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Spiritual knowledge comes to us through many sources. Pope Francis underlined this last week when he and many other world religious leaders asked their followers to make friends with people who practice a faith other than their own. The Holy Father cited his long friendship with a Rabbi in his native Argentina whose explanations of various things cast wonderful light on some of our Catholic teachings.

A recent special on PBS explained Buddhism for its audience in a way that helped clarify some of its history and central philosophy. One thing I found was what they teach are the three great poisons that actively work to toxify and even kill our spiritual life. The first is GREED, so we must practice a great generosity at all times if we want to apply the antitoxin. The second is ANGER, so we must practice a great compassion every day, toward every person and toward the whole creation - all life. And third, IGNORANCE poisons our spiritual life, as it does with ISIS, with those who call Our Blessed Virgin Mary the whore of Babylon, or the Pope the antichrist etc. The antidote is Wisdom.....meditating on these three in the light of Catholic teaching does't make you a Catholic Buddhist, but can open a little door for Wisdom to zero in on some things you need to talk about during your next reconciliation! Pope Francis' whole point - plus, it can soften your attitude toward your Buddhist neighbors!

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