“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
– Galatians 5:22-23
When in Rome do as the Romans do…
And when am in Rome, I can’t escape the Vatican and the Pope’s emissaries… either.
And as such having already established a relationship with the new Papa from the days He ministered to the poor and the downtrodden in the slums of Buenos Aires — am obliged to get involved in the Theology of it all.
Hoping someday the Great papa Francis will share the message that God and Jesus want us to protect this Earth from our avarice and addictions to fossil fuels for empty greed and paper profits…
The inevitable discussion ensued with the High legation of the Vatican over a simple Christian monastic dinner. Bread and wine really is more like it…
And my point is this:
Christian tradition has become so concerned with making Jesus into its Great God, and making sure everybody believes that Jesus is God, that it often ignores his very practical and clear teachings.
My questions are philosophical: Over the centuries — has Christianity been known for loving its enemies, or even building bridges of understanding between Peoples?
Not so much is what the Vatican prelates have to admit…
Instead, we focussed on Dogma:
And we made the important issues abstract theological questions about the nature of God…
And about the nature of Trinity or indivisibility etc. “Ad continuum” and infinity, over the centuries and throughout history — this method is keeping us busy and comfortable because it asks nothing of us.
Nothing except argument, hate and veneration of idols.
Therefore much of our Western practical philosophy of everyday Life, same as our church and religious life have been on that level, and no one ever really “wins,” and so it goes on for centuries. Churches divide and separate largely over nonessential Gospel issues.
Who can pour the water, when, and what do they say?
Can men or women preach?
Can Priests administer the essential questions or have to leave faith to the Dogma office?
All crappy ways to manage Change and People.
Yet if we care to look East, we’ll see another way of handling this serious fallacy and discrepancy:
Take what the Buddha said and preached pragmatically: He made clear to his people that the crucial questions are first of all psychological and personal — in the here and now.
I think that Jesus was also first talking about the human situation and describing the issues of human liberation right here and now. Clearly the Kingdom of God, as Jesus describes it, is first of all is here and now. Here on this Earth and in this Moment. In our Environment and in the living Ecosystem we belong to.
And for me this is the very thing we ask for in our official “Our Father” prayer: “thy kingdom come”
Here and Now
Despite it all, we turned Jesus’ message into a reward-or-punishment contest that would hopefully come later.
Much later and when we aren’t going to be here anyway…
What a Fool’s Errand…
Instead of listening to Jesus and his transformational message that our experience is verifiable here and now by the fruits of the Holy Spirit as was recorded in the epistle of St paul to Galatians (5:22-23).
Probably more than anything else, this huge misplacement of attention anesthetized and weakened the actual transformative power of Christianity.
It all got moved into “later” and frankly only for a few.
Methinks, that for both Jesus and for the Buddha, rewards and punishments are all inherent to our actions in this world.
Goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment.
And then we must all leave the future to the future…
Or leave it up to the mercy and love of God.
Let’s do this, instead of thinking we are the umpires and judges of who goes where, when, and how — in the aftermath of this earthly life — after the END credits are rolling in.
Because when the movie is over we can discuss it over tea and biscuits, but that’s all we can do. It doesn’t matter one bit to the body in the coffin and certainly to the world remaining unaltered.
So Go Ahead:
Be the Change you want to see in this world.
Do this for the remembrance of Me…
Help the World…
and Be of Service
Live in kindness.
Here and Now