Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The Holy Month is here. We're almost half-way through it. There are so many planes taking off at all hours of the day and night, carrying pilgrims to Mecca. Whenever the weather allows (dust-storms ground the planes like snow-storms in NYC or Chicago), people are going.

They go at great expense, relative to their incomes, and at great risk, considering the stuff that's going on here in the Middle East. But their faith is so strong, and they believe that if they don't get to Mecca in this lifetime, they will not get to heaven.

I believe that almost all of us are destined for Heaven, since God didn't create us to be miserable souls in Hell. There are some people (Hitler, Stalin, Generalissimo Franco, etc.) that probably deserve to be in Hell if there is such a place. But I am just not convinced that the God who created us could ever abandon even the most despicable people who ever lived on this Earth. They committed some grave sins, yes, but they are still creatures of our God.

The Innocence Mission have a song, called Mercy, that pretty well explains my beliefs. (There are no fires of Hell, there is only Mercy). I don't think any human creature, imbued with a soul and spirit, would ever have to suffer some kind of awful hell. It's made up to get people to behave in a certain way. It's what philosophers would call a 'construct'.

I got Muslim prayer-beads yesterday as a gift from one of the shopkeepers where I shop. I won't keep their fast with them, but I will pray with them. When I prayed my rosary last night, it reminded me of the beads (they were still in a shopping bag). The beads are wooden, almost identical to the one my Dad brought me from Jerusalem.

All of this does not change my belief in the One True Faith. Just makes me think a bit more about the world and the people we love and/or hate. The birds outside my window and the boys on my soccer field don't care about all these issues.

And that is beautiful.

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