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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Looking at how to be fair

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The disparity is obvious. The Pacific Northwest received little to no snowfall last winter and therefore their fresh water resources are greatly diminished. We here in the northeast received so much snow it’s all I did was shovel the driveway last winter. Plus, we are getting rain regularly now.

It doesn’t seem fair. But nothing in this human life has ever seemed fair. The only times when I feel as though fairness is exonerated is when I act as fair as possible myself.

I don’t mean I divide money amounts evenly between our children when giving gifts. I mean, when I am fair in my judgements and reactions.

Fairness is more apparent when I am open-minded when talking with friends, acquaintances, politicians.  Or, when I am unbiased when reading the newspapers and watching the television. Or when I am rational when I look at world conditions.

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People in the Pacific Northwest will learn better how to conserve water. I can conserve also, even if we have plenty of water in the northeast.

We don’t need to become super-afraid at the unfairness. We can take each situation and see our way through it with grace and fairness.

From 21st Century Science and Health: “Civilization and Science stand strong on the side of justice, and encourage the elimination of discrimination, however, every time an effort is made to remedy unfairness, we must be alert that the effort doesn’t encourage difficulties of greater magnitude. Higher aims and motives, as well as improved mental character, must be considered as the feasible and rational means of progress.”

waterfall

 

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On the offense team

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The cliché, “The best defense is a good offense,” makes sense even to non-sports people like me. It can be applied to ball games, military combat, and I believe, it can be applied to religion. Too much defense and there is a lack of vision for scoring, whether the scoring results in a ball through the hoop, peace of mind, or spiritual growth and healing.

How do we have a strong offensive team when it comes to spiritual goals and religion?

Before we consider a few key points to help answer that question, it’s vital to recognize that we must first break any bad habits of being on the defense. That might sound simple, but it isn’t.

There will always be criticizers of truth seekers, spiritual travelers. And, we can sometimes get really good at defending our spiritual position or rebounding after we’ve been attacked. However, emphasis on defense causes us to become our own worst enemy and as a result, our own spiritual growth is resisted.

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Ironically, opponents can walk off the field and go about their own life while we spend all the time defending our beliefs.

This has become apparent in some religious institutions, even the one I grew up in.

Members in declining churches spend too much time defending their rituals, their favorite passages, and ways of thinking, so much so, they score very little if any spiritual progress and experience. Unwittingly, the defensive attitude created a powerful imagined bogey-man. Real opponents aren’t even necessary and the church falls into oblivion.

Yes, we have to defend ourselves, however, defend, but move back to the offense team.

A few strategies can be taken from basketball.

Avoid focusing too much on the one-on-one aspect of offense, rather than the team aspect. In other words, don’t take things so personally. Get a world view of spirituality and remember it’s an ever-operating force allowing us to progress toward an immortal consciousness and experience. You aren’t the only one progressing spiritually and we can help one another.

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Be a part of the game, instead of standing around and watching the action. Or, don’t only be a spectator. Be involved and pro-active with the goodness occurring in and around you.

Look to pass before looking to shoot. In other words, keep an eye on the opponents while yet assessing who on your team is in the open to make the score. Contribute to the best opportunities. This may require supporting another religion or a new way of doing things.

Keep your cool — don’t commit a cheap and foolish foul after making a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. When it happens, snap back into the game of life and let spirituality guide you, not frustration.

The list of key points could go on, but when I follow even these few, I notice an uptick in spiritual thoughts. I am better able to pass over mistakes made by other spiritual travelers and this in turn helps me feel as though they too will forgive me my mistakes. It can also open the door to new ideas, new options.

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For example, conservative political commentator and columnist, Patrick Buchanan wrote an article on June 1, entitled, “Christian culture under assault in this country.”

Jesuit-Missionary-Pierre-Jean-De-Smet-sluBuchanan noted in his article that Saint Louis University (SLU), “will remove a heroic-sized statue of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. from the front of Fusz Hall, where it has stood for 60 years.”

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Historically, after entering the priesthood in year1827, Fr. De Smet was responsible for the establishment of many missions in America.

