This craving, this desire to fill ourselves with “things” is often a mask, a recognition that we are hollow on the inside, that there is something in us that is calling out to be fulfilled. That craving, however, is often not about things, but an opening in the heart that can only be filled by the love of another that makes us whole.
So what do people of faith have to say today, facing the catastrophic destruction in Philippines? Where do we stand? Do we have a contribution that is actually informed by our faith traditions? Here are five points to keep in mind and in our hearts as we link together direct and immediate compassionate action with spiritual reflection.
The moral blind spots of Nobel Peace Prize winners Obama, Elie Wiesel, and Ayung San Suu Kyi are a reminder that we have to keep each other accountable, even the most noble and beautiful of us. We have to insist that we practice moral constancy, and shine the light on those moral blind spots.
Religions cannot promise happiness.
Religions should not promise happiness.
If we are truly fortunate, religion can be a path that brings with it contentment.
How are we to make sense of Madonna’s interest in Islam? It’s about a number of factors, ranging from Islamophobia to the entertainment industry to racial privilege. And the Islamic ethical tradition might have something to offer us here.
The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should haunt us to remain ever vigilant against the catastrophic and devastating nature of violence. That includes today’s ongoing Drone Wars.
This is not simply Islamists vs. Secularists. It is tempting to see this as a struggle of Islamicly leaning AKP against secularists. And that would be a mistake. A strong leader, Erdogan, is facing a substantial percentage of his own society who right now do not feel represented, included, seen, heard, and accounted for. It’s a great opportunity for Turkey to become an even more vibrant democracy.
Rumi enjoins upon the reader to serve as a gracious host to each of these guests of the heart.
Welcome grief, allow it to feel at home, and then bid it farewell.
Welcome joy, treat it as a gracious host would, and then kiss it on its way.
The purpose is not (merely) to expose and ridicule—ok, maybe there is a touch of that—but rather to shine the light on areas of shortcoming that we, all of us, will have to deal with if we are to get to a more beautiful place than we are right now.