Wildfires in Forests

Wildfires can occur in any country –

America, Canada, Australia,

And even in the Western Cape of South Africa

With climate change they have become prevalent.

Natural fires generally start by lightning.

Some begin by spontaneous combustion

Caused by sawdust and dried leaves,

And these fires burn for other reasons

But there are “good” and “bad” forest fires.

Wildfires are “good” when they are beneficial to mankind.

They turn dead trees and decaying plant matter into ashes

Causing nutrients to return to the soil,

Instead of being trapped in dead plant vegetation

So, wildfires clear the decaying trees

Of debris by returning health to the forest,

And some plants depend on the heat for germination

Wildfires are “bad” when they destroy homes

Causing a loss of lives and loss of cultivated acres

People suffer and they wipe out many species

Such fires also kill trees that prevent erosion

Thus, having a negative impact on the environment

In the forests more trees die because of insect infestation,

And disease than from wildfires

So, nature can be both “good” and “bad”,

Fires often help to restore the ecosystem of forests,

And the decomposed organic matter enriches the soil

“God, you have shown that with wildfires there could be mixed results.  So, help us in our quest to have a better understanding of climate change.”

Amen

Celebrating Your Life

Death cannot kill.

The soul will triumph.

Life is eternal.

Your deeds will live on.

You have made your mark.

How will you be remembered?

You were a shining star

Glowing brightly in the sky

People will always talk about you.

They love your glorious works

For you have been a living icon

And friends attest to your greatness

You nursed the sick and poor

Catering for their every need

You fought for their dignity

When some doubted your resolve

So, memories of your life live on

With the citizens of the world

For you lived an extraordinary life

Where everything was a miracle

These were your special gifts

Of a life well lived

Rest in peace Elizabeth!

The Afterlife in Religions

In World Religions & Beliefs concepts of the Afterlife

are perplexing and shrouded in mystery 

Faith traditions have beliefs that range

from bodily resurrection, the survival of the soul,   

merging of consciousness, heaven and hell,

reincarnation to animals, insects, plants, rocks etc.;

Moksha, or salvation in Hinduism,

Enlightenment, and Nirvana in Buddhism 

The Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

believe in the resurrection, judgment, heaven and hell;

while Indian religions – Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism

practice karma (good or bad actions),

some form of rebirth, or transmigration

based on the Samara doctrine of the cycle of life and death

But which path should an interfaith believer follow?

Myths and teachings about salvation must be put into context.

It makes no sense to follow blindly a faith tradition.

A believer’s approach calls for study, prayer, and intuition.

So, let your basis of finding a path for these answers

be through the pursuit of religious literacy

“God, give us the wisdom and insight to understand the tenets of the Afterlife.  Help us to grapple with these concepts in order to develop a rightful path.”

Amen  

Celtic Wisdom

John O’ Donohue’s Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom draws on poetry, Hegelian philosophy, and the mysticism of 13th century mystic Meister Eckhart. O’ Donohue was a successful Irish author, theologian, and philosopher. He popularized this book that was first published in 1997 on Celtic spirituality. In 2000, O’ Donohue left the priesthood in Ireland and found a receptive audience for his work in the United States. At the age of 52, he died in his sleep while holidaying near Avignon, France.

Motifs of this work showed where he was raised in the area of Connemara, Ireland. He spelled out the concepts of the soul. One’s body was viewed to be within the soul. This attachment meant that the soul was bound in a circular way that consisted of three dimensions of the heavens above, the landscape on the middle realm, and the underworld within the depths of the earth.

O’ Donohue examined the importance of the senses – the benefits of sight, the reality of hearing, and the presence of touch. He explained the reasons for the seasons – spring, summer, autumn, winter. For example, when is the best time to start a career? When should people harvest the fruits that were sowed? Why is autumn so significant in their lives? And how should people sustain themselves during the gloomiest days of the winter months?

An overall theme presented in this work is knowing oneself. The author illustrated how this was essential if people were to live successfully. He stressed that understanding begins when they cultivate their mind, body, and soul. O’ Donohue saw this as the only way by which individuals could begin to be of help to others. Other discussions centered around the importance of time and space.

Anam Cara is the Gaelic word for “soul-friend” that resonated throughout O’ Donohue’s writings. It’s a self-help manual for people who are seeking new ways of exploring their spiritual life. With his pronunciations there are some scriptural citations, and other Christian practices reminiscent of O’ Donohue’s experiences as a former Catholic priest with a doctorate in political philosophy.