So often we are invited by the Church to get involved helping others. And once the invite is thrown out, it gets either discussed or ignored. It’s the discussions that are interesting for me! Often enough, people interpret the invite to mean helping ones’ immediate family. Then, for those minds that are more expansive, the focus moves to ones’ parish church. Seeing anyone whose minds are more expansive than this is rarer yet. But it does happen.
One more interesting interpretation of the invite of the Church is to regard any one charitable action on one’s part as somehow making the world a better place. The analogy of a small rock thrown into a pond creating ripples that move continually outward comes to mind here. So, if I even have a good thought, somehow that creates a sort of ripple that nourishes the world mind, so to speak. And the more I do, the better for the world. And so this interpretation goes.
Now, I will admit that although this is a sort of New Age interpretation, there are some traces of it that can be discovered in the literature of world spirituality, including Roman Catholicism. It certainly is mentally stimulating to ponder it!.
However, if such a thought IS true, then would the opposite be true as well? If any one good action I do, as simple as a good thought, can positively affect the world, than how about our more negative actions. I mean, wouldn’t the angry and even hateful thoughts that go through our minds adversely affect the world as well?
Allowing for even the possibility of this to be true, how can we deal with it? Well, guilt tripping ourselves would be the most inappropriate response in my opinion. Far better that that would be a simple acceptance of it, and of ourselves, which if truly accepted ought to lead toward a better (deeper even) awareness of our connection to the world. Such acceptance might make us more aware of our thoughts and actions. We might ask ourselves how we might even change ourselves. If I am not willing to literally go throughout the whole world preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, I might at the least be willing to insure that my mind stays pure, and my thoughts remain noble and loving.
It is an interesting challenge. If I regard it as incredibly difficult to preach the Gospel everywhere, try the difficult challenge of watching ones’ own mind. Oh, well, it is Good News indeed to remember that we do not save ourselves, but that with Jesus, all things are possible- even the creation of a loving mind.
Blessings, Fr. Walter