In his work, “The World’s Religions,” author Huston Smith highlights an 19th century Hindu saint, Ramakrishna, as an illustration of a conviction that the various major religions are alternate paths to the same goal. Ramakrishna, after experiencing each of the major religions, concluded that there existed an essential unity among them. He wrote, “God has made different religions to suit different aspirations, times, and countries.
Pictured right: Pope Francis confesses during the celebration of the sacrament of penance in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 9, 2018.
In 2018, FAITH continues to offer the column, Discipleship 101, based on Sherry Weddell’s books, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (2012) and Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World (2017). Sherry is a leading voice in the Catholic world in the field of forming missionary disciples – engaged Catholics who strive to grow as disciples of Jesus and go evangelize, sharing the Gospel with others.
St. Paschal Baylon was a humble Spanish friar of the 16th century, celebrated for his devotion to praying before the Eucharist, living a life of poverty, and providing generous care to the poor.
[Jesus] answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. (Acts 1:7)
A number of years ago, I participated in a debate at Harvard on embryonic stem cell research which also included a Jewish rabbi, an Episcopalian clergyman, and a Muslim imam. The debate went smoothly and cordially, although I was the only voice in the group who defended the human rights of individuals who happen still to be embryos.