Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Archive for the ‘Catholicism’ Category

Simply Me

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I am not Hindu. I am not Buddhist. I am not Christian. I am not Jewish. I am not Muslim.

That is not to say I do not believe in God, or whatever name you shall attach to that which has no name but is called by many names.

I claim no flag as my own. I live under no one roof. I am beholden to no one’s truth, but that which sits firmly in my own heart. That is not to say that I am separate, but that I go from day to day depending on my struggles and that I only know what I feel. And what I feel may change daily depending on my struggles.

That is not to say that I do not believe in anything, but that my faith is challenged every day. Some days I know myself as though 1000 years have passed, and other days I know myself as I know a stranger.

I do not always know why I am. I only know that I am here. And as I write this there seems not to be a purpose but simply to be me.

Prophecy

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flood prophecyThe idea of prophecy has captured the minds of many over the ages. From religious and ancient texts to self-proclaimed psychics and seers to seemingly miraculous personal experiences, men and women from cultures around the world have contemplated its purpose and power. From seeing, whether in the waking state or sleeping state, to feeling, physically and or emotionally, the experience and idea of prophecy has left many to question their faith, the workings of the universe and sometimes one’s very own sanity.

For many people, the future is thought to be unknowable, but bound by something we call “time.” Just out of view it serves as inspiration, and hope for something better. It serves as motivation for improving one’s current state of existence. For others, the future is thought to be knowable, but only in dribs and drabs. Sometimes dreamlike, it entices the seer. What could be the reason for having a glimpse into the future? Is it really the future that is being seen, or has all of this happened before?

Regardless of whether what is seen serves as a warning or a fanciful “what if” moment, the experience often serves as a reminder of the mysteries that surround us. When one sees what they perceive as the future, are they an observer, or do they remain an active participant in their own lives? The idea of free will comes into question and suddenly one is thrust into contemplating a future and life that has already been predetermined. If life and existence itself were predetermined, is the value of life suddenly cheapened? Is birth, death and all that comes in between simply a formality?

Perhaps the question of predetermination and free-will are more a matter of perception than practicality. For many the idea of a predetermined life is slavery draped in different clothes. For others it is the acceptance of choices made long ago, but also made in this very moment. What if every choice, and every choice resulting from that choice, and so on, for all possible choices of every creation, existed all at once? What if like the threads of a blanket, by pulling and manipulating one thread, each thread of that blanket were affected? And so in being able to understand one choice, one has the ability to understand all other choices affected by that single choice and all other choices before it.

In that breathe, perhaps the past, present and future are all the same, existing simultaneously, although for many, experienced one at a time. Like a series of dominoes in every which direction that fall and reset themselves, the past, present and future are continuously unfolding. From the view of the domino it only knows itself, and what comes immediately before and after it. When seen together, one path is realized, and sometimes more than one path is realized at a given time. Which is the present? Which is the past? Which is the future? Does it matter?

When our choices are realized, maybe it is not the order in which they are seen that matters, but rather what is learned or understood in that moment. Like an intricate dance, all of existence is being expressed, and what we choose to see is up to us. Suddenly the power of prophecy lay not in the future, but in understanding the eternal now.

Desert Light

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flame in the desertDo not turn your back on love. When all seems lost, and you are walking in the desert aimlessly seeking a way out, do not turn your back on love. Do not follow the haphazard as they flee into the night. Do not turn your back on those who would only show a way out. Do not turn your back on those who would only remind you of what is possible.

Hold your chin up and remember who you are. Hold your chin up and remember the love inside. Hold your chin up and enjoy what is all around. Worry not about those who would proclaim doom. Worry not about those who have run in fear. Worry not about the desert night. Follow the guiding light of your heart.

Prayer, Meditation with Purpose

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people in prayerThe power of prayer does not come from how many times we recite a prayer. The power of prayer does not come from how many people pray for the same outcome. It does not come from facing Mecca, or facing the Wailing Wall. The power of prayer does not come from sitting in a church or peering through a glass floor at the supposed birthplace of Jesus. It does not come from ringing bells, or lighting candles. The power of prayer does not come from intermediaries such as saints or devotees. The power of prayer comes from one’s true intent. Prayer is like having an intimate relationship with the Creator. Prayer allows one to speak directly with God/Allah to give thanks, or to ask for guidance. Prayer allows for communing with all that is. Prayer is meditation with purpose. Prayer is peaceful awakening.

You, Becoming Me

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I am a Sufi.
I am a Jew.
I am a Christian.
I am a Buddhist.
I am Hindi.
I am you.

I am a man.
I am a woman.
I am you.

I am a teacher.
I am a preacher.
I am a lawyer.
I am a servant.
I am a slave.
I am you.

I am creation.
I am destruction.
I am you.

I am you, becoming me.

If Jesus were Alive Today

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Homeless in a tunnelIf Jesus were alive today in some place on Earth, would you be ready to hear his message? Would you run in fear for the life you currently lead, or would you stand up and say “This is who I am.” Would you be ready to hear his message, even if it didn’t sound quite like yours? Would you lose respect for him if he was not quite who you thought him to be? What if he were less than perfect and made the same mistakes in this life we all too often are guilty of making? What if in his youth, he was an unruly child who stole and made life for his parents’ difficult? What if during part of his life he was addicted to drugs or alcohol? What if he was an un-kept man, who live behind a building? What if the company he kept included murders and rapists? What if he stole for an occasional meal? Would you still love Jesus? Would you give him the time of day? Would you offer him a place to stay or a place to lie? Would you know him if you saw him? What if a part of Jesus walked in every man and woman? Would you extend your hand to all who came to you and even to those who walked away? What would you do?

Written by Sidewalk Bends

April 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm

The Kingdom

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Jesus teaching If we are all God’s children, why do some choose to hold one above another? Some might call me a heretic and others might call me blasphemous, but was Jesus not a man? Did he not bleed? Did he not die? Though it is certainly true that he lived his life by his virtues, and he shared his life with many, why do some choose to hold him on a pedestal? Can we not all stand with God? Can we not all do God’s will? Can we not all share God’s grace? Can we all not speak with God? Some say we are only human, and to that I say, so was Jesus. We may try to create excuses for ourselves as to why we do the things we do. We might try to weigh our beliefs by what we can gain, and we may compromise our self-worth for the worldly attributes of this life, but Jesus has shown us that the kingdom of heaven is not across the river of life. It is life. It is in this life and the next life. To live in the kingdom does not only mean to love and to have compassion. It means to live it. It means in every thought and in every action, we should remind ourselves of who we are. We should remind ourselves from where we came to where we shall return. Jesus was a great man and did wonderful things in his life and through his life, but we are no different than him. By our choices we become who we become.