Belief And Oprah's Quest.

Posted By William E Smith On Oct 24, 2015

Belief And Oprah's Quest.

Belief Video

My last three blogs have covered the Pope as an exemplar of an evolving movement of mutual respect between religious and non-religious people. This respect is an essential building block in creating the mutual trust that we need to tackle our world's greatest challenges. Oprah is carrying out a similar mission in her seven part series on Belief (OWN channel)

As the Pope demonstrates, you cannot promote such beliefs without embodying them as individuals. Oprah gives the same message.

“When I set out to create ‘Belief’ I wanted to entertain, enlighten and encourage people to explore their own faith or spiritual practices more deeply,” she told Religion News Service. “I wanted the series to be a tool to help connect people. I have always known that my calling was to share ideas through storytelling that reflects the human spirit and allows people to see themselves reflected in the stories of others.”

In my own quest as a spiritual rather than a religious person, I have found that the search to understand purpose as a spiritual, philosophical and scientific concept enables us to link the spiritual to the practical in very simple, elegant and powerful ways. We cannot achieve our highest levels of purpose, e.g. address our greatest challenges, unless each of us is ble to make those links..

We plan to explore these ideas in an open webinar format On November 17. Come and join us –

The Pope's Leadership Magic- Part (2)

Posted By William E Smith On Oct 15, 2015

The Pope's Leadership Magic- Part (2)

Popes Video

These clips, edited from CNN, explore the seeming magic behind the extraordinary impact of the Pope’s short visit to the United States. They begin with anticipation before his visit and wonder about such qualities as his “uncommon commonness”. They indicate the essence of his advice to each of us to be better to each other no matter who the other is.

The clips remind us that the Pope is completing, through personal example, the journey of evolution of the Catholic Church, which many of our own institutions and organizations have yet to complete.

For nearly two thousand years the Church has been a closed, control-centered institution whose task was to convert other religions to Christianity. The non-religious would be condemned to eternal punishments.

Pope Pius IX, at the first Vatican Council in 1864, did recognize the truth in other religions but the goal was still the same: to keep the Church isolated from social, scientific and cultural influence. The Church was stuck with the same organizational dilemma of our own times in which our real goal is control, and we use influence to ensure that control. We do not use our influence equally to appreciate the whole that affects and is affected by the achievement of our goals.

It wasn’t till the Second Vatican Council, 1962-65, that the Church emphasized a concerted effort to dialogue with other religions and allowed that the non-religious could possibly receive salvation. However it is only because of Pope Francis‘s personalization, his embodiment, of this concept of paying attention to the whole—all people, including atheists—that the non-religious have come to believe that message.

With Pope Francis, the Church moves from a focus on influence-for-control to one that allows the Church's influence to be used equally for improving the lives of Catholics, the lives of people following other religions and those who are non-religious. He demonstrates that leadership is the embodiment of an appreciation of the world beyond the Catholic, influence through dialogue with other religions and control of ourselves as individuals who are ultimately responsible for bringing our faith to life.

The clip of the Young People's Chorus of New York City;reminds us that it all depends on us: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”