Monday, March 30, 2009

Where There is Hatred, Let Me Sow Love

Prayer For Today

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in the pardoning that we are pardoned, and
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I was reading in a newspaper article that hate groups are growing in this county. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 926 active hate groups in the United States in 2008. Wikipedia mentions that these included 186 separate Ku Klux Klan groups, 196 neo-nazi, 111 white nationalist, 98 racist skinhead, 39 Christian identity, 93 neo-confederate, 113 black separatist, and 90 general hate groups subdivided into anti-gay, anti-immigrant, Holocaust denial, racist music, radical traditionalist Catholic groups, and others espousing a variety of hateful doctrines.

The reason that article caught my attention is that just the day before I heard a testimony from one of our church sisters who had several contacts with some of these groups. Not so much that she "believed" in them or felt a lot of "love" from them but she was searching for some kind of meaning and purpose in life. Fortunately, she also contacted spiritual groups and finally found our church family where she feels save now and can deal with some of her personal issues, like growing up without a dad, not really been loved by her mother or anybody else for that matter when she was young.

I am not quite sure what the immediate answers are for these "hate groups." I am pretty sure that if we were to look into any of their past there are dysfunctional family situations and so in many ways these groups replace the family or community we all crave.

I believe in the traditional family structure of a family being raised by a dad and a mom, mainly because God created it that way. It took a man and a women to conceive a child. I cannot even fathom how anybody in their right mind can consider to raise a child on their own, for the exception of death of one partner which is hard on everybody involved.

And in rare moment we would sit down with some individuals of any of these groups, one would find out that in their original heart they are also looking for peace. Did anybody ever suggest meditation or some relaxation like yoga to them? There are many people today who believe that once we achieve the higher consciousness we will calm many of the restless drifters.

The One 100th Monkey Story of Social Change

"The Hundreth Monkey Effect" is a supposed phenomenon in which a learned behaviour spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached. By generalisation it means the instant, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned new ability.

The original story goes that some scientists were conducting a study of macaques monkeys on the Japanese island of Koshima in 1952. These scientists purportedly observed that some of these monkeys learned to wash sweet potatoes, and gradually this new behavior spread through the younger generation of monkeys—in the usual fashion, through observation and repetition.

This story is popular among New Age thinkers, assuming that there is a universal consciousness or a Creator to whom we are all connected spiritually. It is my hope and prayer that we can all become aware of this Higher Being, our God and eternal parent, and by focusing on His goodness, grace and mercy, hate and separatism will pass away. And as the second part of the prayer goes, we become the forgiveness, mercy and benevolence to others.

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