Interfaith Day of Prayer
Fr. John Vrana
Ret. Roman Catholic Priest
We are here indeed to celebrate freedom. But to be more specific we gather to celebrate love. Love is based on freedom-without freedom there is no love.
The French poet Charles Peguy wrote, “Once on has known what it is to be loved by a free person, one no longer savors the submission of slaves.”
Conventional wisdom tells us the opposite of love is hate. However, the opposite of love is not hat—it is fear.
Fear separates us humans from each other
Love brings us together. While love promotes harmony, fear sows discord.
This form of fear is called servile. This is the fear that governmental and religious institutions employ in order to maintain control over other, in order to assert dominance. When we humans act out this slavish fear, we do irrational things-such as wage war or carry out an inquisition.
However, there is another kind of fear which is a wholesome fear-this fear is called respect-
-this occurs when we stand in awe before the other and the Other of all others;
-this happens when we reverence the other as a fellow human;
-this comes about when we treat the other as you would have others treat you.
-This is called the Golden Rule.
Though the Golden Rule is expressed in different ways, it is found in all the world’s prominent religions.
The best expression of the Golden Rule is found in the words of Peter Maurin co-founder with Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker:
The world would be better off
If people tried
To become better
And people would
Of they stopped trying
To be better off.
For when everyone tries
O become better
Everybody is better off.
Everybody would be rich
If nobody tried
To become richer
And nobody would be poor
If everybody tried
To be the poorest.
And everybody would be
What he ought to be
If everybody tried to be
What he wants the other fellow to be.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
Copyright © 2003 Americans United -- Oklahoma Chapter P.O. Box 892747 Oklahoma City, OK 73189. Phone and Fax: 405-632-0037 Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Send mail to email@example.com with questions or comments about this web site.