Having been raised a Catholic, and loving my faith as a child, I am taking toll on where it has come since then. I had so many questions and disagreements as a teen and young mother. I caused my parents a lot of grief. It was mostly about the riches of the Vatican as they compared to the pain and hunger and poverty of the world that I couldn't stand behind. And being a "sinner" full of guilt when I erred. It all was just not right in my heart.
And then I just kind of gave it all up and began to study spirituality without organized religion playing any part. It brought me through a time spent in People's Temple with Jim Jones - where I lost one of my best high school friends. Through depression and over a bridge into paranormal psychology. Into anthroposophy. Meditation and eastern religion. Back to the paranormal. To a student of new age spiritual writers. And into this mixing pot of all of the above. But one lasting truth throughout is I believe in God. And I believe in a good God who only loves. Doesn't punish or cause suffering. I believe it is all there for us and we have free will. The baseline is love and fear. God is Love. And fear is created in our own free will. Our lessons to learn on this earth and then we return to God.
Those are my bare-boned basics.
What brought me to these thoughts and my desire to write was the word "Beatitudes" that came to me clear as a bell in my dream last night. I've been thinking about this word all day and decided to visit Mr. Google tonight for a refresher course. After much reading and research I came to these lists and found The Works of Mercy, which I also remembered. It's interesting to count those that remain in my heart and soul, and those that don't. Those? No, one.
The corporal works of mercy are as follows:
To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To harbour the harbourless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy are:
To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offences willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead.
There is really only one that doesn't speak to me any longer. That says something for how I was raised. (Thanks Mom and Dad.) "To admonish the sinner" comes from the house of judgement and I don't think it comes from my merciful and loving God. Who am I to admonish anyone but myself? And how helpful is admonishing anyone, myself included? To "warn someone firmly"? No. To "advise someone earnestly"? Perhaps. But I can protect the weak, live a life worthy of imitation, and recognize and right my own wrongs.
I'm learning. I'm trying. I deeply hope I am not offending anyone here, that is truly not my intention. I honor the fact that we each have our own beliefs and they all hopefully lead to Love. I rarely write about politics or religion. But this comes from an opening up of myself. I am just sharing my heart with you. Here I give you The Works of Mercy as I learned them as a child and found them again today. And it all started with that dream last night....