Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inspiration for the Day, February 12, 2011: 

Practicing Appreciative Understanding

Mahatma Gandhi was the first to point to interfaith nonviolence. He broke new ground in so many ways, from fighting segregation in South Africa through satyagraha (soul force) and nonviolent resistance, to leading a peaceful revolution against British imperialism in India. But he saw early on the equality of the world's religions because of the common ground of nonviolence. He later professed a vow of tolerance toward all religions and openness to the truth of nonviolence within each religion.

"Religions are different roads converging to the same point," Gandhi once wrote. "What does it matter that we take different roads, so long as we reach the same goal? I believe that, if only we could all read the scriptures of different faiths, we should find that they are at bottom all one and were all helpful to one another. There will be no lasting peace on earth unless we learn not merely to tolerate but even to respect other faiths as our own."

As we learn from each others' religion, Gandhi discovered, we can help each other deepen in the faith of our own personal tradition. His critique of organized Christianity - that it rejected the nonviolence of Jesus and has become an imperial religion based on the Roman Empire - has helped innumerable Christians return to the core teachings of Jesus, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount. The Baptist Martin Luther King, Jr. testified that the Hindu Gandhi helped him more than anyone else to follow Christ.

- taken from an article written by Father John Dear

MLK is one of my big heroes - I knew he'd been influenced by Gandhi but didn't realize quite how much. Thanks for this!
I had begun tribute pages for Ghandi and Martin Luther King on my Inspirations website before it vanished from the internet. They and the Dalai Lama have inspired me a great deal.
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