In contrast

I kind of half-wrote a blog entry in my head while I was drowsing back off this morning after putting the trash can out, while listening to a “monks chanting” sound from a white noise app I downloaded last night.

There are people whose religion is a structure for them to add to the world. The various orders of monks and nuns from Benedictine and Franciscan to Shao Lin. The audio file my app uses sounds to me like being in a villa or cottage across a field from a monastery and hearing the monks chanting their offices. Indistinct, but the beauty of the blend of male voices and the praise soaring from their hearts through their lips is a reminder that there’s more to it than what I’ve been seeing too much of lately.

The pageantry of a Christmas Eve or Easter Morning service at a liturgical church is some of the most beautiful out there. Even the prayers written over the centuries by men and women from John Chrysostom to Julian of Norwich to Thomas Aquinas have a beauty. These are the paints, canvas, and framework that provide the structure for the painting of someone’s life. Or the notes, instruments, and rhythms of the song. Or a hundred other metaphors.

I follow the Dalai Llama on twitter, and at least once a day, he tweets about how we’re put on this earth to exhibit compassion. That’s what it comes down to for me. If you’re honestly exhibiting compassion, I don’t care what gods you follow or even if you follow any.

One religion that fascinates me to a degree is that of the Navajo tribe. The basic tenet is “walk in beauty.” It’s a concept of harmony with nature, the people around you, and yourself.

Regardless of the trappings of the structure, there is beauty being added to the world through religion by religious people. I need to not forget that.

Tell me about it...