I wake up and look out my window – joyful summer flowers blooming, the sparkle of water in our pool, birds cheering the day and sun shining over the garden! I am grateful for many blessings, my freedoms, for sweet America, for the forefathers who came together with a vision to resist oppression and wrote the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. My prayer for America today is that we recognize and utilize our strength of spirit, insight, awe of the beauty around us, and a full perspective of the choices and possibilities for our country, its people and all people everywhere. May we protect our mother earth and nourish her to health and vitality. May we open our eyes to the suffering of people and animals around us, and lend a hand to make this world a better place in which to live now and for future generations. May we have the vision and strength of the great eagle. Today, may we lead the way in changing the culture of oppression within and without our great country.
I love this Thomas Merton quote,
“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . .
This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. . . . I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”
― Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander