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Weekly Message for Sunday, September 15, 2002 
                                       

                    I am writing this on September 10th, 2002, the eve of the anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 tragedy in the United States.  Since September 11th, 2001 I have watched as this great country has moved forward from this day that most of us will remember for the rest of our lives.  But not only was this tragedy felt in the United States, but felt the world over ... through compassion people in other countries felt this with us .... through hatred and bitterness towards the United States and Americans in general, others also felt it with us .... and then there were those who weren't moved by it at all, mostly because incidents of war and violence are commonplace in their lives and although they are aware of what happened their lives of violence and war have created indifference in their hearts and minds.

           
I love this country and am a native born American.  I would not choose to live anywhere else but at the same time, I realize that as an American I have the option to choose where I live.  This is not so for people in many other parts of the world and this is especially true in those parts of the world with the most war and violence.  I don't know what it would be like to live in a war-torn country or to live in the same uncertainty that most of us lived through on September 11, 2001, not knowing if more terrorist attacks would take place .. not knowing if perhaps our family or friends may be a part of the next attack.  September 11, 2001 brought a great change to the consciousness of the people of the United States ... most Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security and peace, and far too many have forgotten that we must always be willing to work for peace, security and harmony in our lives and our world.  The Universe sent us a wake-up call on September 11th, 2001, and it is time we heeded the call.  It is time to wake-up to the nature of God and our relationship to God in our personal and collective lives.

          Thomas Moore wrote, "If you have an image of Jesus as a strange rebel against inhumane self-interest, you won't have time for the saccharine Jesus who lulls you to sleep."

         
The radical rabbi Jesus rebelled against inhumane self-interest more than anyone else in history.  He knew that what we accept for others, we must be willing to experience for ourselves.  His entire teachings are aligned with the Truth of Being ... "love thy neighbor as thyself."  His entire life and His experience of the crucifixion was a rebellion against the world's acceptance of always looking to its own self-interest.  If we see the world with hungry and angry people and do nothing to help end the hunger and the anger ... than we are participating in its continuation by our looking the other way and back to our own self-interests.

         
We can eliminate both hunger and anger in the world by beginning to eliminate the hunger and the anger that we personally see or experience.  We can "work for peace" for this is the work of the Spirit within each of us.  "Peace begins with me," goes the "Peace Song."  Let's begin the work now... and it is work to forgive our enemies... it is work to do good to those that hate us... but it will be a very, very satisfying work ... One Spirit, One Life, One Truth.....

                         
 And So It Is! 
Letting Love Use Me In Its Own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates                          

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