Insight, Inspiration, Motivation

“Peace Be With You”

I was immensely honored recently to be an honorary pall bearer for a priest, who was much loved and respected in our community. Having never even attended a Catholic service in my life before, I was not sure what to do. With a lot of reassurance from my good catholic friends, who advised me to simply follow along, I sat in the pew during the very impressive, almost regal ceremony, totally in awe.

I was in awe of this wonderful man, whose lifetime achievements were numerous, who had loved in the way Jesus had taught to love- everybody whom he had met. No wonder, I thought, that the readings from the bible( ICorinthians:13) were the one chapter that I actually could quote, from the days spent with my evangelistic friends back in my college days. I was also in awe of the rituals, (some of which I had heard of, and some I did not), the music, the turnout of mourners.

The service involved a lot of standing, sitting, standing again, singing, kneeling, and so on. At the end of the service, the congregation was asked to wish one another. The person standing next to me shook my hand and said, “Peace be with you”. She then turned to the next person and repeated it, and I found somebody else shaking my hand. I found the entire congregation was reaching out to one another, near and far, and shaking hands’ saying or mouthing the words, “Peace be with you.”

Even though it had been a sad occasion, and a tearful one, I left there with a sense of peace, which stayed with me a while. I was reminded of the prayer that we had said in Sanskrit all our lives,
“Sarve bhavantu sukhinah,
Sarve santu niramayaha,
Sarve bhadrani pashyantu,
Ma kaschid dukhabhag bhavet.”
“May all be happy, may all Be healthy, may all be prosperous, may all be free from suffering.”

It is one thing to wish good things for very body. It is even better to tell them so!
It could be even more powerful if we could, in each of our encounters with a fellow human being, want nothing but peace for them, no matter what the reason for the encounter. This is, ultimately, the aim of all spiritual pursuit – admittedly difficult, but not unattainable.


July 11, 2011 - Posted by | Personal Journey

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