Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Right Behind You – Brandon Flowers

I ran into this music video and was impressed by its simplistic minimalist performance.

I was also struck by the lyrics.  My own interpretation of the lyric “touch the stone” reminds me of the stone the builders once rejected.

Brandon Flowers is lead singer of the new wave rock group The Killers out of Las VegasBrandon is a member of the LDS church.

As by the door to get to Heaven
Seven trumpets big and bright
You hear it coming in the middle of the night
A caution to the children
Time to turn your crimson white
We’ve all got reservations
Trials will come suddenly
And without explanation
But you were born with goodness
You were born with goodness
Wherever you go now
I’m right behind you
In the light of hope
I’ll be beside you
On that dusty road
And if you get blind, well that’s alright
Wicked winds blow with grace and might
Cling to the ways of my name
When you touch the stone
Break your word over me
Sinking in the quicksand
Break your word
Don’t you see?
You’re breaking me down now
I’m right behind you
In the light of hope
I’ll be beside you on that dusty road
When no one expects you to deny
And no one accepts your reasons why
You cling to the ways of my name
When you touch the stone
No one expects you to deny
And no one accepts your reasons why
You cling to the ways of my name
When you touch the stone

Brian O’Hanlon – SMX – Homily March 26-27

Again, down under, an interesting homily from the St. Mary’s in Exile (SMX) community in Brisbane, Australia.

Faith community versus belief community is mentioned as well as the future of the faith in terms of a community living the word (God) through justice, compassion and love…

I was fortunate enough through the enthusiasm of my wife, Angela, to discover this community a long time ago – 1988 I think, and I have been a fairly regular attendee ever since.  Certainly I have been a constant attendee since, to borrow a term from the Irish, “since the troubles”, the troubles of exile. 
Peter in a homily towards the end of 2010 when restating his vision of this community, emphasised that we are a faith community not a belief community. A faith community is one developing a spiritually of Justice Compassion and Love. More recently he restated the value of the mystical contemplative tradition in Christianity traditionally suppressed throughout history. This implies  a letting go of, a freeing up from,  much if not all of our classical conditioning of religious tradition,( Recently at a friends wedding-a nuptial mass, I was sitting next to a women , who at the end of the ceremony commented “ that was scary- I have not been inside a catholic church for 25 years, yet I just knew how to do everything), or there could be a shifting of the core of our traditional stories and belief systems; if this is so what do we have left, what do we replace it with? What do we develop as the core of our own practice. According to Fr Richard Rohr OSM the oppositional mindset that was set in place after the reformation of the 16th century, and after the enlightment of the 17th and 18th centuries meant that the ancient tradition of gaining spiritually through meditation was lost. We lost the older tradition of praying beyond words. I want to propose that this is what we can develop, praying beyond words, meditation-a vehicle for our spiritual pathway.
For a long time I have thought that the Book of James was the most useful, social and practical of the gospel writings; James warned against taking the Pauline view of Christianity to an extreme where Paul urged his followers to put their faith in Christ (i.e. what to believe, one who would deliver them).  James called his listeners to action, “Faith without works is dead, be doers of the word and not hearers only.  Religion that is pure and undefiled is this – to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep ones-self unstained from the world” – to keep ones-self unstained from the world – what is this? Christians are very good at relieving the struggling and suffering of others-there are helping missions in every part of the world, just look at the community support provided during our natural disasters, out of this faith community Micha arose, and I am sure that nearly all of us are caring for family, relatives or friends; visiting the widow in her affliction, and as well there does seem in our community a growing interest in the spiritual/contemplative tradition, through the transformative experience of meditation, a way of remaining unstained from the world, our pastors refer to it in various ways, the Eckhart Tolle CD’s are taken home each week, and many books referring to the subject are sold, at  the drop in shop, the existing meditation groups are regularly attended. 
Jesus, it now seems, was primarily a teacher, a sage who bequeathed to his followers principles by which to live, not a body of eternally fixed doctrine that he expected people to believe. 
The teachings that Jesus bequeathed to us focused not on believing but on doing.  Even before the term ‘Christian’ (originally with a derogatory meaning)  came into use, the first Jesus-followers were attempting to practise the kind of life he taught.  They called it ‘The Way’. 
An ancient book called ‘The Didache’ (a Greek word meaning ‘teaching’) throws considerable light on this. 
It is interesting to find that the Didache has preserved the primitive label, ‘The Way’.  This is how it starts off: ‘There are two ways , one of life and one of death, but there is a great difference between the two ways’.  In its short description of the Way of Death we find listed all the commonly acknowledged human crimes and misdemeanours that are condemned in almost every culture.  But the emphasis of the Didache is on the Way of Life.  Listen to how it continues:
The way of life is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbour as yourself, and not do to another what you would not want done to you...