Friday, February 4, 2011

Forgiving and Loving

In 2001, the Dalai Lama answered a question during a Peace Pilgrimage in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As one of the participants in the multi-nation, multi-faith event, I was curious how he would respond.

An American woman said, “I have studied Buddhism, and think it is such a wonderful philosophy. So reasonable, so peace making. I think I should become a Buddhist. Do you recommend conversion?”

True to his easy manner, the Dalai Lama first smiled and chuckled.

“Where do you live? Is there a Buddhist community near you?

The questioner replied, sadly, that her Illinois city had no Buddhist center or community.

His Holiness asked, “What places of worship are near you?”

“The closest church is Episcopalian,” she replied.

“Well, then,” he smiled, “Go be the best Episcopalian you can!”

Vividly remembering this wise advice, when traveling, I typically worship with whatever religious group is nearby. On Sunday, this meant I prayed with a United Methodist Church in Yalesville, Connecticut.

Here are two of the prayers we read together, which I feel are most worthy of sharing.

Prayer of Confession
Almighty God, we enter your presence confessing the things we try to conceal from you and the things we try to conceal from others. We confess the heartbreak, worry and sorrow we have caused, that make it difficult for others to forgive us, the times we have made it easy for others to do wrong, the harm we have done that it makes it hard for us to forgive ourselves. Lord forgive us through Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Dedication of Tithes
God of surprises, you grab our attention in the midst of life’s crises and reversals. As we return to you these gifts for your work in the world, we covenant with you to live as part of your blessing on others, as a manifestation of your love. We pray this through your grace shown us in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Whoever your guru is…Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Mother Nature….it seems forgiving and loving others is a Universal Practice we all can follow.

1 comment:

  1. You have never,purposely, caused heartbreak or injury,you give more of yourself in an hour than most of us give in a week. Be proud of yourself. Love Your Motha