May holy angels dip their fingers in your soup.
> DB - The Vagabond
> I once read a play written by a Catholic priest turned playwright. In it
> was a conversation between two priests who had gone out for a drink together
> one evening. One of them says that with all the robes and other
> paraphernalia that they wear when they are up there in front of the
> congregation his favorite garment is his ordinary t-shirt because it shows
> that underneath he's just a regular slob like everybody else.
> I knew an Episcopal priest who one Sunday morning took off all the
> various vestments he was wearing and threw them on the floor. Some of
> the people got up and left but the ones who remained he invited downstairs
> to sit around and share communion. Every Sunday after that a loyal
> congregation joined him for bread and wine at the table downstairs and they
> talked about things.
> I have and I read from books on many different religious topics. I have
> three Bibles, also the Koran, the Zohar, Oahspe (what's that?), Lao Tzu,
> books on Buddhism, Hinduism, Martinism, (what's that?), Shintoism, Christian
> Science, New Age, Wicca, I've read Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas,
> the Dalai Lama. and Moses Maimonides, studied Tarot and the I Ching, I have
> a Daily Missal, The Book of Mormon and The Book Of Common Prayer and I could
> go on.
> So what do I think of religion? Two very important and related things.
> First: give me religion that is willing to get its hands and face dirty, to
> turn over the rocks, to plow the fields, to peer into the corners and walk
> down the dark alleys. Prayer for those who need it, like sex, is never
> safe. Compassion in a vigorous, effective practice has a boomerang attached
> to it. Cowards may go to church but they don't belong in religion. The
> healing of the multiplying ills of the world is the task of religion and
> anything less is hypocrisy.
> Second: I think, as do many of those I've read, that the destiny of mankind
> is to ultimately go beyond what it seems capable of. To achieve
> perfection. And the only road leading to that end is through spirituality,
> holiness and the overcoming of all binding limitations of the mortal world.
> I think you can see how these two thoughts are related. The classic chalice
> of the Eucharistic sacrifice has a base, a stem and a cup. Starting from the
> lowest level of human life, right down to the t-shirt, benevolent energies
> must spread out to embrace the world in every place. and in every
> condition. No lines can be drawn. No exclusions can be made. From there
> the feeding and the healing must proceed, Healing not preaching. There may
> be time enough to talk after the soup is poured and drunk. If not, then
> not. Leave the doctrine behind, the work is not done.
> With every spoonful of soup, with every bandaging of a wound, with every
> nail hammered into a dwelling place the religionist must never lose sight of
> the supreme goal: freedom from the bondage of limitation. loss, despair and
> ignorance, the attainment of celestial realities, the true perfection of
> spiritual life. No self-conngratulations are in order. He must be brought,
> and bring all, up through the stem to the place where they are ready to
> receive the wine of wisdom, the gracious soup of peace and liberation from
> all harm, hazard, danger and mortality.
> Am I ready for that kind of religion? I don't know. But I know I wouldn't
> settle for anything less. The proof is in the soup.