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Ethical Infants

Know how a word or phrase sticks in your head and you can’t get around it?  Each morning I read a mediation from the Center for Contemplation and Action, and the word for the day from monks at the Society of St. John the Evangelist. Something often sticks. The meditations in the past week from CAC have been on the Beatitudes. Some interesting authors have been quoted: John Dear, an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence, Pope Paul VI, Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Wisdom Jesus that some of our Circle Groups have been reading. But the big surprise of the week was General Omar Bradley from an address he gave in 1948 on Armistice Day. He said: We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount…. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.

I used to read the news first in the morning. Given the current political situation in our country and around the world, I have reversed the process. I read the meditations and word for the day as a way of creating a filter through which to read the news. I find myself being more thoughtful and less reactive about the news.

The great spiritual masters of the ages teach us that all life is one. That we are called to hold all of the seeming contradictions together. We tend toward dualistic thinking: us and them, black and white, right and left, right and wrong. It a useful way of getting through decisions of daily life; yet there is the so-called third way. The way that holds all of life together. The glue is love. That is where on any given day, at any given moment, I am truly an infant, not only ethically, but in every way. I’m only taking baby steps here. Letting go and trusting in God’s love in and through me gets me through the news and encourages me to take the next step.

What word or phrase have you come up against this week? Where has it led you? What’s your next step?

Blessings on your journey.
Larry Handwerk