By Br. Bjorn, OES
Many of us have heard, seen and felt the effects of the misuse of holy texts as an excuse for hatred, injustice, war, violence and exclusion. It is my belief that this phenomenon occurs because humans project their personal likes, dislikes, fears and desires onto their image of God, and in order to make this twisted image fit, the teachings of many holy texts must also be twisted to reflect the God that a given person wishes to see.
A few examples of this in our current time include the fight for equality as it relates to marriage, the systematic racism that breeds injustice and by extension, the denial that this horror still exists, the overwhelming and ever-increasing gap between the rich and the impoverished, and the countless parts of our world that are unceasingly ravaged by the atrocities of war and violence.
I invite you, over the next month, to reflect on the teachings of the texts considered holy in your personal path of faith. This does not mean a given church's interpretation or teachings concerning the texts, rather your own experience with the texts themselves and how they speak to you on a personal level.
Ask yourself whether they provoke an invitation to the ways of peace, joyful gratitude and charity, or if they stir up fear, hatred and anger within you. Reflect on these things, bring them into your practice of prayer and decide whether they are life-giving or not.
If each of us desires to see peace in the world, we must begin by cultivating peace within ourselves.
Br. Bjorn, OES
Reflections from the monks and nuns of OES.