Faith of a mustard seed

Prayer Meeting Ministries
@Salem AME Church
Tuesdays – 6:30 PM

 Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

There is an older ‘Peanuts’ cartoon strip which places Lucy behind her ‘child made’ desk which has the sign ‘Psychiatric Help 5¢’. She then says to Charlie, “You know what your trouble is Charlie Brown? You don’t have a personal philosophy. You need to develop a philosophy that will carry you through times of stress. Can you do that? Can you develop a personal philosophy? Think, Charlie Brown! Think hard!” Charlie responds, “Life is like an ice cream cone. You have to learn to lick it!” Lucy pauses, then shouts, “That’s the most stupid philosophy I’ve ever heard!” And walking away she throws up her hands and says, “I can’t do anything for someone who has a philosophy like that! You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown!” Disheveled and lying on the ground Charlie says, “It’s hard to develop a real personal philosophy in less than twenty minutes.” (Schulz)

“In spite of our tendency to error, a knowing mind is always in contact, at some point or other, with the actual world. What we know is not merely our ideas, but the real world, our ideas constituting our more or less accurate apprehension of the nature of the real world. One of the purposes of human life is the constant re-examination of those apprehensions in the hope that they will become increasingly more accurate. Knowledge is never simple or easy, delusion is common, and the true apprehension of reality, if it comes, comes at the end of the process rather than at the beginning. Genuine knowledge is alway an achievement and never the datum with which we start.” (D. Trueblood).

“But when knowledge comes, the whole world is turned upside down. The meaning of things begins to emerge. And more importantly, the relations between things are seen for the first time. Questions are asked and answers are sought. A strong restlessness comes over the spirit and the enormity of error moves over the horizon like a vast shadow. Struggle emerges as the way of life. An appetite is awakened that can never be satisfied.” (H. Thurman)

“In our search for religious knowledge, one of the primary guides should be the principle of inclusiveness. The student must not be satisfied with his knowledge of one religious tradition— and that perhaps only partially understood. He must seek to know sympathetically all the religions of mankind, and to understand why each has claimed for itself the same ultimate authority which all the others claim. If (you) know only one religion (you are) a most unsatisfactory judge of any religion.” (Q. Lyon)

“I see faith as awakening to the transcendent. In the Christian perspective we say God is beyond the reason, beyond the created world altogether, and it’s necessary to open the heart and mind to the transcendent. Normally the transcendent manifests through some particular tradition. This seems to be where religions differ. If you awaken to it in the Buddhist tradition you name it Nirvana and you enter into the Eight Fold Noble Path and so on. And if you’re Hindu you name it Brahman or Atman and take the path of yoga, and if you’re a Christian you name it God the Father and you enter into the path of Christ. So each is a path to the Supreme, having its own unique character.” (B. Griffiths)

“…a human being is a multi-leveled being, a being that is made of, so to say, several stories, one above the other. The highest one is really identical with the God-head; the highest one. … As it is, it’s as though I inherited a skyscraper and I’m living only on the first story, or sometimes even below, in the basement.” (A. Steinsaltz)

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