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Everyday spirituality and unsung heroes

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This week Jan 24th St. Francis De Sales is commemorated in Catholic Christianity. He was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church in the 1600’s. De Sales wrote a book, Introduction to a Devout Life which introduced the idea that even everyday life can be sanctified.

For many a Native American it’s all sacred ground; the Great Spirit active within all.

In Judaism, Abraham Joshua Heschel explains that ‘Just as man is not alone in what he is, he is not alone in what he does. A mitzvah is an act which God and man have in common. . . The spirit of mitzvah is togetherness. . . The oldest form of piety is expressed in the Bible as walking with God.’ (p 287 from God in Search of Man, A Philosophy of Judaism) It’s communion and fellowship in expressing and living ‘the greater good’.

In the Sikh and other Eastern traditions (Buddhism), much is made of the importance of not only the role but purpose of ‘the householder’ living an ethical, faithful life.

There are a lot of unsung heroes in our culture: nursing and personal care assistants, tow truck drivers, road crews and city workers- in sanitation, water works, plumbers, furnace and HVAC repair people, mechanics, the grounds crew, maintenance & facilities, day care employees and countless nameless, faceless people who keep things running day in and day out.

I am seeing the sacred in everyday things, and finding the ‘God-ness’ everywhere, across faith traditions and cultures as a ray of hope for civilization in evolving and perhaps just ‘making it’ after all.

Meditation for this post:

‘Sparkling Word, ardent strength, you who work the multiple in order to breathe your life into it, I beg you, lower your powerful hands, your kind hands, your omni-present hands on us, those hands which touch neither here nor there but which, blended with the present and past depth and the universe of things, simultaneously reach out to us by all that is the most vast and the most interior, in us and around us.” (p 78 15 Days of Prayer with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Local Events:

Monday, January 21st Capital University commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King beginning at 8am with events throughout the day. See http://www.capital.edu/mlk-day/

For other religious gatherings and events in Central Ohio see: http://www.dispatch.com/content/topic/news/religion/gatherings.html

January 25th marks a week of prayer for Christian Unity. Visit St. Thomas More Newman Center on Lane Ave at 7:30pm.

IACO.org reports that the Columbus Faith Coalition Against Violence has been formed by a group of religious leaders in Columbus to pray for an end to violence in our city. Meeting for prayer and fellowship February 10 at Tifereth Israel Congregation; March 3 at Noor Islamic Cultural Center

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