A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
“Hell is in us, like a seed. We need to cultivate the positive within us so we can generate the energy of understanding and compassion and transform hell.”THICH NHAT HANH
I was studying with my meditation teacher the notion that there are seeds of good and bad in all of us, and it is our free will as to which ones we water. I was stuck on this one detail and so I asked the question; “I don’t understand why is it that some people choose to water the good ones and some don’t. In other words are people good or bad?” The answer she gave me I think of regularly, as its helped me to understand forgiveness.
“Dear,” she said, with her commandingly steady and knowing tone of voice, “people are inherently good, but survival comes first…”
Deprived of food, health, safety, support, money, love, and every other basic human need under the sun… it can be hard living. And, we are human, and rigged for survival. Jesus knew this. Which is why he was unequivocally forgiving – regardless the details of a human’s story. The details of his weren’t exactly all peaches and roses; even he broke down and begged for a different ending. It’s all a lot, even if you are part God. Maybe especially so.
“It’s a cheatin’ situation
A stealin invitation.
To take what’s not really ours, to make it through the midnight hours.“
~ John Prine & Dolores Keane
Enter Judas, a favored disciple who turned Jesus into the authorities; a human being who was scared (and then tormented himself) to death. The authorities were closing in. Jesus had announced he was leaving them. Practically speaking; Jesus was doomed and told his followers as much.
Truth is Judas might have been the only one who was really listening to Jesus when he foretold the future, ‘I won’t be around much longer, one of you is going to turn me in.’ And, ‘I am going to give a morsel of bread to the one who will,’ as he gave his bread to Judas. And afterward Jesus said to Judas, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Was Judas being obedient, opportunistic, or acting out of terror? Maybe a little of all three. He may have been the villain in the Easter story but a pretty important one as he set the the resurrection, and the fate of the world, in motion. In a way, he was just being human; inherently good, and rigged for survival.
Understandable? Forgivable? We know what Jesus thinks … What do you think?
A Musical Reflection:
“If I speak, I am condemend
If I stay silent i am damned… Who am I?”
~ Jean Val Jean, (24601!)
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