This morning on Canada AM, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett were interviewed about their upcoming mini-series based on the writings of the bible.
“I’m watching that!” I told my husband enthusiastically.
The bible is one of my all time favorite reads. The ultimate in Goodreads, you might say. Do I believe everything the bible tells me? Let’s just say, I believe the men who wrote it believed it to be so. And so, on some level, yes, it is true.
During the university years of my ‘good catholic up-bringing,’ I attended a collection of church colleges on the campus of The University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada. I was formally enrolled at The University of St. Jerome’s College, and there held most of my religious history studies. Though many of the other church colleges and main campus classrooms offered an interesting twist to my education, surprisingly enough, it was in the tiny classrooms of St. Jerome’s that my mind became completely open to other faiths and other religious cultures. There, I gained a complete appreciation for the right to believe what is in our hearts.
Father Ceddy, as we called him was a stocky man, with an endearing, mischievous smile. “Believe, and don’t believe… this goes especially for what you read in the bible.” This was how Father Ceddy began the first lecture of each of his classes every single year. He’d chuckle and open the door for those staunch in their beliefs. Thanking them for coming, he’d close the door slightly, then looking at the crowd ask, “Anyone else thinking they may have to go? ‘Cause I’m warning you now, I’m just warming up!”
Years later, I have many mentors to thank for my ability to open my mind and heart to the beliefs of others. Thanks to my mother, Father Ceddy, and a quite a few other nameless (at least in this posting) teachers, I still love the teachings of the bible. I feel blessed to be able to read the incredible stories within, and still know in my heart that our God is a loving god, and that each of us carry within our souls a piece of our beloved creator. Reading A Course in Miracles alongside The Bible is truly an inspiring practice. And one that I would recommend to all of my readers.
In meditation this morning, my son and I imagined we were floating on a raft on a lazy, slow-moving river. Dipping our forefinger into the water each time the raft lifted gently upon the current, in our mind’s eyes we watched as the ripples made by our fingers, flowed away from us. We felt the warmth of the sun on our faces, we heard the call of the chickadees (according to Riley) in trees lining the river, and we felt the coolness of the water beneath our raft. Along our journey, angels whispered messages of love in our ears as Jesus stood waiting by the riverside.
The image, while it definitely sprang from our imagination was none-the-less one that came from that God link in our soul. It was a message of safety, of unconditional love, and of openness. For 10 minutes, we were one with nature, and the universal strength of our beliefs. The image of Jesus by the river most definitely came from biblical imagery, and yet, the experience of complete and utter belonging came from someplace much, much more profound.
Bring the bible to life through the art of movie making is truly wonderful, and I for one, have every intention of watching Roma and Mark’s production of it. My challenge to you over the month of February is to use your own version of movie making. Whether it be in a meditative state, via writing, illustrating, or in conversation, this month, connect your heart to your head, and begin a dialogue on your universal beliefs. What is it, where is it, how is it, that you feel safe, loved, and completely at one?