All people who are on a spiritual path need to work together and not against each other. While it is true that not all paths seek the same thing, yet the deeper you go in seeking understanding, the closer we seem to get. I am a Christian; Jesus is the Word become flesh, a special revelation of the Father for mankind. The Word is God, and I guess if there is one word that may sum up God’s Word to us, is “BE”.
Perhaps if another Word is needed it could be “LOVE”. Both I believe convey the same meaning. If a third Word is needed perhaps “YES” would be a good one. All represent life to its fullest. So all those who seek truth, love, and union with the Infinite, or with others, I believe operate from one of the above words. It is there that we can speak to one another with reverence, respect, and love.
Those who are on a path and stick to it, know that each moment is a new beginning, for the realm we live in is one of choice. Small choices are very important, for they lead to larger ones.
Many will choose a place that they will consider to be holy ground. It can be a home altar, a place in one's garden, a church, temple, or synagogue…just about anywhere that is set apart. It could be a place where people gather, a park for instance. A little place, that one can make a small pilgrimage towards, a holy place of rest, struggle, and of dying to self. Of praying for one's enemies and loved ones. A place where the seed of self-love; love of others and love of God deepens over time, often in secret, for that is how grace works. This small sacred place, slowly over time grows, until the day one wakes up to the reality that what is considered sacred space has grown. Eventually, all space will become sacred, and people are seen as the most sacred. To be before another is to be before holy ground.
When we wake up or become enlightened, it is not the end of the road, but the beginning of a new one. A road that leads us into deeper joy, peace, love, and yes… into deeper suffering and solidarity with others; there is no other way. Suffering seems to be the goad that keeps us moving, searching, and growing in that much-needed attribute… humility.
To be a pilgrim is to never be at rest for long, for the journey, the inner journey is an eternal one.
It is good to study other traditions, to ask questions of followers of other paths. It is then that our narrow, idol-worshiping ideas are shattered. We can be confounded by the love and goodness of those who follow other traditions. Why is this? I think it is because we believe that God is somehow an idea that we can own, which we can’t. All are beloved; we are called to love all, even those whom we think are our enemies. Why? Well because they are loved into existence by a God who has revealed himself for Christians as a loving Father.
Those who love God love others. It can’t be helped. Those who seek truth will also grow in the love of others. For the truth will lead to deeper truth, which at bottom is the revelation of Love.
It is easy for us to understand rage, anger, punishment, and revenge. So to place these human ‘emotions’ onto God relieves us of the burden and necessity to grow deeper into the mystery of God. The more we find ourselves loving others, because this is grace flowing from the Infinite Heart, we begin to understand how deep the mystery, and how little we know of how God works in the world and in the hearts of all men and women.
Do not judge, does not mean that we don’t speak up against evil, it is about not taking upon oneself the heavy burden of judging whether a human being is worthy or not…judging another being made in God’s image and likeness is perhaps a greater evil than we know. Only God sees the heart. I do know that all have to be answered to, for the nature of love I believe, or an aspect of Infinite Love, is to bring us into our own complicity with evil, in how we treat others, in what we failed to do… we have to experience it all. We have to experience what Christ experienced on the Cross. For to seek mercy, to receive this free gift, we have to understand at ever deeper levels what was actually forgiven.
Tolerance is not indifference, it is about listening and respecting others, treating them as we want to be treated.-Br.MD