Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All outward forms of religion are almost
useless, and are the causes of endless strife.
Believe there is a great power silently working
all things for good, behave yourself, and never
mind the rest.

Beatrix Potter, author of “Peter Rabbit”.
born on this date, 1866, in London

I’d like to think that Beatrix Potter was unusual in whatever her Life experience was that created such a position on “religion”. I don’t think it is the case however. My own experience with my family, my friends, and my ministry in the Episcopal Church showed me for how many people – especially former Roman Catholics – Potter’s experience with religion was strongly negative.

My father and his eleven siblings were raised Roman Catholic – and of those who lived all left; this was in the early decades of the 20th century! By the time I retired from full-time ministry in the Episcopal Church, over 80% of new Episcopalians were former Romans. They believed in a “great power silently working all things for good”; they “behaved themselves”; and they were glad to leave “the rest” behind.

If you find out what lay behind Ms. Potter’s feelings about “religion”, let me know!

I’m not going to rant. I just want to say this. If one is involved with a “religion”, we need to remember that “religion” is meant to be a handmaid of the Religion’s basic principles. “Religion” is the stuff we do to stay close and intimate with God, with Holiness, and with our vision of the deepest and most authentic Humanity. If your church’s “religion” doesn’t do that, you have a profound responsibility to try and change it.

If you can’t change it, then I advocate leaving it. We’re talking about your Soul here, so we’re talking about everything that is at the heart of becoming one with the Holy, of becoming our true Self, of knowing we are one with every human being and with all Being.

Love. Be kind. Treat others as you wish to be treated. As Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden light”.


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