Photo by Chuck Bowman
Photo: Chuck Bowman
Photo by Chuck Bowman

    At the top of the Home Page:
    --Love greater then faith
    --John Piper: We're all dependent on mercy

    Midway down the page:
    -Jesus bestows the ultimate forgiveness
    --Islam and Confucius on forgiveness

    For Prayer Warriors who scroll down:
    --Forgiveness: economy of the heart
    --Message from Muslim Public Affairs Council

    And the Last Word: Anthony de Mello


                           The Religion Network
                                                      Pray the Day.

Photo by Chuck Bowman

     WELCOME! I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith website providing daily inspiration and
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TODAY'S THEME: Can you forgive? The gift of mercy.
Support The Religion Network!
Do not be a harsh judge of yourself.
Without kindness toward ourselves we cannot love the world.

The Buddha (c. 563- C. 483)
Photo: Stephen Bowman
The latest question for Rabbi Mentz:
Is man inherently good or inherently evil?
For the rest of his answer, click on: Ask Rabbi Mentz
And now, the Last Word:
    In Luke 17:5, the apostles pleaded with the Lord, "Increase our faith!" And the Lord said (v. 6), "If you had faith
    like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it
    would obey you." In other words, the issue in your Christian life and ministry is not the strength or quantity of
    your faith, because that is not what uproots trees. God does. Therefore, the smallest faith that truly connects
    you with Christ will engage enough of his power for all you need. Moving trees is a small thing for Christ. The
    issue is not perfection for Christ, but connection to Christ. So take heart, the smallest seed of faith connects
    with all of Christ's mercy.

    But what about your successes? Does your obedience move you out of the category of supplicant of mercy?
    Jesus gives the answer in the  following verses of Luke 17:7-10.

    Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field,
    "Come at once and sit down at table"? Will he not rather say to him, "Prepare supper for me, and dress properly,
    and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink"? Does he thank the servant because
    he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, "We are
    unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty."

    What does he mean that after doing all his commands we should still say, "We are unworthy servants"? He
    means, you never cease to be  dependent on mercy.

    Therefore, I conclude, the fullest obedience and the smallest faith obtain the same thing from God: mercy.
    A mere mustard seed of faith taps into the mercy of tree-moving power. And flawless obedience leaves us
    utterly dependent on mercy. God may withhold some blessings of mercy for our good if we stray from the
    path of growing faith. But even this withholding is another form of mercy. The point is: whatever the timing or
    form of God's mercy, we never rise above the status of beneficiaries of mercy. We are always utterly dependent
    on the undeserved. God never owes us anything in ourselves. The smallest faith and the fullest obedience receive
    one thing: almighty mercy.

    Therefore let us humble ourselves and rejoice and "glorify God for his mercy"!
Bill Wright's Kabul journal is now in the Archives
Photo by Stephen Bowman
Photo by Stephen Bowman
If I have all faith so as to move
mountains but do not have love,
I am nothing. If I give away
everything I own, and if I hand
my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is
not jealous, (love) is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude, it
down not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does
not brood over injury, it does not
rejoice over wrongdoing but
rejoices with the truth. It bears all
things, believes all things, hopes
all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:2-7
New American Bible
Pastor John Piper, Bethlehem Baptist Church
Minneapolis, MN
Photo by Stephen Bowman
And when they came to the
place which is called The Skull,
there they crucified him, and
the criminals, one on the right
and one on the left. And Jesus
said, "Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do."
John 23:33-34
Whoever approaches Me walking, I will come to him running:
and he who meets Me with sins equivalent to the whole world,
I will greet him with forgiveness equal to it.
Mishkat Al-Masabih
14th century Islamic text
Forgive injuries.
Forgive your enemy, be reconciled to him,
give him assistance, invoke God on his behalf.

Confucius (551-479 BC)
Forgiveness is the economy of the heart...forgiveness saves the
expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

Hannah Moore (1745-1833)

(Los Angeles - 9/23/06) -- The Muslim Public Affairs Council extends
its wishes for a peaceful and blessed month of Ramadan to everyone.  
During this month, over 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide practice restraint
and generosity as a reflection of their commitment to God and in
fulfillment of the commandment of fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Regarding Ramadan, the Quran states: "Fasting is ordained for you as it
was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious
of God" (2:183). The month of Ramadan marks the revelation of the first
verses of the Quran over 1400 years ago, and is typically marked by an
increase in charitable giving.

In this blessed month, we pray that God blesses us all with an increase
in spirituality, a renewed hope in humanity, and a unwavering
commitment to justice and truth.
"All human beings are about equally good or bad," said the Master,
who hated to use those labels.

"How can you put a saint on an equal footing with a sinner?"
protested a disciple.

"Because everyone is the same distance from the sun. Does it really
lessen the distance if you live on top of a skyscraper?"

Anthony de Mello (1931-1987)
A Jesuit priest who wrote parables using the character of The Master,
whom he described as a composite of rabbi, guru, monk, roshi and sage.