June 19th, 2010

Dhammapada (18) - Impurity

Dwelling on your brother's faults
Multiplies your own.
You are far from the end of your journey.
The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.
See how you love
Whatever keeps you from your journey.
But the tathagathas,
"They who have gone beyond,"
Have conquered the world.
They are free.
The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.

All things arise and pass away.
But the awakened awake forever.
Dhammapada (18) - Impurity

Peter Maurin said that if i would live the way i want others to live, we would all live better.

Jesus said i should remove the log from my own eye before I try to remove a speck from my brother's eye.
I think he meant that if i could cleanse my own perception, i would not worry so much about how others perceive things.

Buddha said that the greatest impurity is ignorance.
Then he suggested that i should not worry about how others lead their lives.

I have often thought that people who try to give good advice to others ought to keep it to themselves.
But then if i didn't hear it, i might not know it.
So i pretend that the preacher is preaching to himself,(not to me or to the choir)
then later, if its any good, i remember it and pretend it is advice i am giving myself.

Like the pharisee in Jesus' story, if i am grateful that i am an asshole; then it is probably not others who need help rearranging their lives.

Somebody said: to the pure, all things are pure.
Maybe i could use that as a test of my level of adulteration.

Grant me the purity to see all things as pure.

Saturday Evening Mass

Father J preached the homily and said the Mass.  The topic of the homily was communal and individual joy and suffering, well grounded in the mandatory scriptural readings.  Dianne thought he looked worn and "beat up.."  He seemed fine to me.  Dianne thought the sanctuary was a little empty; i saw the usual Saturday night crowd.  I talked to several people afterward; nobody mentioned last Sunday's newspaper story.  I thought the atmosphere was unusually subdued.   The line in front of Father J, as we left, seemed longer than usual; one of the male parishioners hugged him, which i also thought unusual.  He knows we are in his corner.

I know that priests make mistakes.  The idea of a priest having a sexual encounter with a consenting adult doesn't shock me.  I know that lots of people have "illicit" sexual encounters, but i never suspect it of specific people i know.  Several of my acquaintances have got into personal or legal trouble because of sexual indiscretion or sex crimes.  I am surprised every time.  But one thing the Father J. i know would not do is use his authority to take advantage of and exploit another human being.  If he told me so himself, i wouldn't believe him!

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Getting in and out of the car was especially difficult for Dianne tonight.  We are done with physical rehabilitation; so we are now on our own. Dianne must walk, and I must put pressure on her to do so.  And i'm not a person who functions well in the role of taskmaster.  Wish us luck!!