Tuesday, 8 February 2011

February Pause for Thought...

Pause For Thought ….
with Lesley Fellows

Do you ever think religion does more harm than good? Do you ever read stories about religious people that make you wince? Do you ever think that Richard Dawkins has a point when he talks about abusive religion? There are some terrible stories in the news that make me put my head in my hands. But there again, I came across this piece of writing by a Quaker called Bernard Canter, and he answers these questions so well:

Religion is living with God. There is no other kind of religion. Living with a Book, living with or by a Rule, being awfully high-principled are not in themselves religion, although many people think they are and that that is all there is to it. Religion has got a bad name through being identified with an outward orderliness. But an outward orderliness can be death, dullness and masochism. Doing your duty may be admirable stoicism; it isn't religion.
To find religion itself you must look inside people and inside yourself. And there, if you find even the tiniest grain of true love, you may be on the right scent. Millions of people have it and don't know what it is that they have. God is their guest, but they haven't the faintest idea that he is in the house. So you mustn't only look where God is confessed and acknowledged. You must look everywhere, to find the real religion.
I completely believe that true Religion transforms both us and our world for the better. It is based on compassion and love, not on stoicism, nor on legalism, nor on judgementalism. It is like falling in love, it transforms everything, because nothing can ever be the same again. We do need to open our eyes and our hearts though. I will leave you with some words that I love from a nun called Joan Chittister:

All life takes on a new dimension once we begin to see it as spiritual people. The bad does not destroy us and the good gives us new breath because we are always aware that everything is more than it is. The family is not just a routine relationship; it is our sanctification. Work is not just a job; it is our exercise in miracle making. Prayer is not just quiet time; it is an invitation to grow. We begin to find God where we could not see God before, not as a panacea or an anesthetic, not as a cheap release from the problems of life, but as another measure of life's meaning for us.
I pray that all of us find ourselves surprised by God this year.


  1. That was nice, I liked it. I wont say how deep the idea of God takes me, it wouldn't be fair, it's not my blog, and some things are simply best kept to yourself.

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