After reading a number of letters to the editor written by well-meaning folks regarding public officials participation in a spiritually-based accountability group it seemed that there was a lack of understanding so I have written the following letter to the editor to promote compassion and tolerance.
I always feel gratified anytime folks decide to consult wisdom instead of the ego and/or scientific materialism.
Of course we need to have technical knowledge in order to perform certain tasks and so forth, but when it comes to addressing real life issues no answers will be found there. So it was with a sense of hopefulness that I read where some of our town's leaders decided to participate in a spiritual group where each participant would be encouraged to be self-confessed and then held to account by fellow attendees.
For those of us who have participated in similar processes, it is well known that the men's culture works best with men and the women's culture works best with women. We women all know each other better than any man could, and no woman could get by with any diversionary games that might fool the men and vice versa. Smaller groups are better also because it makes it harder to hide.
As to the suggestion that there just might be some sinners in the men's group and therefore that in some way invalidates the group is ludicrous. It's a good thing that the world's great spiritual masters did not feel that way.
Both St. Augustine and St. Paul were huge sinners, but once they became involved with a genuine spiritual process everything changed.
Remember the woman who was washing Jesus' feet with her tears? She was a sinner -- a woman who had missed the mark numerous times -- but she bowed at His feet and began anointing them. Jesus did acknowledge that her sins were great, but because she submitted herself with open heartedness and devotion -- he said her sins were forgiven. Remember what He said to the man doing the criticizing?
It's been said that many of us lead lives of quiet desperation. Sometimes our response to this desperation is not in our own best interest, therefore it always returns us to our former state of suffering.
Yet out of suffering great things can happen.
Sometimes the grace of suffering is required before a deeper response is possible. When we look at each other and see suffering there this could be a call for doing a prayer of changes.
What do you think might happen if instead of participating in a constant castigation of all leaders -- world, national and local -- what might occur if we prayed them into making choices of integrity? If only 10 percent of the population did this what do you think might happen?
Not only to the leaders, but to us who by this process would begin to release resentments and guilts and replace them with something looking more like love? This response would be consistent with what all great masters teach -- who are always calling on us to live as though love were true of us ... because it is.