Thursday, December 20, 2007

Call me the Grinch, but it makes sense to me . . .

" . . . I’m wondering at the present-day pointlessness of this heavenly hoax, the clogged mall parking lots and tired tunes emptied of all mystery, the overstuffed, automaton gift-gatherers buying what they can’t afford for people with too much already, having no idea how to give some real part of themselves away—yeah, there are days when I’d like to distance myself from the whole mess.

But what brings me back are the few simple truths that ring me like a bell still. While the Buddha suggests that we empty ourselves of all love, thereby freeing ourselves from all that can cause us pain, subsequently finding rest, this baby in the barn grows up and argues that we should love everybody, including ourselves, our neighbors, and yes, even our enemies, and the ensuing pain will work on us in the same manner that the sculptor’s chisel works on marble. And perhaps, ultimately, the answer to every moral and ethical question can be found in the simple mysterious words of the baby in the barn who grew to be a man: Love the creator of the universe with everything you can muster, and your neighbor as yourself."

-Linford Detweiler, The Darkest Night of the Year