being conscious of my human family living in the community of everything that exists.
My family, my circle of friends, and my associates are robust expressions of the dynamism of the community of humankind.
Seek out the nearest elevator and greet your new friends as the door opens. Know that all of a sudden, the happy moments will arrive.