Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

Like many around the globe, I have been following the journey of Pope Francis with interest. I was raised Jewish and am an interfaith minister, so the idea of a spiritual leader also being a diplomat, traveling to the United States fascinates me. He is not just addressing Catholics, but those of different faith traditions as well. Although I don’t agree with all of the teachings of any religion, I see that this man is a revolutionary in many ways as he speaks out about poverty, war, human rights and personal dignity. He encourages unity rather than divisiveness.

Today at the gym, while on the treadmill, I felt as if I was taking a walk with him and those who joined him at the Ground Zero memorial. Felt deeply moved by the respect shown to each faith tradition and the ideals of bringing people together, without the rallying cry that ‘my God’s better than your God.’ He spoke of the idea that one thing creating the events of 9/11 was that we were not able to focus on the common good. I thought about what that would mean. Can we put our individual ‘me first’ interests aside in favor of a world view and how to make life on the planet sustainable for all? An interfaith service brought together people from the various faith traditions. Members of the clergy offered prayers for peace and if the language was something other than English, it was translated. A cantor chanted an exquisite prayer for those who lost their lives on that day 14 years ago when the world came together in a sense of solidarity that had not been seen before.

A children’s choir sweetly sang Let There Be Peace on Earth. The camera panned down the line of these young people who are our hope for the future. I was particularly moved by the interlocking fingers as they held on to their shared conviction that peace is a reality, not just some pipe dream. May they make it a daily practice. May we as adults set the example in our interactions.

May we all take that walk together hand in hand.

 

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