Recently SLU faculty and staff felt the De Smet statue became an item of controversy, representing, “a history of colonialism, imperialism, racism and of Christian and white supremacy.”

Buchanan comes across as a bit put out in his column, as if Christianity is being attacked. But that is my defensive interpretation, whereas I get on the offense team and think he has given us an opportunity to become more accountable for our world views.

I don’t have to get upset. I can strive to improve my attitude and behavior to match the evolved Christian view that all people are created equal and are equally loved by God.

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I can affirm that moving the statute to the university’s art museum can’t ultimately promote or destroy Christianity. The statute only influences human beings if they let it.

I have the choice not to stereotype the university staff for being cowards, and I have the ability to appreciate still the statute of De Smet along with other artistic expressions that depict religious truths. Even more, I can use or develop my own ability to express religious truths artistically.

For example, I can craft my newspaper articles by carving out integrity, moral courage, and selflessness.

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Finding the sacred

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Some things in life, we treat as sacred: relationships, spirit, the earth, our work.

We are bewildered when other people treat them irreverently. Deep down we know the truth of the matter, that we must treat our earth with respect, otherwise it will be destroyed.

Yet nothing in this material world is permanent, although the trust, creativity, and beauty of our relationships, the earth, and our work is.

This helps me when I flop back and forth believing the Bible is sacred, or not. I read in 21st Century Science and Health, “The Scriptures are sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained.”

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I can expand on this verse and remind myself that my relationships are sacred as I understand them spiritually. Spirit is sacred as I understand it internally. My work is sacred as I comprehend it spiritually. And, the Bible can be sacred as I understand it in the form of ideas.

sacred

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Spiritual cause

posted by Cheryl Petersen

From Abridged Chapter, Science of Being

A terrible habit is to believe without understanding. Spiritual leaders are often misunderstood. Followers, who misinterpret their leader, will also misinterpret themselves. To understand Jesus the Christ takes time; even his disciples had a difficult time grasping his words and works.

petri dishesJesus didn’t get hung up on the physical symptoms or causes, but searched the spiritual cause. He was patient with himself as he practiced surrendering the mortal or fleshly senses. The closer he got to God, the further away he got from the arrogant conformists bent on restricting Spirit to a ritual or human ideology. Using common sense and scientific conclusions, Jesus was a scientist of Mind. He was inspired by Life, Truth, and Love. He wasn’t inspired by human emotionalism or agendas any more than he was inspired by a hormone. Hormones have no power. Put a hormone or chemical in a petri dish and see if the petri dish is inspired or vitalized.

Jesus took a scientific approach, moving forward in thought with effective arguments. The better he understood God, the more he was misunderstood by the materialist thinkers. He knew the Ego was Mind, instead of the body.

Previous Posts

Looking at how to be fair
The disparity is obvious. The Pacific Northwest received little to no snowfall last winter and therefore their fresh water resources are greatly diminished. We here in the northeast received so much snow it’s all I did was shovel the driveway ...

posted 8:53:22am Jun. 25, 2015 | read full post »

On the offense team
The cliché, “The best defense is a good offense,” makes sense even to non-sports people like me. It can be applied to ball games, military combat, and I believe, it can be applied to religion. Too much defense and there is a lack of vision ...

posted 8:20:21am Jun. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Finding the sacred
Some things in life, we treat as sacred: relationships, spirit, the earth, our work. We are bewildered when other people treat them irreverently. Deep down we know the truth of the matter, that we must treat our earth with respect, otherwise ...

posted 8:08:26am Jun. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Spiritual cause
From Abridged Chapter, Science of Being A terrible habit is to believe without understanding. Spiritual leaders are often misunderstood. Followers, who misinterpret their leader, will also misinterpret themselves. To understand Jesus the ...

posted 8:58:12am Jun. 09, 2015 | read full post »

The role of integrity and honor
Excerpt from Modern Christian Science Bible Lesson John 5: 1-9, 16-30 (NIV) Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and ...

posted 8:54:22am Jun. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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