Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, July 18, 2008

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling
for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

- Nelson Mandela, prisoner of Apartheid, President of South Africa,
born on this day, 1918, 90 years ago

I have often quoted the famous line by the Mahatma about Christianity. He said, It is a wonderful religion; I hope that someone tries it sometime.”

Gandhi was not, I am sure, poking fun at Christianity. I think he was in awe of what the Gospel calls a person to be. Fully human. With Jesus as the Guide. And with the best of passionate thinking by passionate followers of the Gospel path. Of course, there have been many passionate teachers of a radical way to finding the full glory of being human.

I think about who I am called to be as a priest, and I am chagrined at how puny my efforts have been! (Though, I am glad to admit that over the years I have accepted the limitations of being human.) I look at most followers of a religion and see how far short we fall from the breathtaking possibilities we are offered. And I mean far short. Jesus summed up everything by saying simply, Love one another. And I imagine how different my own life and the life of the World would be if I could just keep that in focus for even 25% of the day! I know that every person I meet in a day I could meet with the conscious intention to love. But I don’t do it. Too self-preoccupied, or whatever. Maybe an iPod would come in handy here as a modern version of prayer beads – a constant quiet voice whispering in our ears in the midst of the chaos around us: Love, love, love!

Maybe we could have Play Big days. Take risks, go all out. Look everyone in the eye and determine to love. I have said for a long time that Love is an act of the will. It’s not about how we “feel”.

Time we all got conscious about it. Blessings on King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for calling us all this week to reject extremism and live together in peace and acceptance.

Good luck tomorrow!


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