Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spiritual lessons from The Polar Express

Faith is the evidence of things unseen
People tell me that You're just a dream
But they don't know You the way that I do
You're the one I live to pursue
-dc Talk

I watched The Polar Express last night – the boy hesitated to board the train at the beginning, but eventually jumped on. The conductor was all the moreso welcoming, he did not scold him for not getting on the first time before the train started moving.  The conductor was even more forgiving when he found out the boy pulled the emergency break for Billy who also hesitated to get onto the train, so that he would be able to board. When God sees our willingness to follow His will, He will go to all lengths to welcome us with open arms, the same way the father in the biblical story of the Prodigal son welcomed his son home after a long absence.
The young African American girl sees something special in the boy and befriends him. She watches his back, and he watches hers.  They both care for Billy who is sitting in a separate car all by himself.  The girl is more compassionate and makes Billy feel loved.  The boy stands by, understanding her compassion and wishing he had more himself.  The entire time he is always seeking answers, always looking for the truth.  When he loses the girl’s ticket, it comes back to him, because he never gives up looking for it.  God is forgiving like that. And when I say God is forgiving – I understand this to mean that the higher powers which keep the world alive and perfectly balanced within the universe will always bring the universe back to equilibrium whenever possible. We only have to be willing to acknowledge this and submit to this will.  Jesus gave us ways of relating to this all-powerful divine presence through the Word. He told us how to pray.  He told us to pray like this:
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

When we do so and we have faith, everything will be okay. We must BELIEVE.  In the same way the lesson learned by the boy in The Polar Express was that he must BELIEVE, we must have faith. We must have faith that God knows us better than we know ourselves and will show us what we need to see in due time if we seek to follow His will and accept His grace along the way.  If we keep seeking the truth, the truth will come to us.  Namaste. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Finally. Theology that makes sense for today's world.
I don't know the origin of this yet (got it from a Secular Franciscan in Long Island), but it's definitely worth reading.


Before there was anything, there was God, a few angels, and a huge swirling glob of rocks and water with no place to go. The angels asked God, "Why don't you clean up this mess?"
So God collected rocks from the huge swirling glob and put them together in clumps and said, "Some of these clumps of rocks will be planets, and some will be stars, and some of these rocks will be...just rocks."
Then God collected water from the huge swirling glob and put it together in pools of water and said, "Some of these pools of water will be oceans, and some will become clouds, and some of this water will be...just water."
Then the angels said, "Well God, it's neater now, but is it finished?" And God answered...
On some of the rocks God placed growing things, and creeping things, and things that only God knows what they are, and when God had done all this, the angels asked God, "Is the world finished now?" And God answered:
God made a man and a woman from some of the water and dust and said to them, "I am tired now. Please finish up the world for me...really it's almost done." But the man and woman said, "We can't finish the world alone!  You have the plans and we are too little."  God answered them,
You are big enough.  But I agree to this. If you keep trying to finish the world, I will be your partner."
The man and the woman asked, "What's a partner?" and God answered, "A partner is someone you work with on a big ting that neither of you can do alone. If  you have a partner, it means that you can never give up, because your partner is depending on you. On the days you think I am not doing enough and on the days I think you are not doing enough, even on those days we are still partners and we must not stop trying to finish the world.  That's the deal." And they all agreed to that deal.
Then the angels asked God, "Is the world finished yet?" and God answered, "I don't know. Go ask my partners."

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Whole Point

I've discovered Franciscan spirituality over the last few months and it has changed my world upside down. This spirituality completely validates all previous thoughts I have ever had about religion.  See this excerpt from a Richard Rohr meditation:

Christ is the code word for all of creation, all of humanity, what God has “anointed” (Christened) with love. The New Testament says that we are the “firstfruits” or “adopted” sons and daughters of the one who first fully carried this awesome truth. Jesus is the symbolic firstborn Son (who fully accepts and believes what his Jewish scriptures told him), and we all share in his same inheritance. That is the whole point! To use the language of the Pauline school in the letter to the Ephesians: “Before the world began, we were chosen in Christ to live through love in his presence” (1:4-6).