Wednesday, August 21, 2013
What Father Bede Griffiths (Introductory post)
Father Bede is my spiritual father, even though I never knew him personally. He makes sense of Christianity, Christ, and religion in general for me. He exudes such love and piety. I ask his prayers, I have felt very close to him recently through some hardship, and I know he is praying for me.
Father Bede taught that all religions have a common center, and at that center is the divine. To picture this concept, he took his hand, and would say that his fingers represent different religious traditions - Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist- and then he points to the middle of his palm and says that this represents the center.
Father Bede in the early fifties, after being a Benedictine monk in England for several years, went to India to "find the other half of [his] soul." He became a leading proponent of interfaith dialogue and interspirituality. Yet, his life was centered in Christ. He led a Christian Ashram, Shantivanam, in which the Christian and Benedictine life were lived authentically in the context of Hindu culture.
I am a committed Christian, and Jesus is my contact for God, and my rock. But I find much delight in Eastern Religion, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, and seek to enrich my Christian practice with insights and practices from these great faith traditions.
Two of his followers, Brother John Martin Sahajananda and Russill Paul, have both written excellent books about inter-spirituality.
I would love to go to India some day, to Shantivnam where Brother Martin is abbot.
Father Bede, pray for us!
Bede Griffiths Trust