Sunday, September 27, 2015

Peace, Pope Frances, removing hatred, and Simple Gifts!

This week’s trip to New York City by Pope Francis has been a rare opportunity for many of us to see the man and listen to his wise concerns.  I myself admire him for stepping out of traditional ways to bring a message of hope to the poor, concern for mankind to the world, and humility to a station in life that has had few champions.

We say that we do not have the class system like India and other foreign countries… but in truth… do!  It is becoming increasingly evident that we have two classes emerging…the rich and poor, as these income levels are becoming farther apart daily. His remarks at the United Nations certainly sounded a cord with the hearts of many who understand the suffering that is present in the World today!

Of particular importance I feel was the ceremony at the World Trade Center Memorial…here all the leaders of NYC’s religious communities were able to interact in a service that few in other more secular countries would believe possible.  The service was opened and closed with the anthem of another religion that I have become fond of…Shakers and the song Simple Gifts.

Another aspect of the ceremony was a number of interactive prayers from religion to religion.  My favorite quote from the bible…
Mathew 5:3 … Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven…Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted…Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth…Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled…Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy…Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God…. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
We must learn to view ourselves as part of the whole and understand that we are all brothers and sisters related from the start …black, white, red, etc.  That the life we have as humankind is all the same… that everyone feels the same emotions at one time or another... that we all love our children, families, friends, communities and personal religions the same, and that we each and everyone live in a world that is getting smaller, with hatred at our doorsteps waiting to be let in… there will be no peace and no end to humankind’s suffering.

From the Pope’s words…

(Peace ) This can only happen if we uproot from our hearts all feelings of hatred, vengeance and resentment. We know that that is only possible as a gift from heaven. Here, in this place of remembrance, I would ask everyone together, each in his or her own way, to spend a moment in silence and prayer. Let us implore from on high the gift of commitment to the cause of peace. Peace in our homes, our families, our schools and our communities. Peace in all those places where war never seems to end. Peace for those faces, which have known nothing but pain. Peace throughout this world, which God has given us as the home of all and a home for all. Simply PEACE.

Simple Gifts..the Shaker Anthem...

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