A Christ­mas prayer for our na­tion

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - COMMUNITY - Raymond Angelini

As I con­tem­plate the up­com­ing Christ­mas Sea­son, I am re­minded that it is sup­posed to be a sea­son of “peace on earth and good will to­ward men.” One doesn’t have to look very far in our coun­try and in our world to ob­serve that this is not the case. When I at­tempt to an­a­lyze the vari­ables that have contribute­d to our cur­rent con­di­tion, I am left with three es­sen­tial lacks or deficits that have lead to our cur­rent frac­tious con­di­tion.

The first is a lack of com­pas­sion. As a na­tion, we ap­pear to be en­am­ored with the no­tion of at­tack and re­venge, mostly against those who look, think, or have dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal views than we do. There is a say­ing that says” If you want re­venge, you bet­ter dig two graves!” If our hu­man history teaches us any­thing, it shows us that at­tack in­vari­ably begets at­tack. Je­sus, the rea­son for the Christ­mas Sea­son, urged us to turn the other cheek. I see very lit­tle of this go­ing on cur­rently in our na­tion or in our world. At­tack re­sults in in­creas­ingly es­ca­lat­ing at­tacks. It seems that we are al­most looking to be of­fended. Je­sus taught us to “love our en­e­mies and pray for those who per­se­cute you.” This is the essence of com­pas­sion, and if we are to heal as a na­tion and a world, we need to have more com­pas­sion for those who dis­agree with us po­lit­i­cally or in any other way. Abra­ham Lin­coln said “A house di­vided against it­self can­not stand.” He said this at the height of the Civil War, and to­day we find our­selves sim­i­larly di­vided. Un­less we start treat­ing each other with com­pas­sion and re­spect, our great na­tion will not stand.

The sec­ond thing that we are in dire need of is for­give­ness. We seem to have a neu­rotic need to hold onto ev­ery per­ceived slight and hurt. The Course in Mir­a­cles says that “The holi­est place on earth is where an an­cient ha­tred has be­come a present love.” There is far too much ha­tred on both sides of the po­lit­i­cal, racial, and so­cioe­co­nomic is­sues. We des­per­ately need to for­give our­selves and oth­ers for all of the an­cient and present hates that ex­ist in our so­ci­ety. Hate is a can­cer that erodes from within. Our na­tion ap­pears to be in a very advanced stage of this ter­ri­ble dis­ease, but I don’t be­lieve that it is ter­mi­nal yet. I be­lieve that our na­tion can rise again more united and stronger than ever, but first we need to de­velop both the heart, mind and will to for­give.

Last, but cer­tainly not least, we need love. We need to love each other enough to be able to tran­scend our per­ceived dif­fer­ences. We need to em­brace love rather than fear, be­cause fear is the most de­struc­tive force in the uni­verse. It blinds us and leads us to look upon one another in ex­tremely dis­torted ways. Joel Gold­smith, the famed spir­i­tual writer had a very unique in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the ninth com­mand­ment. He said that un­less we see our brother as a child of God, we are bear­ing false witness against our neigh­bor. My prayer for our na­tion and our world is that we all can be­gin to see each other as chil­dren of God dur­ing this Christ­mas Sea­son and be­yond. It is by far the great­est gift that you can re­ceive and the great­est gift that you can give. Dare to give this great­est gift, for our na­tion and our world have never needed it more!

Dr. Angelini is a li­censed psy­chol­o­gist and a busi­ness and per­sonal coach. He has been in prac­tice for over 30 years. He spe­cial­izes in as­sist­ing in­di­vid­u­als in find­ing and sus­tain­ing ca­reers that are re­ward­ing, life-en­hanc­ing, and in keep­ing with their per­sonal and spir­i­tual val­ues. He can be reached by email at rayan­[email protected] or you may visit his web­site at https://dr­rayan­gelini.com.

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