The Passover, The Pope, The Pain and The Purpose

>     There are no accidents.
    Sunday was the first day of Passover, the Jewish Holy Day celebrating the Exodus from Egypt. It was also the day Pope Benedict XVI choose to hold a papal mass at Yankee stadium and visit the site of the World Trade Center destruction.
    I think the coinciding of those two events deserves a closer look.
    The “Haggadah”, the annual retelling of the story of the release of the Jewish people from servitude to Pharaoh, holds an important message…albeit not the one usually recalled. It’s really a story about the seductive ease with which we humans relinquish our sovereignty in exchange for some material comfort and the “luxury” of not thinking for ourselves. It’s about the price we pay in handing over our God-given freedom of choice to people with apparent power. It’s about the courage of a few, in the face of the many, to be absolutely steadfast about what is the highest good for all concerned.
    The interesting aspect of the Haggadah is that it instructs us to recount it each year on the first night of Passover in the present tense…not as an historical recollection…but as an experience we are having in present time. Why?
    Because we humans are so susceptible to forgetting and backsliding that even when we “get it”…we’re likely to “for-get it” almost as quickly. The vulnerabilities and challenges of the ancient Hebrews were no different than our own. And just as they forgot where they were headed, and why, as soon as Moses was a little late in returning, so too we forget the “what” and “why” of our own journeys when our anticipated outcomes are delayed.
    So what’s this all got to do with the Pope and pain?
    The First Seder was the Last Supper. Our faiths are inextricably bound by common origin and shared heritage. The message of Jesus I find of utmost impkrtance is his refusal to bend his own values and truth to the will of those with apparent power. He chose to die rather than to be enslaved.
    The realities that clashed and imploded on September 11, 2001 were each stunning examples of the destruction that can be wrought by those with apparent power. On the one hand there were the energies of the Islamists, the radical Muslim fundamentalists who seek to enslave the world through terror and dogma. On the other hand were the energies of Western materialism, which seek to enslave through egocentric values and the worship of materialism. The collision of all that misdirected energy resulted in massive pain and suffering.
    Pain is the result of being “off course.” Whether it’s emotional, physical, or spiritual…pain’s purpose exists to wake us up to the reality that something we are doing, or a way in which we are being, is out of balance with the highest good. The pain occurs to bring us present in order that we may correct our own course.
    There it is. The Passover, the Pope, the pain, and the purpose.
    Let us take all the suffering, the falling economy, the political instability, the uncertainty, and the doubt that is swirling around the planet and begin to correct our own course. We need not compromise our higher selves for a little shelter and some more “stuff.” We need no leaders with apparent power to tell us what, in our hearts, we know to be true.
    When you fail to exercise your own power, there is always someone waiting to enslave you to the exercise of their own. True power is your birthright. It comes from within. It’s exhibited and made manifest through living your own truth. It cannot be purchased but it can be given away in a heartbeat.
    Value your most prized possession for what it is and let your pain guide you to your purpose.   

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