Spirituality, I believe, constitutes the essential nature of each of us. But our individual spiritual journeys are of course unique, since no two people have the same experience. We all have different tales to tell. Our life stories include lessons learned in both good times and tough times—the inspiration of effortless moments as well as the hard-won insights of struggle. As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Progress is born of experience.” [i]
Growing up, I learned a lot from watching the examples my parents and grandmother set. Through their daily lives, Mom and Dad illustrated so many lessons that have stayed with me over the years, particularly the importance of serving one’s community. My grandmother, a Christian Science practitioner, was also a big influence. She taught me much about the value of maintaining a spiritual perspective.
Virginia Harris C.S.B.
Transforming the world through prayer
by Virginia Harris C.S.B.
Reprinted with permission
Originally aired on 23rd Sep 2011
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Several years ago I was asked to speak at the United Nations in Geneva at the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders. It was a time of tremendous upheaval, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, and many women and men had journeyed to Geneva from all over the world to learn from each other how spiritual faith, strength and courage might face down man-made violence, hate, poverty, death.
Fast-forward nine years and one thing we know for sure, that violence and hate do not solve any of society’s problems. The only solution must be found in our unwavering reliance on spiritual power. Following are edited excerpts from my speech.
In the fall of 1989 I had the privilege of participating in the largest and last peace march in Leipzig – just days before the fall of the Berlin wall. Adults and children from East Germany came with candles in their hands and prayers in their hearts — marching towards hope and the expectation of freedom.
Several years later — in a film about those events — an East German police officer was shown looking out over the crowd of thousands of marchers and saying: “We were prepared for everything —except candles and prayers.”
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, and a spiritual reformer and advocate for world peace, wrote,
“If we look back upon the nations that have ruled the world, we shall learn how impotent are all the material implements and appliances of power, if there be not a ground work of right, a spiritual strength, for the support of greatness –“
Spirituality is beyond denomination or religiosity. Everyone reflects spiritual power. It belongs to each of us. Spirituality keeps us at one with our Creator — a force, a presence, a love that guides us. To me spirituality is this:
A Power that is not political or financial….but universal.
A Presence that is not only Father….but Mother.
A Power that loves….and does not judge.
A Presence that is the same yesterday, today and forever.
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In today’s world of volatility and brutality we can feel the effects of stability and certainty by embracing the spirit of divinity as it tenderly cares for humanity.
To read the complete speech, click here.
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