Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hello, Everyone,

This Sunday, Sept. 4th, Mother Teresa is being canonized or "declared a saint" by Pope Francis; but I don't think there was a moment in Teresa's life that she was not a saint.

Some are exclaiming, of course, - you're kidding! Do not "saints" have to live to earn "sainthood"? Did not little Teresa have to grow into an adult to earn sainthood? Did she not have to complete a life of wonderful works of mercy and attention to the poor to "become a saint"?

I do not think so now, but I will admit that I did think so earlier in life. I believed that people have to live a life of "doing good" before they could die and become saints; but no one could become a saint without having to die to become one. Well, that is what I believed as a kid, but it makes no sense to me now. I do believe we should live good lives and "do good," but not to earn some sainthood in another life. Rather, we should simply live good lives because it is the smart and wise way to live life; and the only way it should matter for a next life is that what we do in one life probably passes forward to a next life - given there is a next life - just as we inherited the self of a past life for this incarnation.

I can "prove" that what I claim is true by speculating that Mother Teresa died as a young girl and never lived to become a nun who committed her life to serve others. If "Little Teresa" had died when she was 10 years old, would her reward for the little life she lived "doing good" have been any less noteworthy than the actual life of an older woman in her '80s who died after a long life of service? I don't think so. Do you? In a manner speaking, what does age have to do with it?

So, this Sunday, some Teresa will be declared a saint, but in reality, the term of life of that Teresa will have had no bearing whatever on her actually being a saint. Little Teresa / Older Teresa - what difference should it have made? "Little Teresa" lived to grow old and die as a "Mother Teresa," but why in the world did Little Teresa have to do that? In truth, she did not have to "become older" to become a saint. Did she? Indeed, none of us do!

Well, let me celebrate the life of Mother Teresa by this week's religious column for our local paper - THE LARAMIE BOOMERANG. I think it is wonderful that Pope Francis is taking some time to honor a terrific lady and wonderful person who each of us should respect for the "good life" she lived, but be it a Young Teresa or an Older Teresa, there is no real difference between "any Teresa" and "any of us." That is the truth; or so I believe it to be so.

So, Saint Teresa, wherever you are now in the grand Infinite World of Sacred Existence, Enjoy being what you are because of inheriting the Little Teresa who was just as much a saint as Mother Teresa! What a wonderful world we would have if we only realized that all of us are saints - and none of us need do anything but love one another to realize our sainthood!

I leave you to this Sunday's religious column - which I actually wrote a few weeks ago. Enjoy it as you can; and start living as a saint! It is not hard. It is only being aware of the Equal Sanctity of Every Thing; and what should be hard about that? You tell me!


Francis William Bessler
Laramie, Wyoming
(Sonny, Frank, Will)



Francis William Bessler

Laramie, Wyoming


Singing has been a way of joy for me all my life; and soon, on December 3rd, I will be turning 75. My family called me "Sonny" because an older brother, Denny, unwittingly gave me that nick name because he thought that Dad was calling me "Sonny" when he put me on his lap and sang: Climb upon my knee, Sonny Boy! When my family started calling me "Sonny," however, I heard "Sunny" - hearing "sunny" and not "sonny." Maybe that has something to do with my living life like it is much more "sunny" than "dark." Suppose?

Anyway, though my actual first name is Francis, "Sonny Boy" loved to sing for his family - or at least "to" his family; and one of the songs "Sonny" sang was a little ditty called How Far Is Heaven? I remember hearing it on the radio, sung by a country artist by the name of Kitty Wells. The song was about a little girl whose father had died. The refrain went something like this: How far is Heaven? When can I go - to see my Daddy. He's there I know. How far is Heaven? Let me go tonight. I want my Daddy to hold me tight.

In a way, I think that song "that Sonny sang" tells the tale of Heaven very well. For that little girl, Heaven was only being with her Daddy. Being with her Daddy was all that meant anything to her. When Daddy was with her in life, it was Heaven; and when Daddy had gone to some other place, Heaven was there. Heaven was only being where her Daddy was - and she only wanted to be where her Daddy was, or is.

Simply exchange "God" for "Daddy" - and I believe you have "Heaven" in a spiritual sense. For me, Heaven is only "being where God is" - or "being in the Presence of God." Since an Infinite God must be everywhere - or that God would not be Infinite - Presto - Heaven is Everywhere.

I think we humans have long been way out of bounds by thinking that God can only exist in one place and not another. Many of us claim that when we die, we will go to Heaven - and, of course, meet God there; but we fail to live like God is where we are. God is always someone who has ears Who can hear; and we think when we cry out - Hey, God, I'm here! - that God hears us and will respond - Come, my son (or my daughter) and receive My Blessing!

To tell you the truth, I used to think that way - mostly because that is what I was taught. To get me to do this or that, my parents would tell me that if I was a good little guy and did what I was told that when I died, I would go to Heaven. Boy, did I want to go to Heaven! Who wouldn't? So I obeyed Dad & Mom in order to "go to Heaven" when I died.

By the time I became a "daddy," however, I realized that Dad & Mom had been wrong. So, I never taught my kids we have to die to go to Heaven. All I had to do was open my eyes and look - and everywhere I looked, there was a miracle. But I did have to open my eyes and see what is out there. Grass and trees and beautiful flowers in the yard, friendly dogs and cats jumping about, hungry chickens pecking at the ground for wheat, rabbits and squirrels hopping about to and fro, lovely birds flying from one branch to another, pigs grunting and bellowing for chow, cows mooing and switching their tails when I milked them.

You see, I grew up on a farm; and all I had to do to see a miracle was to open my eyes and look about me. If Heaven is all about miracles and wonders, then Heaven is all about; and Dad & Mom were wrong. They meant well, but I do believe they were wrong - just as all of us who now believe that life itself is somehow lacking in the Grace of God are wrong.

Paul of Tarsus was wrong, too, I think, in declaring that "all fall short of the glory of God." In my opinion, that is astounding stupidity! The truth is just the opposite - "all are full of the Glory of God." When we think we are not within the Glory of God, then we can act like it - and we often do. When we fail to realize we are within the Glory of God, then we can accuse others of failures in order to see ourselves as righteous - and we can disdain and assault and assassinate and murder others - for whatever claim we choose - and think we are being "just."

Look about. The world is full of many who believe God is "out there" and not "in here." Wouldn't it be better to live like we are "within" the Glory of God because God cannot be absent from anything? We do not have to die to go to Heaven. Do we? We are already "in" Heaven - or as Jesus might say, Heaven is already "at hand."

Or so, I Believe! How About You?