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Re: Real Religion?

Started by wpaolini, 07/24/2011 08:54AM
Posted 07/24/2011 08:54AM | Edited 07/24/2011 08:57AM Opening Post
Tom,

Hello. What an excellent post! While I certainly can see why anyone could be dismayed as a Christian by some of the postings in forums here, all you have to do is remember that the extreme negativism by the several here that herald this talk are nothing more than what it is, a group of statistically insignificant outliers of the normal population voicing the extreme opinions. So nothing to take to heart. As you well know, there is an enormous amount more of good that has resulted from people following and practicing their faiths than any of the negative aspects that are often overly focused on in discussions here. And as you pointed out, so timely in a way given the awful events in Norway, that there are many heroes and role models from the past that we should strive to not lose sight of in our every day walk through life.

From the poem you linked, two things ring out for me, first how he revealed that the basics of the world as perceived in those times (earth, air, water, fire) are simply "sisters" of something greater. And second, the phrase "Happy those who endure in peace" because it points out that peace is not yet a natural state for humans, and that those who strive to practice it will find that road difficult and trying in this world.

Again, thanks for the great reminder of such a great person. Something we need and need often. As I mentioned, this post is appropriate for today, letting us know we need to bring these examples of living more to the forefronts of our lives rather than keeping them hidden and all but forgotten. We see this today, as in Norway, a nation by all accounts (surveys) is more secular than religious with the vast majority of its peoples having moved faith to that all but forgotten place in their lives. Yet today, when faced with the meaningless violence they are enduring, their churches this day which are usually quite empty are overflowing. So St. Francis of Assisi was and continues to teach us a valuable lesson that we have yet to learn, which is that if we stop having our primary focus on ourselves, or on the negative as we often do here, and instead make our primary focus service to others and the society at large, peace will be something not to endure in this world, but something that is natural, desired more than the self, and practiced fervently every day instead of only being highlighted after tragedy.

Thanks for the reminder of this wonderful person, and they heartfelt words he left us smile