Picking Landmarks

The one passage that really struck me from the readings at Mass yesterday is the second one in which Peter wrote, in Romans 9:1-5:

“For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.”

What a challenging concept. Peter is wishing his own damnation if it were necessary to save his people. Seems similar, in my immature knowledge of Buddhism, to the concept of the Bodhisattva, who might achieve Nirvana but for his work to help others reach the goal. What kind of love, what kind of courage does it take to forsake one’s ultimate spiritual goal to help others achieve theirs? And is that *really* forsaking one’s own spiritual goal?

Oh how I would love to hear more Christians pray like this. Oh heck, I’d settle for having the faith and courage to pray like this myself.

While we are on challenging readings, my daily Hindu reading was equally challenging:

“Brahman cannot be realized by those
Who are subject to greed, fear, and anger.
Brahman cannot be realized by those
Who are subject to the pride of name and fame
Or to the vanity of scholarship.
Brahman cannot be realized by those
Who are enmeshed in life’s duality.

But to all those who pierce this duality,
Whose hearts are given to the Lord of Love,
He gives himself through his infinite grace,
He gives himself through his infinite grace.”

-Tejabindu Upanishad

I like the challenging ones. It’s like picking landmarks on the horizon in the direction you are walking. Except in my case, they don’t seem to be getting much closer….

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