Do as you wish but harm none
This is something that I posted elsewhere recently as part of a wider conversation but I thought that it would be worth saying here as thinking about it has made me grateful for the good friends that I have.
I have recently been thinking about the fact that I have little in common with many of my friends. I have little interest in pop music and probably wouldn't recognise any of the names in the top ten in the charts if someone were to list them. My religious beliefs feature prominently in my life andm while I don't make a point of talking about it, I also don't make a point of avoiding the issue. I enjoy classical music, Monty Python and anything that jokingly but not maliciously mocks organised religion. I also tend to avoid alcopops as I much prefer Bombay Sapphire.
I really don't know why many of my friends are friends, and have realised that many of them are actually counselling clients as opposed to friends. I hear from them when there's something wrong and not at any other time. I'm content with the nature of the relationships I have with them.
That aside, I have just as little in common with my best friend as I do with these aforementioned clients. In fact, we're very, very different people. He adores alcopops (and vodka, but the good stuff upsets his stomach so it has to be cheap). He is for ever downloading the latest music, he is available on more than one R18-rated DVD (without going into further detail), he's perhaps more promiscuous than any person should be (he knows about my disapproval but we don't make an issue of it), and he's Wiccan.
However, he's one of the most, loving, caring individuals I know. I realised that the thing that causes us to get on so well is similarities between our spiritualities. While Orthodoxy and Wicca are very different in terms of belief, they have some things in common with regard to the expression of those beliefs. He and I both have a sense of the immanent sacred, of the sanctity and essential goodness of the physical world and the ability to sense a deeper reality through elements of the created order. We both have a deep awareness of a realm other than that in which we have our being and the specialness of the meeting of the two. In terms of spirituality, I perhaps have more in common with him than I do with many other christians, especially those of an Evangelical disposition.
I have been in the custom of having a Mass of Requiem offered on or near my mum's anniversary each year, and last year I forgot. I didn't realise it was her anniversary until that evening, and I happened to be chatting to my friend on MSN at the time. When I mentioned it, he got a candle out and lit it, and placed it on his window-sill. This was born out of his belief that the spirits of the dead are on their journey to their final state and we can help to guide them along their way. The light of the candle was his contribution to this. This nmeant so very much to me.
I have a lot of time for Wiccans, for even though I think that the majority of Wicca is very misguided, I think that there is some of the Truth to be found there, though nowhere near in its fullness. What I do love though is the absence of all pretence - what you see is what you get. I can respect this.
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