Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Sunday 2012

When I was a little girl, my parents took us to church every Sunday. We had a large family, our parents and all 10 children. Mom always dressed us in our Sunday best. I remember church. We went to a Catholic Cathedral. The ceilings were so high. It seemed as if they arched to the sky overhead. They were gloriously painted, just like the cathedrals in Rome, so ornate, in Gold and other colors. Right in the center of the cathedral's highest pinnacle was a picture of an eye. My mother said it was God's Eye, watching down on us. I was fascinated by that eye. I peered up at every opportunity to see God watching down on me. If I ever acted up, my mom would shake her finger at me and say, "Remember, God is watching you." I looked up at the ceiling and immediately behaved, folding my hands in prayer.
I remember going to Catholic school. We always went to Mass every morning. I always behaved, knowing God was watching. In school, we studied our lessons. School was strict, but I knew education was important.
I remember the teachings - the two Greatest Commandments of Jesus.
1. Love God
2. Love thy neighbor as thyself

When I think of these commandments, I think of how important these commandments are in our world today. These two commandments are so interrelated. When you love God, you love yourself. You respect life and all He has made. With each experience, good or bad, you learn, you grow and somehow, even through the most difficult of times, you continue -- through resilience.

You learn you are responsible for yourself, your children and their children. You have an obligation to teach them and to learn from them.
When you love your neighbor as yourself, you know that all human beings are created equal. There should NEVER be Hate Crimes. No one should ever be hunted or killed due to the color of their skin or their differences. We cannot judge others unless we first judge ourselves.

As equals, All Immigrants should be welcomed.

As we care for ourselves, we must care for the elderly, especially as their health deteriorates.

As keepers of Peace, Violence should never be tolerated - and guns, for the sake of violence, should not be permitted.
You learn to respect others. You don't judge others.

The best examples of these Two Commandments are in the Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring Your love;
where there is injury, your pardon Lord;
where there is doubt, true faith in you;

Make me a channel of your peace;
where there is despair in life let me bring hope;
where there is darkness, only light;
and where there is sadness, ever joy.

Oh,Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

in giving of ourselves that we receive

and in dying we are born to eternal life.

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