Religion: Reflections on Matthew 23

I was raised in the Orthodox and Reformed traditions of Judaism.

My Father was an Orthodox Jew when I was born and changed to

Reformed Judaism when I was older.

I had my Bar Mitzvah ceremony at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue.

The Rabbi at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue placed more emphasis
on action in the World over ritual in the Temple.

More pointedly, he taught that mercy is the heart of the law and the soul of faith.

Judaism informs my faith as a Christian.

Jesus said that he was the light of the World, which suggests the
world he entered lived in spiritual darkness.

The light of the world is the light of mercy and justice.

Mercy requires us to use our minds to know our souls and to know the
sufferings of another.

If each of us truly felt the horror of waking up to your city in flames, we would have no deadly shock and awe campaigns.

God chose to live among the people who barely survived at the bottom
of a merciless class system.

Why?

That question is as profound as the mystery of faith.

I believe in an imperfect God in a perfect universe that is still evolving
to become more perfect.

People of faith know that dogma and rhetoric are meaningless
word games.

Winning a war of lies is not the same as acting on faith.

We cannot justify hunger and deprivation when we have plenty.

Faith is quiet.

Faith is humble.

Faith gives freely and expects nothing in return.

Faith heals.

Our wounded world needs Faith, not dogma.

Our wounded souls need compassion, not angry politics.

Our suffering children need food and shelter, not guns for racist
vigilantes and tax cuts for a corrupt élite.

Faith transcends all religions and all political dogma.

In faith, we are one people; this includes the atheist.

Faith does not need belief in a God.

Acting on faith is as simple as bringing a meal to a hungry child, to
nourish what is human in that child.

Faith does not need to control the minds and bodies of other people.

True faith sets everyone free.

***

 

Rob Goldstein 2018

First posted 2015

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Religion: Love is a Verb

My conversion to Catholicism required two years of study and
meditation.

I was six months into my study when my mentor (catechist) gave
me a crucifix to take home.

He asked me to reflect on the meaning of the crucifix an hour
each evening for a week.

At the end of the week we met and I read him a paragraph from my journal.

“The crucifix is a symbol of the struggle to transcend the beast, which is not an external force, but a force within each of us. It causes a spiritual death that God wants us to transcend by acting with faith and compassion. We must love the other as we love ourselves..

I was a deeply committed and my mentor felt I had a vocation.

The exercise was a test of my vocation.

My catechist invited the Vocations Director from the Conventional Order of
St. Francis to join us.

I was accepted as a novitiate into the Conventual Order of St Francis of Assisi.

I planned to enter the friary as a Novitiate upon my baptism to continue the
process of discernment.

As a child I went to services every Saturday in an Orthodox Synagogue.

I studied the Old Testament in preparation for my Bar Mitvah.

I  didn’t  enter the Order but that is a topic for a different post.

Wanted Poster by Art Young -
Wanted Poster by Art Young

One does not have to be Christian, or believe in God to grasp the meaning of the story of Christ and learn from it.

The most powerful force in creation chose a lowly birth among the lowliest people in the Roman Empire.

This story of how God chose to incarnate is the central point of the Gospel, the Good News.

The good news is this: God loves all of His Creation regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or class; His Creation belongs to His Creation, all of it.

Lethal Medical Neglect
                    Discharged with Walker

“God’s heart has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself “became poor” (2 Cor 8:9). The entire history of our redemption is marked by the presence of the poor. Salvation came to us from the “yes” uttered by a lowly maiden from a small town on the fringes of a great empire. The Saviour was born in a manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families; he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb (cf. Lk 2:24; Lev 5:7); he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 197)

Lethal Medical Neglect
                         Urban Renewal

“In this context we can understand Jesus’ command to his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat!” (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter. The word “solidarity” is a little worn and at times poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity.”  (Evangelii Gaudium, 187)

 

Lethal Neglect
                              Red Soles

Let no one consider themselves to be the “armour” of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression! May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the right of everyone to religious freedom!

Pope Francis Sunday, 21 September 2014

Un Angelo

Rob Goldstein 2016

 

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7 Ways To Survive Your Kitchen

from yadadarcyyada

yadadarcyyada

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/03/23/7-ways-to-survive-your-kitchen/The sun set; dusk fell on the shelf, and lights began to appear along the stove. That which blends, so held, in hand or all alone, such power, to mix, to mash, to merge, to fuse, once individual, now as one, together. The upper reaches, the place of monstrous leftovers, marked ominously with a date, huddle in the brooding gloom of fridge light, mocked by the enticing garish glare of magnet cradled take-out flyers.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/03/23/7-ways-to-survive-your-kitchen/

 “And this,” she noted suddenly, “has to be one of the dark places of the earth.”

 In the static of their surroundings, the slightly scornful pots, pans, knives and other pointy things lurked, growled their promise, ready to play the food game.

 She doggedly tried to follow the medically suggested diet; the worst that could be said of her was she wanted to believe.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/03/23/7-ways-to-survive-your-kitchen/

 Food is not for the faint of heart, it beckons, it…

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The art of devotion – from China Sojourns Photography

A gorgeous post from Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Reblogged from China Sojourns Photography

Myanmar Devotion-1 Devotion inspires one of the purest sets of emotions, capturing love, loyalty and deep feelings of excitement that I do not think can ever be understood beyond our own personal experiences. In the world around us, so much devotion towards deities, lovers, children and nature, all linked to our desire to better understand.

Myanmar Devotion-2 Devotion in its pure form is absolutely awe inspiring to witness. I may not share or understand the experience of the devotee, but often cannot help but feel some attachment with their act of devotion.

Myanmar Devotion-3 To many, devotion is a scary word.  Devotion requires commitment, and the fear of commitment alone can send people running for the door. Contrarily, the only emotion equal to the feeling of devotion is the feeling of freedom.    Freedom to live, to pursue and to reach the potential hidden within, for this is what life’s about. This is…

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