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Home » 3 Faiths Together


7 March 2017 No Comment

Father John Walsh

The beginning of the end to hate and prejudice has its beginnings at an early age. Children are born free. What they learn is what adults teach them. It begins in the crib. Adults might not think they hear what is said about those who are different but they learn quickly. We teach them their vocabulary. They follow our example. They have no other way to learn. We are their greatest influence and, for good or bad, it lasts a lifetime. The hope is that whatever they learn to despise about those who are different can be unlearned.
I recently attended a Conference whose theme was, Do Our Sacred Scriptures Speak To Our Young People? Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa delivered an incredible talk about how our scared texts are all about youth. Go to you tube: Les Textes Sacrés et les Jeunes | Sacred Texts and Youth | Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa. You will not be disappointed.
I am also reminded of the lyrics of an old song by Crosby, Stills and Nash, Teach Your Children.
Teach your children well, Their father’s hell did slowly go by, And feed them on your dreams
Every child, whatever their color, whatever their country of provenance, whatever their religion, deserves an education to respect the dignity of every human being. The key is education; not any education but a common education that becomes available to every child in the entire world.
In the Book of Joy the Dalia Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share a week of dialogue, The Dalia Lama forcefully stresses the importance of compassion and education.
The Dalia Lama: it is clear that the only way to truly change our world is through teaching compassion. Our society is lacking an adequate sense of compassion, sense of kindness and genuine regard for others well-being. We must promote human values, the inner value that lies at the heart of who we are as humans. Religion is not sufficient. Religion has been very important in human history, and perhaps for another thousand years it will continue to bring benefit to humanity. Just to pray or rely on religious faith is not sufficient. It will remain a source of inspiration, but in terms of seven billion human beings, it’s not sufficient, no matter how excellent, no religion can be universal. So we have to find another way to promote these values. I think the only way really is through education. Education is universal. We must teach people, especially our youth, the source of happiness is within themselves. Not machine. Not technology. Not money. Not power.
We are not talking about heaven or hell or Buddhahood or salvation; these are too far away. He laughed. So our book is part of this important process to help spread the message that love, kindness, and affection are the source of joy and happiness. Our basic human nature is good, is positive, so that can give us a basis for courage and self-confidence.
In the Gospel of Mark we are reminded to teach the adults: Teacher, all these (commandments) I have observed from my youth.” Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

In the Gospel of Matthew: the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom. A little further on: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Then, when the children are rebuked by the disciples because they want to come to Jesus, Jesus says: (in Mark it is added indignantly) Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.

Our Churches, our Synagogues, our Mosques, our Temples and wherever people gather there is a great need to welcome and fully respect the children of our world.

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