There are many forms of “attachments” in our lives which we allow to debilitate our movement toward You. Maybe the most insidious of such attachments is to religion. So often this attachment is a masquerade for self-righteous, loveless legalism. It strikes me that with the situation the world is in today there may be nothing more antagonistic to the reign of Your kingdom than religious fundamentalism and religious extremism.
The fundamental, literal, legal approach taken by many Christian sects is a growing cancer to Your message. The fanatical extremism of certain Islamic factions in the name of religion, and even in the name of God, is a tangent moving at ever-increasing velocity away from Your spirit and love toward fear, terror, and self-destruction. When our relationship with God gets its only meaning from our ability to wear it like a badge for all to see, we do not understand, deeply, our common spiritual bond and destiny. Those without such a badge become “have-nots,” outcasts, pariah, and they are castigated by those who know not what such people have within.
I like the broader term “Christian” rather than Catholic to describe the persuasion under which I operate. Yet, there is a certain uneasiness even about this that compels me to search for a more encompassing descriptor of human spiritual roots and direction – a designator that lovingly binds us all together.
The faith in a loving God that binds many of us from all corners of the earth is not the same as faith in a particular “faith.” Do you believe in an all-loving God who cares deeply about humanity and about each of us individually? This is a more germane question than, “What religion do you belong to?” Maybe the descriptor should be believer, but, unfortunately, so many religions use this word only to describe those of their own persuasion. If you belong to the group you are a believer; if not, you are an unbeliever. Maybe the most precise descriptor, the one with the most common root, the one most undeniable, is seeker. No matter what other tags we apply to ourselves, no matter what badges we wear for all to see, and no matter what religion we are, we are all – every one of us – seekers. While our seeking may often be misguided, that spark of looking for something ”beyond” is alive in all of us. It binds us together. It cannot help but do so because it is the whisper of Your voice calling to each of us.