October 10

 Columbus Day

 Reflection

This day is charged with many meanings and emotions. For some it is a day of national pride. For others it marks the coming of Europeans to a land already settled. As a nation we have inherited this beautiful land which once was the homeland of another people. We still need to appreciate the wisdom and reverence for the earth that we can learn from the Native American people and the debt we owe them for having occupied and claimed their land. We need to remember that the rest of us are all immigrants or descended from immigrants. Many of us still need to understand that we are not superior to others nor can we take what is rightfully theirs and use it for our own advancement.  Our present attitudes show that we still need to learn not to categorize groups of people as inferior or threatening but rather to discover what others have in common with us and how they can enrich this country with their culture and values.

Prayer

Creator God, hear our prayer this day as we observe this national holiday. Help us to have a greater awareness of your magnificent gifts to us, the riches of our land, the splendors of the diverse peoples who form our country. Help us to view all your good gifts with respect and gratitude. Help us to understand that we need the forgiveness of those from whom we acquired this land and to learn to respect it as they did. Heal our divisions and bring us to unity.

Action

Read an unbiased source of the early settlement of this country and the history of the Native American people. Meditate on the meaning of justice and respect for others. Think of the present attitudes in this country toward “immigrants”. What does this say?

Suggested Reading

O Great Spirit
Let your voice whisper righteousness in our ear through the West Wind in the late of the day.
Let us be comforted with love for our brothers and sisters and no war.
Let us hold good health mentally and physically to solve our problems and accomplish something for future generations of life.
Let us be sincere to ourselves and our youth and make the world a better place to live.
Lloyd Carl Owle
Cherokee

O Great Spirit of the heavens, in the day’s infinite blue and amid the countless stars of the night season, remind us that you are vast, that you are beautiful and majestic beyond all of our knowing or telling, but also that you are no further from us than the tilting upwards of our heads and the raising of our eyes.

O Great Spirit of Mother Earth beneath our feet, Master of metals, Germinator of seeds and the Storer of the Earth’s unreckoned resources, help us to give thanks unceasingly for Your present bounty.

O Great Spirit of our souls, burning in our heart’s yearning and in our innermost aspirations, speak to us now and always so that we may be aware of the greatness and goodness of Your gift of life and be worthy of this priceless privilege of living.

From the Seven Sacred Prayers
Black Elk and others

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
André Gide

 If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.
Arthur Goldberg

 Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States.  Ask any Indian.
Robert Orben 

If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.
Stephen Hawking

The greatest discoveries of science have always been those that forced us to rethink our beliefs about the universe and our place in it.
Robert L. Park 

Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
Author Unknown

 

 

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