Entering the coffee shop Robert spots Tom enjoying his coffee and looking anxious for his arrival. Coffee in hand, Robert greets Tom. “Hi Tom, great to have this second ‘one on one’ with you,” he says.
“Hi Robert, and so what’s our topic of conversation?”
“Well Tom, how was Christmas?”
“Christmas?” Tom shouts back at Robert, “That was months ago.”
“It’s just that the last time we met you were going home for Christmas and were quite By Ray Buteau anxious about the religious expectations of your parents and I’m interested to hear how that turned out.”
“Oh, OK. Your talk helped me the last time we met; even my parents noticed that I seemed more relaxed and co- operative, which for my parents means accepting to attend Christmas mass with the family—apparently a huge issue for my mother,” Tom continues. “I’ve accepted that we have different understandings of God and religion and they aren’t interested in hearing mine, yet alone respecting my point of view. I can’t even bring up being gay, though some suspect it. For now it seems to bring peace on Earth,” Tom smiles. “Have you noticed how quiet the media becomes about God as soon as the gifts are unwrapped?” Tom says as he sips his coffee.
Smiling back, Robert says, “The media are given such conflicting messages, religions say one thing about his/her existence, and the science of quantum physics opens the door to another understanding with reincarnation and rebirth. The media waits for a religious event before bringing up the topic again.”
“Now the media has competition,” Robert adds.
“How’s that?” Tom asks.
“With the technology that we have today with mass media, one takes a picture, posts it and we all become journalists commenting on everything world-wide,” says Robert.
“But all these baby and animal posts don’t answer any questions about life.”
“Perhaps not, but they do get more ‘likes’ than a topic on spirituality,” Robert grins, and continues, “All civilizations have asked the questions of who we are, why are we here, and about life after death. Many see religions as mythical projections of what they see as God.”
“So where does that get us?” asks Tom looking confused.
“With a free choice, Tom, to choose what and whether to believe while respecting the beliefs of others without making any judgments. I wrote something down that I wanted to share with you today.” Robert reads, “As we consciously evolve and have personal experiences of the divine, whether through faith experiences, an addiction intervention, a profound appreciation of nature or a centering experience through yoga, we have an intuitive sense that we are more than our physical body.”
“That’s your answer?” Tom responds looking confused.
“It’s like listening to someone speaking, you can choose to listen to them or merely hear them talking. Similar to those who would listen to the prophet Jesus telling a parable/story and after speaking, many merely looked at each other and wondered what he was talking about, hence speaking in parables. They would have had to ask themselves how the parable/story could apply to themselves, otherwise they were left with hearing an interesting story which many thought had nothing to do with themselves, as often happens to people sitting in churches.”
Robert continues, “Tom you have learned an important life skill, a topic I’ll be speaking to Danny about when I meet with him. But first, I meet with the three amigos next month.”
“And you think Danny is going to understand all this better than me?” Tom asks with a tone of sarcasm.
“He may find it just as challenging,” Robert answers.
“What’s that again?” Tom asks, as they both leave teasing each other.
–Ray Buteau is a former Catholic priest and author of the book No Longer Lonely. You can visits Ray’s website at www.raybuteausweb.com