Thursday, July 12, 2007

How Can We Reverence Each Other's Religious and Spiritual Beliefs?

What does Jesus teach us about other's beliefs? Do you have any ideas or Scripture that reflect Jesus' message about loving and accepting all people's unique, spiritual path and journey?

Come on in and let us know:)


Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hello all, I am having a little blog difficulty on my "Difficult God Questions" so I am bringing it on over here for now!

Let me know what you think???

The first thing that comes to my mind is that Our God loves us unconditionally...I have often wondered what part of that word we do not get...I think it is the "un" part!

Peace and Prayers for each of you, your justbebecky

11:17 PM  
Blogger Bella75 said...

Dear Becky,

This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart and something I have been thinking a lot about lately.

I think the easiest thing to do in this situation is ask two things...

1st - What does God, the Creator, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh...What does our Abba want of us?

2nd - How does it detract from my faith life, in anyway, if you (the general you) is of a different mind in faith?

For myself the answer to number one is easy, love God. Love God with all that you are, all that you are, and love your neighbor as you love can you be anything but love and acceptance if you are of such a mind. I mean we all stumble on this road of faith and humility but generosity is so easy to come by when we put God before us, walk with this Abba or whatever name you call him/her/it in front of you, so that no step you take is taken without the heart of God in it. It is idealistic I know but at the same time if we have an ideal, than we spend our time trying to make it a practical reality, rather than not even realizing the need exists.

A practical story, I once had a friend who was Wiccan and Pagan; he had a birthday and I always put a blessing in my cards to others. So I said may the Goddess of the water, earth, sky and sea bless you and keep you all your days. He was shocked that I, a Catholic, would have written such a thing as it was blatantly against my beliefs. I told him it wasn’t because to it is the same God...whatever name you choose to call him its the same.

The answer to second is harder because religiosity is such a very personal thing. If we walk with God before us our faith has flow, rhythm, our spirituality is alive and moves with us. If, however, we change that walking with God before us to walking with God as our shield than that whole movement changes. It becomes a thing of defense and we insulate ourselves within our belief, it then takes on a less buoyant and less flowing property. It is protect and defend as opposed open and willing. How do we not be afraid that your beliefs will make ours less, will cheapen ours in someone way...

I think this is where it becomes so very important to hold our faith steadfast but hold our religion lightly. I don't know if that makes sense. If God is the Source, the ground of my being, if he is the very movement the sets my feet to step then I can move any place with that knowledge and I am whole. If, however, my religion is my source, than I am lost because like any vehicle that gets us from one point to will let us down, it will be unreliable, it will need tweaking and maybe a complete overhaul...if I am holding on to this so tightly I am bound to be broken by the changes, by the movement, but if I accept that it is changing and hold it lightly than it is simply a means for communal prayer and fellowship and if it is gone my Source remains. I am not lost. Does this make sense?

If the very nature of God is to be revelation, to be constant revelation, than I cannot close my hand, I cannot make a fist around my faith for fear of loss...No I must, must, leave my hands open so that this ever revealing God is allowed in always. So that my ever evolving self finds its Source always close. Closed I am nothing, afraid I am nothing, closed I am merely a shadow of the gifted love I was meant to be.

So how does your faith detract from mine? It doesn't. Rather it sheds a constant light on the God that is shouting to be heard by my all too human ears.

I hope I have answered your question. I can sometimes ramble. Thanks for it though. These are the kinds of question that make my faith feel alive.


PS. I just wrote this the other day and thought I would share below. It was in answer to a question about my faith...
When I was a child I spoke as a child....
I cannot speak as child anymore
I cannot think as one
I am not a child
I am grown
I know too much
Have seen too much
Have felt too much

I do not take this faith lightly
I do not expect little of myself
Quite the contrary
I expect much
Need much
Want much

I have lived little
Time here though is of no consequence
For what has led my heart is timeless

It is a love
Love whose word is not enough
That is without fear
That asks nothing
Accepts all
That knows wonder
Genuine understanding
Love that has asked for all that I am
Has been all that I am
Has given all that I am

When I was a child I spoke as a child...
But no longer
Now instead with humility
Let me walk forward
Let me live
And move
And have my being
In the Love that has bore me
Begging me to be love
In the world

11:32 AM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Whoa Bella!!! You blow me away...indeed, you live up to your name...Beautiful! You have put your thoughts so well, aligning your heart with the Heart of God within which we ALL dwell.

I love your distinction between, religion and having the Source of God grounding your being. Religion being the vehicle by which we experience this loving Creator, and oh how many ways to get there!

