With every major tragedy on the news, especially storms and mass shootings, many politicians and others say that the victims have their “thoughts and prayers”. I often wonder if their “thoughts and prayers” are a euphemism for doing nothing. But, people who want to do something can transform genuine thoughts and prayers into powerful action! And, it is well within our grasp!
Not only is it within our grasp, but many of the tasks are ones you do anyway, and look forward to doing! Let’s see what can happen when we turn other people’s insincerities into genuine action!
Following a question by Peter as to how often he is supposed to forgive someone, Jesus goes into a parable of a king who called his servants into account. We’d call it an audit today. And, one servant was found to owe ten thousand talents, a lot of money. But he begged the king forgiveness, and the king forgave him. But the servant wanted to press severely for payment of a fellow-servant whose debt amounted to pocket change. What the king does as a result shows that we will see the level of mercy we give to others.
We call ourselves spiritual, and/or magickal, and/or religious. Yet even the best of us is getting too accustomed to the continuing wave of gun violence. Here in the Philadelphia area, part of the routine is to turn on the morning news to learn who got shot last night. And then, there are the mass shootings in which any number from a dozen to several hundred are shot! When do we draw the line and say that enough is enough?
It might be fair to say that we are the victims of bullying. The fact is that public officials, including elected ones, are attracted to money and promises of good publicity. And that has attracted them to the point that it was recently shown how little their own lives matter!
Most of us understand manners and common courtesy in dealing with our fellow mortals in any number of situations, whether it’s in an elementary school classroom, a corporate boardroom, or anywhere ale you can imagine. But what about dealing with The Divine, or The Departed? And what about deities or departed ones who are not your own? And what about the people who do revere them?
Some basic principles can go a long way here. Not only might they keep us out of trouble, we might even benefit!
One of the more interesting parables is the one about the king who puts on a wedding feast for his son. We know how he set up the feat, we know about the invited guests who snubbed him, and we know about the people, good and bad, that he brought in from the highways as replacement guests. But how many of us have looked at the guest who was not wearing a wedding garment? Understand that, and you’ll know what awaits if you accept!
At Samhaintide, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. Many consider Samhaintide to be the time beginning eight days before and ending eight days after Samhain. It does not mean that the veil is ever impenetrable, but this is when it is easiest for us to reach through to them, and for them to reach through to us. And, they remember us and still care.
If you are here, you probably already understand the necessity of respect between the worlds, but there are many who do not. In this world, you would not simply barge into someone’s home and mess around, would you? A little respect can go a long, long way!
A Facebook friend of mine has been posting some spectacular photos of sacred sites in the UK where she lives, and I notice that many of them have pre-Christian roots. Yes, they were sacred before they were Christian. What is more, the people in charge of those sites appear to recognize and respect that!
In much of the rest of the world, where the original peoples are strong end populous enough, the pre-Christian historic sites and burial grounds are treated with respect. It is in North America and Australia where aboriginal sacred sites are ignored or outright disrespected.
Given what I have learned, I don’t want the consequences. We need to learn to recognize and respect sacred sites, as if they were our own because they are!