Saturday, September 1, 2012

Part 1 - My Desire To Be “Right” Or Have The “Right” Ideas Leads Me Off My Spiritual Path.

In our current political atmosphere it may be difficult to remain focused on our spirituality. We all seem to want – desperately – to be right. So, someone has to be wrong (or bad or evil or dangerous or threatening). All that is of my ego.
I want to begin this message with a quote from Tikkun Magazine, a Jewish publication focused on spiritually progressive people, ideas and articles. [The following] “…was sent to Tikkun  (Hebrew: To heal, repair, and transform the world) by email from Catholic News and a column called "The Not-So-Social-Gospel." It is a powerful reminder both of how far sections of the Christian world have strayed from the teachings of Jesus, and also a reminder of the tens of millions of Catholics who are deeply dedicated to social justice, peace, generosity and love (even though unfortunately they are stuck in a Church whose leadership is more interested in demonizing gays, abortions and attacking the American Nuns, who take Jesus' teachings seriously, than in carrying on the progressive elements in Jesus' gospel).
“It saddens us at Tikkun to see how twisted that Church leadership has become, just as we have been saddened by how twisted the Jewish leadership has become to give blind support to the oppressive policies of Israel toward Palestinians, and reminds us to once again invite all Christians, who do feel connected to the social justice, peace and love-oriented Jesus, to join our Interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives at so that we can work together to amplify these voices and provide comfort and support to those who are being "dissed" in their own religious communities for taking seriously the highest teachings of their God.” – Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor Tikkun Magazine and Chair, the Interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives.
In “The Third Secret,” by Steve Berry, Random House Publishing, 2005, the protagonist is a Roman Catholic Monsignor and private secretary to the pope. He is becoming very conflicted between his personal faith and the actions of the very political and pragmatic Vatican. From page 168 (italics are mine):
“He’d studied the Roman Catholic Church enough to understand that the majority of its teachings were directly related to its own interests, rather than those of its members. Time had certainly blurred all lines between practicality and divinity. What were once the creations of man had evolved into the laws of heaven: Priests were celibate because God ordained it; Priests were men because Christ was male; Adam and Eve were a man and woman, so love could only exist between the sexes. Where did these dogmas come from? Why did they persist?
“Why was he questioning them?”
I was asked a question from a subscriber as to how certain I was about not being a human body, but being an already-loved eternal spirit currently having a human experience. “Don’t you ever doubt?” the writer asked. Sure I doubt. But I need always to remember that I am the one responsible for determining my reality. It is all my perception. If I change my perception, my reality changes.
Continued in Part 2

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