A reader responds to the weekend's Dish on Buddhism and Christianity by telling a story:
I took a step outside for some fresh air tonight. It's a beautiful, clear, and crisp Autumn evening in Australia, and all I could do was look up at the almost-full moon and stars. I said, "thank you," as I do whenever I'm moved by nature's sublime beauty. Then it dawned on me - I was praying.
Sixteen years of Catholic education drilled the standard prayers into our gourds to the detriment of a true relationship with what it's all about. While I recall that the priests and sisters who taught me would occasionally say that my relationship with God is mine alone, they'd immediately follow it up with the Lord's prayer or a request for intercession from the Virgin Mother. The relationship I was taught was formulaic and impersonal. But the prayers that work for me, both in times of awe and thanks and in times of pain and despair, are mine and mine alone with God. And they're closer to the Truth than any rule or catechism can convey.
There is a Spirit greater than me, but I am also a part of that Spirit. I am connected to It, and as much as It inspires me, my life, led well, is a gift back to It and makes It more whole, more alive, more dynamic. It strikes me that these little moments of prayer, of thanks, of wonder, of doubt, are indeed the most intimate moments of both humility and pride. The more of these moments I allow for myself, the closer to the Truth I'll arrive, and the more Truth will be lived.