Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Dhuoda, Rabbi Lawrence Goldmark, Simon Jacobson, The Rebbe, Book of Proverbs, Paula Poundstone
On June 24, 824 AD, a Frankish noblewoman named Dhuoda married Bernard,
Duke of Septimania. Possessed of a sharp mind, she wrote Latin fluently at a time
when few did, especially women. She gave birth to her first son, William, in 826 and
to a second son, Bernard, in 841. In 843, she must have sensed that her future was
tenuous, for she wrote a 73-chapter life manual for 16-year-old William, entitled,
"Liber Manualis." Her intuition proved correct, for shortly after she finished the book,
her husband had her imprisoned in a castle and gave William to Charles the Bald as a
political hostage. He also ripped Bernard away from her before the infant's baptism,
baptism, so that this loving mother didn't even know what his name would be.
It is thought Dhuoda died not long after she finished writing her loving tome for William,
for she refers to being near death and expresses sorrow that she will not know him in
manhood. But she left behind an extraordinary example of a mother reaching out to
her child with lively images and earnest guidance in spiritual, moral and political
matters. In truth, her early death probably was kinder to her than living
to know the fate of her family.
In 844, the Duke of Septimania was accused of plotting to kill King Charles of France
and was executed. Dhuoda's cherished William was killed trying to avenge his father.
The youngest son, Bernard, lived long enough to father two children. He died around
887. Perhaps he was able to pass along his mother's loving wisdom to his offspring.
In the Middle Ages, when most women suffered total anonymity, Dhuoda strides
forward from history with impressive strength. Her love for her son shines still today.
Photo by Stephen Bowman All Rights Reserved
Beseech God your Creator, cherish him,
love him: if you do so, he will be a keeper,
a leader, a companion, and a fatherland for
you, the way, the truth, and the life, grant-
ing you generous prosperity in the world,
and he will turn your enemies to peace.
Dhuoda, (died circa 843) to her son, William
Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
THE ULTIMATE TEST OF BEHAVIOR (Reprinted with permission from The Beacon)
Choice—free will—doing good versus evil—all of these key words add up to the
dilemma and challenge of being human. How often do we say to ourselves:
“What’s the best way to go? Which choice should I make?”
Many people simply get stuck and refuse to take responsibility for their actions.
They delay and even deliberately forget to make their choice and thus it is made
for them. Not sending back a response to an invitation, for example, because it is
misplaced or whatever is really saying: “I can’t decide whether or not to go!”
But when it comes to major moral and ethical decisions such as whether or
not to cheat or lie or steal—sometimes we forget they are part of the Ten
Commandments. We actually need a louder voice than the sounds
from Mount Sinai.
And so I offer to you a formula to remember when a major or even minor decision
is to be made: “I am about to do such and such. Would my mother be ashamed
of me if she knew I did this?”
Yes, good ole Mom (dead or alive) can serve us well as our ultimate source of choice
behavior. I know when I visit my Mom’s grave I speak to her and hope and pray
that she is proud of me. God forbid, she should be ashamed of my actions.
Thus I constantly ask myself: “Is this what Mom would want me to do?”
Rabbi Lawrence Goldmark is the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Ohr in La
Mirada. He is the Executive Vice President of the Pacific Association of
Reform Rabbis. Among many other posts, he was also President of the
Board of Rabbis of Southern California from 1997-1999.
Why do the Ten Commandments, which include moral laws,
begin with "I am your G-d?" Because without the acceptance
that morality is derived from G-d, morality --- and therefore,
education ---is guided by nothing more than human whim and con-
science. History has shown us that a society can be extremely
well educated and yet, if not guided by G-d's precepts,
it may be steeped in malevolence.
From "Toward a Meaningful Life:
The Wisdom of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson,"
by Simon Jacobson
William Morrow, 2002
Rich and poor have a common bond: the Lord is the maker of them all.
The reward of humility and fear of the Lord is riches, honor and life.
Thorns and snares are on the path of the crooked;
he who would safeguard his life will shun them.
Train a boy in the way he should go;
even when he is old, he will not swerve from it.
Proverbs 22: 2, 4-6
New American Bible
The Last Word:
Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be
when they grow up because they're looking for ideas.
--American comedian Paula Poundstone (born 1959)
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
God doesn't lie.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Catalyst for the Protestant Reformation