A lawyer writing in the Catholic Times in the Eyes of the Believer column recalls what he has learned about himself over the years.
Every time he went mountain climbing in late autumn he would see the dust rise from the earth. The leaves looked like they were colored, all dried up and shriveled. Still, because of the pandemic, people were frustrated with the lack of activities and now appeared on mountain trails bothering him. The path up and down the mountain was crowded. He didn't like what he saw.
However, this mountain does not exist for him to enjoy solitude alone. His selfishness was revealed.
Looking back, he remembered something similar when he went to morning Mass every day a long time ago. He went to church when it was 10 degrees below zero in the dark, and one morning a person was sitting where he always sat. Even at the very moment he gave up his selfishness and begged to love someone else as much as he loved himself, but when he sat down he was upset at the person who had taken his seat. Didn't St. Paul say, "I do the things I don't want to do?"
"He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and on the righteous and unrighteous." Jesus taught this in the Sermon on the Mount that begins with "How happy are the poor of spirit." The wicked, the good, the righteous, the unrighteous, all are children of God. So we are all brothers.
Huayan school of Chinese Buddhism contains similar teachings. (理), the reason for all things means the God of Christianity. And the objects of all things in this world are all related. It makes us aware of the intricate and fragile interconnections that exist among the phenomena in our world.
Modern science has the same explanation. 13.7 billion years ago, a big bang occurred in 'absolute nothingness', elements were formed, and the elements came together to form stars. And since the Earth was formed around 4.6 billion years ago, one of the first organic cells appeared and evolved over 3.5 billion years ago.
Those leaves are my brothers, those pitiful street cats that go through the winter mountains in search of food are my brothers, and those people who are in the way are my brothers. At this time, the word 'brother' is not just a metaphor, we are related we actually share blood or even a gene.
As long as we separate from the oneness of all and live as individuals in this world, we will have difficulty living with other entities. Still, since these individuals are all related, share the same blood, we all come from the same God, we are simply working hard to treat others as brothers while living in this world trying to overcome our feelings.
It is a very difficult fight to deal with. That's right. It's not like the mountain wants me to enjoy it alone and the seat in the church is there alone for me to become holy. This is a good thought to have on the beginning of a new liturgical year. Happy New Year!