Deeply immersed in traditional Catholic-Monastic theology, in his essay "Monastic Peace", Trappist monk Thomas Merton, repeats the standard line: "Man was created by God to love him..." Right... And because of "Original Sin", I / we are all inclined for a head-long rush into hell... our sensuality gives radiant cover to the Endless Abyss... This being our starting point, we obviously stand in perpetual need of the salvation brought to us by a Divine Savior... If we are blessed -- or profoundly lucky -- we will not be among those whose everlasting life will be one of everlasting torment...
Ah, but what if...
What if there is another story? What if, instead of "Man was created by God to love him" -- which is exactly why we went to the pound to get a dog for a pet: we wanted a dog to love us -- What if, instead, we went to the pound because we recognized our desire and capacity for loving a dog? So instead of an "Original Ego", what if there was an "Altar-Ego"? What if, instead of "God", there is a Quantum Consciousness Who Awakened? What if that Awakened Consciousness first identified Itself as an Overwhelming Desire To Love? What if all manifestation, whether material or spiritual or the unique blend of both in Human, was a "movement of experiential loving"?
What if that Divine Awakening is the Altar of Loving? What if "G-d" is, in fact and purpose, the "Awakener"? What if the great long line of Prophets and Mystic Benders and Social rEvolutionaries likewise lived and served as Awakeners? Krishna, Lao-Tzu, Siddartha the Buddha, Pythagoras, Abraham, Moses, Yeshua the Poet, Mother Mary, the Priestess and Bride Mary Magdalene, Muhammed, Rumi the Ecstatic, Lalla, Mirabai, Sts. Francis and Clare, Sts. Teresa and John, Ibn' Arrabi... and on into the more recent Mother Jones, Ramakrishna, Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Aurobindo, Martin Luther King, Jr., Wangari Matthai, Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, Alan Watts, Nelson Mandela, St. Oscar Romero of the Americas, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan... and the still living masters like Thich Nhat Hahn, Ram Dass, Matthew Fox, Vandana Shiva, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Ellen Grace O'Brian...
What if the Awakened One is Really-Love-Without-Limits and that it was entirely because of Love and the Holy Desire to Give Love Endlessly, that all of Creation has been manifested (and continues)? What if everything is all about one Grand Love Feast? Now, consider the Hebrew Scripture "The Song of Songs"... Consider next the insight of the Apostle John, "For G-d so loved..." We love because love is our very nature. We desire the union of flesh with flesh -- not as a diversion from our purpose as a result of some "original sin", but because the One always delights in our loving expressions of oneness? What if Simone Weil uttered absolute truth when she said, "We were created by Love, for Love, to become Love"? What if partaking of the Awakening of the One is our fundamental purpose in the audacious wonder of living?
A truly "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holiday" will be a Day of Awakening: we will then, at long last, believe that we are each and all worth the very best: we will lay down our weapons, the rich will divest themselves of their wealth, the poor and hungry will be lifted up into a "welcome home" of justice, women will know an equality of rights, opportunity, and leadership in partnership with men, and this precious blue Planet will be revered, protected, and regenerated... and the world religions, oh the world religions, will each finally become an activated compassion and happy agents of kindness-without-end... Youth will be united and thrilled to begin a new chapter of the human adventure: what might they do with no fear to control their minds? With a "take-it-to-your-limit" education? With equality enshrined into every heart and into law? With peace and justice as the organizing principles of a vibrant democracy?
... And all that need happen, is our will and practice to Awaken...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.