How Cold Will the Winter Be?
It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side – and because he didn’t want to disappoint his people – he replied that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared, so out they went to begin collecting wood.
But also being a practical leader, he sneaked to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”
“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed,” the Meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.
One week later he called the National Weather Service again. “Is it going to be a very cold winter?” he asked.
“Yes,” the man at National Weather Service again replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”
The Chief again went back to his people and told them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”
“Absolutely,” the man replied. “It looks like it’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever.”
“How can you be so sure?” the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.”
The Wisdom of Pope Francis
Pope Francis has spoken quite a few words of wisdom since he came into his office. Many of those words have encouraged not just those of the Catholic Faith, but others who are working on their journey and aiding the collective consciousness of the Earth. WE are some of those who work as a Light onto the world. So, I thought it might be fun and enlightening to look at some of the things Pope Francis has said and how those words might be relevant, and even equal to, much of what those of us in Unity believe and strive for.
Shortly he will be visiting Tacloban where the people are still recovering from the incredible power of super Typhoon Haiyan. And after that he will be issuing an encyclical urging all Catholics to take action on climate change on moral and scientific grounds.
Encyclicals are published on issues of high priority to the Pope. His plan is to affect the outcome of a very important meeting late in 2015 at The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That meeting’s expressed intent is to create a legally binding global agreement about actions to take on climate change. Visiting Tacloban and then issuing the encyclical will present a strong and clear message of the urgency of this issue. AT least we pray so.
Another ‘statement; that Pope Francis made recently that made history, of sorts, was the message to his Cardinals. The traditional Christmas speech took on a very different tone that many found profound.
During the Christmas speech Pope Francis read out 15 sins that he believed the Curia was guilty of. See if any resonate within yourselves. Please let me know your thoughts. The Pope’s list is:
1) Feeling immortal, immune or indispensable. ‘A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body.’
2) Working too hard. ‘Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.’
3) Becoming spiritually and mentally hardened. ‘It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate those who are joyful.’
4) Planning too much. ‘Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.’
5) Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. ‘When the foot tells the hand, ‘I don’t need you’ or the hand tells the head ‘I’m in charge.”
6) Having ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s.’ ‘We see it in the people who have forgotten their encounter with the Lord … in those who depend completely on their here and now, on their passions, whims and manias, in those who build walls around themselves and become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands.’
7) Being rivals or boastful. ‘When one’s appearance, the color of one’s vestments or honorific titles become the primary objective of life.’
8) Suffering from ‘existential schizophrenia.’ ‘It’s the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of hypocrisy that is typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness that academic degrees cannot fill. It’s a sickness that often affects those who, abandoning pastoral service, limit themselves to bureaucratic work, losing contact with reality and concrete people.’
9) Committing the ‘terrorism of gossip.’ ‘It’s the sickness of cowardly people who, not having the courage to speak directly, talk behind people’s backs.’
10) Glorifying one’s bosses. ‘It’s the sickness of those who court their superiors, hoping for their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor people who aren’t God.
11) Being indifferent to others. ‘When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.’
12) Having a ‘funereal face.’ ‘In reality, theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity. The apostle must be polite, serene, enthusiastic and happy and transmit joy wherever he goes.’
13) Wanting more. ‘When the apostle tries to fill an existential emptiness in his heart by accumulating material goods, not because he needs them but because he’ll feel more secure.’
14) Forming ‘closed circles’ that seek to be stronger than the whole. ‘This sickness always starts with good intentions but as time goes by, it enslaves its members by becoming a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body and causes so much bad — scandals — especially to our younger brothers.’
15) Seeking worldly profit and showing off. ‘It’s the sickness of those who insatiably try to multiply their powers and to do so are capable of calumny, defamation and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally to show themselves as being more capable than others.
When I read these, I wanted to look at them from the point of view of our 5 Principles:
1) God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
2) We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
3) We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
4) There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.
5) Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
I could see that the very things the Pope was pointing out to his Cardinals were things that we strive against by following the 5 Principles that Charles and Myrtle Fillmore extrapolated from the teachings of Jesus, our way shower, as well as other Masters.
Especially in Principle 1 – God is the Source of all, there is no other power. Therefore, we could not be immortal or indispensable. We could not work all on our own, which was a major problem with the people of Babylon or have “Spiritual Alzheimer’s and forget our connection with God, remincient of the Israelites in the Old Testament.” And we surely couldn’t give power to our ‘boss’ by worshipping them.
If we are boastful or gossiping, or closing ourselves off from other groups, we are not putting the principles into action, as #5 states.
Whatever we follow, we are creating our own life experience, Principle #3.
And of course, if we are guilty of the listed ‘sins’, we are not living as if we are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good, Principle #2.
So, by following the Unity Principles, we can live a blessed, abundant and loving life. Maybe the Cardinals should study some Fillmore!
Another message Pope Francis issued recently, was to the staff from the Vatican and their families. To them he gave a list of wishes or resolutions. Again, interesting thoughts from the leader of the Catholic Faith. He told them:
“Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.” (Knowing that God is our Source, that we are made in the image and likeness of God, Our prayer life, affirmations and meditations)
– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.” (We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; We must LIVE the Principles)
– “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.” (again, We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person, We must LIVE the Principles)
– “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.” (We must LIVE the Principles by how We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.)
– “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.” (again, We create our life experiences through our way of thinking. We must LIVE the Principles)
– “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.” (We must LIVE the Principles)
– “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.” (We create our life experiences through our way of thinking, We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good. We must LIVE the Principles )
– “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.” (We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good. We must LIVE the Principles)
– “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.” (We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good. We must LIVE the Principles)
– Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping. (We must LIVE the Principles, not just for Christmas, but every day)
Notice, that knowledge of the TRUTH is only part of what we must do and be. WE MUST LIVE THE PRINCIPLES. Everyday.
Mother Teresa said: “Life is a challenge, meet it.”
I choose the reading for today because it spoke of living an authentic life. I ask you to review your life and ask yourself if you are living it authentically.
If not, what can you do to change that? That is your challenge.