Category Archives: Reflection/Meditation/Prayer
A beach is much more impressive, when one realizes the time and energy that has gone into the deconstruction of big rocks in order to make billions of sand pebbles. When we stand on a beach, our toes sinking deeper into the warm bed beneath them, and we look out into the endless oceans of beauty, we are in essence standing at the mouth of the universe. Every grain of sand has spoken a sacred story of truth and wisdom, every one with a journey from deconstruction of old identity to reconstruction anew.
I felt like a grain of sand over the past few days, as I gathered at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School with a group of about 25 seminarians, academics, professors, and practitioners all attempting to do something magical: turn boulders into beaches. Each of us is dedicated to incorporating interreligious engagement into the nature of our particular vocational goals. We believe that to be a religious leader in the 21st century, we must take seriously the religious diversity in the world and the subsequent difficulties and possibilities that emerge for building foundations for harmony and justice. Read the rest of this entry
The men and women moved slowly past the prostrate women in her eighties. She repeated a modified sun salutation and prayer for peace several times in the aisle, even as a dozen or so latecomers passed her as they made their way to their seats. And then the woman stood up, hands pressed together in a sign of peace and compassion and returned to her seat using her cane for assistance.
All this time, the room remained rather hushed with four thousands hearts and minds fixated on the stage, awaiting the words from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This woman was physically doing what so many of us longed to do. We longed to match the peace and compassion of this global religious figure in action. Instead most of us just sat in awe of his demeanor and superb eloquence. Read the rest of this entry
This morning, both religious and civil leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., for the annual National Prayer Breakfast. As is customary, the President of the United States was invited to reflect on how his religious convictions have guided him throughout his time in office. President Obama’s remarks tapped into two profound realities at the intersection of civil government and religious faith.
- Religious and moral commitments cannot be separated from one’s deliberation regarding a particular course of action he or she might take.
- The religious practice of our elected officials is oftentimes suppressed and even discouraged
The National Prayer Breakfast provides an opportunity to experience this rare encounter of open engagement between faith and public life. Read the rest of this entry
2012 is here and the fresh snow on the ground that I awoke to has made me excited about the year before us all. The beginning of the New Year offers each of us an opportunity to recommit to our convictions and make hopeful resolutions for individual growth. Reflecting on my life today, I have come up with five resolutions that will help me live a fulfilling and blessed year of life:
5. Count my Blessings…
It is very easy for me to get to wrapped up in all of my ambitions in life that all my actions in the world seem incomplete or imperfect. I think it is important to be thankful for the good I can do in this life and be mindful of the countless blessings that fill my heart with love and joy each day. By keeping these thoughts on my heart and mind, I will be capable of feeling content with my actions in life. Read the rest of this entry
Disgust. Shock. Outrage. Our country is in mourning. Our nation is truly lost. We are in a whirlwind of emotional upheaval, a rollercoaster of spiritual destruction. The lead up to the execution of Troy Davis has awakened this country to the thriving injustices and deep systemic issues of racism that are alive and well in the U.S. today. Tuesday and Wednesday have been particularly emotional, as more and more Americans began to realize the validity and personal impact of the statement “I am Troy Davis.” Whether people cared about the death penalty or not prior to the last few days, weeks, months, or years, starting Thursday morning, this country woke up to a new world, one of pain, confusion, and a greater need for healing than in recent years.
As I was sitting in my Pastoral Care and Counseling course at Chicago Theological Seminary, Tuesday night, I was tormented by the mixed feelings of pain, anger, confusion, and helplessness that were racing through my head and heart. I brought it up to the class, asking, “how do we as future pastoral caregivers grapple with this layering of emotions not just as they affect an individual or family, but also a community, nation, or the entire world? How can we be effective faith leaders in times of pain and grief when we’re confronted with cases as complex as that of Troy Davis?” We grappled with these questions for nearly an hour, with times of silence and utter-speechlessness scattered throughout the difficult reflection. Read the rest of this entry