The present world-wide financial crisis could almost be counted as a blessing – that is if we understand and act appropriately to its message. We are all connected.
We are all connected because we are all part of creation. The creator’s love is unconditional and in the end, every part of creation experiences this love. It just is – you don’t earn it. You cannot accept or reject it, but you do experience it for all eternity. The creator does not judge creation.
Mankind’s journey on Earth can be either pleasant or not – it depends on mankind, not the creator. The creator provided a beautiful world, but it is up to mankind to decide how to live in it.
So far, mankind is not doing very well, but we can change that by understanding the connection. In this vein, there is no sin – you cannot offend the creator. There is one commandment – love your neighbor as yourself. Man’s inhumanity to man is what makes this journey on earth so difficult.
As was said about Auschwitz – Where was God in all this suffering? As Styron said, more accurately, Where was man? As humans, we all need to bear responsibility for mankind’s suffering and also for its joys.
And we can rejoice in its joys
In ancient Egypt, the god of the After Life, Osiris, asks two questions:
- Did you bring joy? And
- Did you experience joy?
How would you answer? Think about it. How do you parent your children? What are you teaching them? How to solve problems? How to help one another? How to spread joy? At dinner, you might ask what joy did you find today rather than did you get an A and beat out the competition.
Let’s spread joy and love our neighbor as ourselves.
To help you here is the prayer of St. Francis followed by a hymn, a poem and a few quotes:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love.
For it is giving that we receive—It is pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
“Here I am Lord”
Words and Music by Daniel I. Schutte
I, the Lord of sea and sky.
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make the darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
“Abou Ben Adhem”
By Leigh Hunt
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men.”
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!
“Let us be like the bird. For a moment perched on a frail branch while he sings. Though he feels it bend, yet he sings his song, knowing that he has wings.” Victor Hugo
“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.” Roger Levin
“We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.” Stephen Vincent Benet
I wish you joy.