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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Honoring All Life

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This week I changed the topic for our Sunday message at the last moment. I had read the headline "The Lungs of the World are Burning," and I wanted to address the sadness I was feeling in me and the people around me. Since then, it has been pointed out to me several times that the headline is inaccurate in its comparison to lungs and the potential loss of breathable air.

I understand that now, and I also continue to feel drawn to loving our planet in the style our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, described when he wrote that we are to learn to appreciate Nature. He used an upper case N when referring to nature, to indicate the holiness of what Spirit created. Dr. Holmes advised us to “spend much time in the outdoors; look up at the stars; let them be your companions; tread the pathless ways of the trees and the giant forests and see God in everything that you look upon, the God of everywhere.”

To see this week's video on YouTube, click here.

How do I honor all people? How do I honor people I don’t agree with? How do I honor people who challenge my center of peace? Dr. Ernest Holmes, in The Science of Mind, page 232, reminds us that “Every thought of cruelty is disturbing to the entire body. Solomon tells us that “[The one] who is cruel, troubleth [their] own flesh,” and every adverse thought is cruel.” It seems, then, that our task on the spiritual journey is to find something to be grateful for in our encounters with others, something to bless and appreciate.

This is not necessarily an easy practice but a rewarding one. I remember visiting an ashram in India, where the guru taught his followers that nothing is worth abandoning your center of peace. I’ve never forgotten that wisdom, and I try to apply when I detect that I’m becoming disturbed by what is going on around me. I practice it by silently remembering the love in my life, the things I’m grateful for, and the miracle of life.

Warm regards,

Edward Viljoen

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