Here's a summary of the religion, politics, and economics of Jesus (from St. Luke 6: 20 - 26): "Beautiful are you who are poor, the Garden of Eternal Delight is yours! Wah-hoo! Beautiful are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled with extra to share! Wah-hoo! Beautiful are you who cry now in your suffering, for you will have the last laugh! Wah-hoo! Beautiful are you when people hate you and reject you because of your work for justice: remember that is how very many of the Great Ones have been treated... Ah, but as for you wealth-dogs wagging your tails at unlimited profits, your days are numbered! Wah-hoo! And as for you who feast while children die of hunger and live in poverty, your days are numbered! Wah-hoo! And as for you who laugh now in the buffoonery of privilege and power, your days are numbered! Wah-hoo! And as for you who wrap lies around your tongues while fellow rogues extoll your praises, your days are numbered, for in the very same way have many a scoundrel been lifted up! Wah-hoo!"
Now, the "Way of Tears" is an activated compassion that knows the suffering of every other to be, in fact, her very own. This essential identification with the Suffering Poor (the Suffering Christ-in-the-Poor) is the spiritual identification with Jesus that really matters! One could "go to Church" seven days a week, but if he still watches and believes FOX News, it won't matter one whit. Compassion stands on Truth: Truth requires Justice: Justice demands Equality: Equality builds Peace: Together, these stunning virtues make for a "social" and "soulful" Harmony...
Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement with Dorothy Day, used to say that "the poor are the ambassadors of God". In other words, it is precisely in how we treat the poor among us that we treat "God". This is not an obtuse point: it is the very crux of genuine spirituality, regardless of personal beliefs or opinions: it is meant for each and every one of us precisely because it is the right way to live! Do you see the "illegal immigrant"? Welcome her into your home and community. Do you see the Muslim? Sit down and break bread with him. Do you see the gay couple? Invite them to the ballgame with you. Every other is your very self unveiled: we have been tasked by the Master Poet to love others as we love ourselves: this is the Christian faith without the poo-hoo-ey. And one of the special things about this is that one need not be Christian to practice it: one could be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, Atheist, or Other, and one could still practice, and unleash, their love-without-limits!
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.