Two hands on sunsut.

Swamiji 1Swami Snehananda Jyoti 

Fidelity to God means faithful following of God’s will after having rigorously and conscientiously discerned it. Faithfulness to humanity with regard to fundamental values of truth, justice, freedom, love, human rights, and acceptance of each person for who one is; in practice there is no discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, class, gender, ethnic origin, and nationality. God is a postulate of faith. As we are generally born into a religion, faith is an essential part of our culture.  Judeo-Christian tenets are the foundation of Western civilization; Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic belief systems are mainly at the basis of Eastern Civilization. I am leaving out other belief systems, important as they are, for the sake of brevity. Basic tenets, whether Eastern or Western, are common to all civilized humanity. Nobody has any monopoly on any virtue, human right, or any moral value. God by God’s very nature understands and accepts us for who we are. So I am more concerned about fidelity to humanity as we serve God only through humanity. To simplify to the bare essential, we superimpose our values on God whom we create through revelation or deduction from what we have in nature. The values we attribute to God come very handy because these are the very values we want to work out of while serving humanity. In reality we come to God through love and service of humanity. I am aware I have over-simplified volumes and volumes of literature on various scriptures that if written in full the whole world would not be able to hold as one of the evangelists, John, said (John, 21:25).

After 25 years of intense living with the Jesuits I left the order to explore freely with loyalties only to God and humanity. However, I still value that great organization highly, and acquaint myself with the decrees of its latest general congregations whereby elected representatives meet periodically to charter its future course. I was really glad to know the repeated emphasis given by these assemblies to a faith related to justice and inculturation whereby the great teachings of Christ are imparted suitably in the soil of each culture. While a culture is a unique development and adjustment of each people over the ages without in any way compromising with common tenets and rights of humanity. Religions also known also as faiths are lived and practiced by humans in the context of human societies.

Humans and faith systems can grow and flourish only in the context of peace. And peace in the world can come only from just societies. More concretely a world order, whereby the basic needs of humans are taken care of by distributive and social justice, is needed. In that world order an economic justice where a minimum wage is guaranteed, and the maximum wealth an individual can accumulate or inherit is fixed. This comes from natural law justice that advocates that all the wealth and resources of the earth belong to all humans. In sum, fidelity to God, who is the Father and Mother of all, is guaranteed by fidelity to humanity, which in reality is a commitment to the well-being and welfare of all.

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