Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Two Days of Faith and Hope

The forty eight hours of March 20 and 21 mark three significant events of faith and hope for three different beliefs. For Christians, March 21 is Good Friday, where the faithful attend services to mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus. It is a time to demonstrate faith and hope, followed by Easter Sunday.

For the Buddhists faith, March 21, 2008 marks the third full moon of the year and time to celebrate Magha Puja Day or Sangha Day, the second most important Buddhist festival. It is a celebration in honour of the Sangha, or the Buddhist community. It a chance for people of the faith to reaffirm their commitment to Buddhist practices and traditions.

Preceding these two days of faith, is the marking of the transition to Spring on March 20. In ancient Persian culture it was the birth of their new year or Nowruz. Although Iran today is an Islamic society, Iranians or Persians traditionally celebrate this holiday as the most significant event of the year. It has it roots in the Zoroastrian faith founded by Zoroaster. Today, the holiday is celebrated in all non-Arab cultures in the Middle-East, Central Asia and Western China as a time of renewal and hope for a better year.

I take the time today to acknowledge that hope is all that holds, the human spirit together at times. The power that comes from so many minds meditating, praying and hoping for renewal over the past 48 hours is a time to pause, regardless of one's faith to reflect and have hope that the synergy flowing together will ease our passage through life.

A few weeks ago, William F. Buckley, Jr. passed on at the age of 81. He wrote the following in 1960. It is appropriate for all faiths and for non-believers as well.

"We deem it the central revelation of Western experience, that man cannot ineradicably stain himself, for the wells of regeneration are infinitely deep....Even out of the depths of despair, we take heart in the knowledge that it cannot matter how deep we fall, for there is always hope."

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