I am simply in awe, Bella, as I am reading your grounded, accepting, inclusive, unconditional love you are putting out into the world. What a gift of love to your Wiccan Pegan friend, those are the connections that make the ONEness of our Cosmos come alive!!!

I recently spoke and sang at a Religious Science service in CO. They had received my recent CD "Radiant Love" of original songs and could not believe that a Catholic nun could not only understand "their language" but spoke it as well:) They just had to invite me to believe it! It was simply AWESOME for all of us...a blessed service I will never forget!!!

So, as you know, when hands are extended across hearts, that were taught that they were "different and had nothing in common", watch out!!! Spirit is ALIVE and WELL in all corners of the planet...and in the human heart!

Your poem is absolutely beautiful and powerful, Bella! Indeed, we are that LOVE in the world, free from fear and defense, which enables the movement of God to be so clear and free in our own lives and the lives of others.

I hope you extend your blog to allow MANY people to read and reflect on your thoughts, Bella, given so wisely and generously. Do you have such a place? Do you speak around and about? Your voice would add a wonderful "resounding YES" to the essence of ONEness embued in our cosmos!

So as "one woman hanging out" in the world, thank you for the Love that you pour out into the cosmos each is received with JOY! Please come again!

With Joy and Gratitude for you, Bella, and all people who accept each other as we are..each made by God,
your justbebecky:)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Bella75 said...

Dear Becky,

Thank you for your most generous comments. I hope I speak from the heart, I do not know if I always succeed. In answer to your questions no I really don't have occasion to speak publically about my faith, I wish sincerely I did. I used to teach but since I moved to my new parish I am only involved in music ministry and do not have the same opportunity to share my faith as I once did. I am sure that the Father will be letting me know soon what is to come next for me, until then I am endevoring to be patient. Not one of my strong suits I may say.

I have been thinking so much about this posted question of yours. I had shared it with a coworker of mine (we seem to get inbroiled in religious debate often) and she was a little disappointed by my cavalier stance toward acceptance of everything. It reality I must agree with her, from an outside point of view I imagine it does indeed seem most cavalier.

So I went home and really sat with it over the weekend, it wasn't until Saturday at mass that it came to me. I don't go to church to get somewhere, I mean to say there is nothing I am attempting to achieve. I go to church to be somewhere in faith. So I imagine if I were jewish, muslim, protestant or budhist the effect would be the same. I am not trying to obtain anything and I think the same can be said for many of us. It is not about being good, it is about being.

I sat in mass on Saturday, thinking sometimes I just get it so much, I have it all figured out (a moment of Bella vanity if you will) and then as I looked around the church I had to laugh. Left to our own thoughts we would think we were pretty darn cool and had life all sorted it out, but as you sit among your fellow parishners you have to be real, you have to be authentic you really don't have any other choice.

It really brings home the idea from this weekend, there is no jew or greek, no slave or Gods eyes we are all the same, we are all his children. Is there anything greater or more significant than that. I began to think we come here to remind ourselves what it is to be living in the world as people of faith, we come here to be fellowship, to be companions on the journey. I shake hands with you and you with me, would we know each other otherwise, no, but here in this place I am present to you, I worship with you, I cry with you, and I celebrate with you. There is a unique oneness here that is inexpressable and in that oneness we are whole, so much so that we'll come back week in and week out to be re-fed with it.

I can be with my Abba anywhere. Quite frankly I am nowhere if I am not with Him but I come to the altar of my church to be of a certain solidarity of humanity with my fellows, to acknowledge my weaknesses, to be of one accord, to be humble of heart, to put my hand in among those who are in need and be of real service.

I imagine that on some level that is why we all go to our places of worship and so I should think that the name we call ourselves becomes almost an after thought, because the idea of what we are (a pilgriming people of one sort or another) is what carries us through the door, be it temple, synagoge, mosqe, shrine or church.

Anyway, this was just a thought I wanted to share. What is your opinion? It seems this is a large subject for question these days, what with what people think they are hearing from the vatican.

Peace to you this night...
Yours in humility,


9:53 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hi Bella, well a few months went by! My Dad is ill and we have raliied around him in love, I ask for your prayers.

If you were around here, I would have you speak at our parish...anywhere close to Los Altos, CA:)

I like when you said to don't go to church to go somewhere but to be somewhere...I am holding that now!

Come again, Bella, I like your thoughts, and all others welcome, too!

Anyone have a new question they would like to pose:) Peace out and peace within, your justbebecky

3:06 PM  

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