We Have to Renew Religion

The Dalai Lama has said: “My simple religion is kindness. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” This might sound as if religion as a system of practices, rituals and beliefs has been or could be made redundant. If only. Humanity tried twice in the twentieth century and failed disastrously, as much so as if it had tried to abolish art or science. In the twenty-first century we have to renew religion, not abolish it. But one day in the holy city (as the book of Revelation says), there will indeed be no temple “for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22). Until that happy day we have to listen to Jesus who speaks in tune with all religious leaders worth listening to; don’t enter a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue unless you are prepared to love your enemies.

—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB

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