Thursday, October 30, 2014

Peace Of Mind

This is a truthful quote about peace of mind from Richard Rohr's daily on-line meditations, sent on October 30, 2014.
"Great religion tries to free individuals from the tyranny of their small and fragile selves and introduce them to Someone-They-Can-Trust. Only if you trust such a “Someone” will you eventually know that you do not have to create all the patterns nor do you have to solve all the problems. You are in fact being guided.
Also, you do not have to explain the failures or take responsibility for the fixing. Finally you know you are part of “the general dance,” as Merton calls it. What else would be the beginnings of peace? As long as you think you've got to fix everything, control everything, explain everything, and understand everything, you will never be a peaceful person. These things largely happen by endless ruminating and commentaries in the mind, which are usually negative."  (Adapted from Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer, pp. 75-76)

Too many of us think we can work, think, plan, organize, etc. ourselves into peace of mind.  Peace of mind occurs when we give up, trusting that we will be in the gracious, merciful and lovingly care of God.  We will still have some work to do, especially on ourselves, as well as some thinking, planning, organizing, etc. but, it will not be the labor that is trying to control. Rather, we will discover the gift of peace, Shalom.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Racial Prejudice Is Alive and Active

I watched the television video report in amazement as a South Carolina patrolman shot an unarmed Afro-American man in a service station's parking lot.  He was pulled over for not wearing his seat belt.  He was getting his driver's license out of his auto, as was order by the patrolman, when the shooting occurred.  This, along with news from many other cities, is continued evidence that racial prejudice is still prominent in our lives and nation.  There have been too many instances in which a black person has been dealt with unjustly.  Racial prejudice is too deep in the American DNA for us to dismiss it.  Our dealings and fears about immigration, such as our national response to the children from Central and South America, are additional evidence of our racial prejudice.  I pray that we a will have the wisdom and courage to admit and confess our personal and national prejudices so that healing can begin.  As a Christian, I wish our Churches weren't so silent.  I believe none of us are as innocent as we want to think.

The Ending Of A Life

Over the years I've known several individuals who committed suicide.  I believe that we can't begin to understand the terrible emotional and mental pain with which the person was dealing and, therefore, we can't judge.  I also believe that God knows their pain and responds in their graceful acceptance into the Heavenly dimensions of life.  The national news is reporting about a young lady in Oregon, recently married who has been diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal brain cancer. She knows that her future is both limited and painful.  The disease will greatly diminish her quality of life.  She has been talking with her Physicians and family about taking legal drugs in Oregon which will end her life and avoid the terrible future that lurks in her future.  I don't believe her action is the same as suicide.  She is in full mental and emotional awareness of her decision and actions.  She has been consulting with family and her Physicians.  Today, we have medicines that can evidently keep a person's heart beating even though they have no quality of life and go through torment as their body withers and finally dies.  That doesn't seem right to me.  My prayer for that young lady in Oregon is that she, her family and friends may be given God's gift of peace.