When I read the Scriptures account of the birth of Jesus, one thing that stands out is the theme of humility. As I reflect on humility, I realize that it is a gift that offers us enormous personal freedom and possibility.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the prayer Mary recites when she finds out she is going to birth the baby Jesus. Called The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), the prayer begins: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices.” But this is so much more than a simple prayer of praise.
Mary proclaims the Lord’s greatness with characteristic humility and grace: “Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; Because He who is mighty has done great things for me.” With these words, Mary reminds us of the essential link between humility and holiness.
The Myth of Scarcity
Richard Rohr writes, “The world as one in which there is enough and we are enough to make the world work for everyone everywhere, with no one left out, our money carries that energy and generates relationships and partnerships in which everyone feels able and valued, regardless of their economic circumstances. . . .”
This is in stark contrast to what the world tells us to be true. I say, rather than believing the myths of scarcity that tell us “There is not enough, more is better, and that’s just the way it is,” the truth of sufficiency asserts that there is enough for everyone of all that is essential. Knowing there is enough inspires sharing, collaboration, contribution and the importance of “We” as “One.”
At Mederi Medicine, collaboration is fundamental to our philosophy. The theme of the recent Mederi Benefit concert in Fairfield, Connecticut on November 22nd was “Together We Heal.” This concept of togetherness embraces all of us, and including the healing plants we use in our protocols, which are the humblest of gifts from God.
Walking in the Light
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” Psalm 23
Pope Francis says, “There are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the Light; but if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us.”
The Winter Solstice reminds us all to look into the darkness, both in the external world as the days grow shorter, and within as we look toward all that was in the past year. It is a time where hope is renewed in the emerging light, which never really goes completely away, for even the moon gives off reflected light. As we look in the mirror, we can focus on how we can transform our inner spirit and begin to reflect love in all that we are.
“Whoever hates his brother,” writes the apostle John, “is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11).
Approach Life with a Loving Heart
Confucius said, “When the personal life is cultivated, the family will be regulated; when the family is regulated, the state will be in order, and when the state is in order, there will be peace throughout the world.”
Dear brothers and sisters, the way to solve the problems of our world is to begin within our own hearts. Looking within, we may find the darkness of despair and pain, but by entering the darkness we can then move above the mind, and “ascend to the Creator” that lives and dwells in all of us. In this place of acceptance, we are open to the guidance of God.
It may be simply a whisper—but if we listen and then act, that’s all it takes to begin to make a difference in our families, our communities, and among our coworkers and friends. We must strive to continually refine our relationships with each other, while recognizing that relationships are a gift and a privilege and the foundation of our humanity.
A worthy goal is to open our hearts, soften our perceptions, cultivate humility, and embrace the tenderness of our shared human condition. We have many people we can look to for inspiration. For example, Gandhi, even in the midst of his persecution by the British, was able to cultivate compassion for the discomfort and fear of his oppressors. Because of this ability, he was able to reach even the most intransigent of people.
In this season of festivities, I invite you to take time to remember that both Christmas and Hanukkah celebrate Divine Light. My prayer is that we bring Divine Light into our hearts, and that we live in such a way that we illuminate the world with love, kindness, forgiveness, and peace.
“God breathes through us so completely… so gently we hardly feel it… yet, it is our everything.” ~John Coltrane
Wishing you the blessings of this joyous Holiday Season,