• To submit a guest commentary, or contact
    Mike Schwager directly, e-mail:moschwager@aol.com
  • Recommended Books

    "Click on image of book to purchase on Amazon.com"
  • Animals

    “The Emotional Lives of Animals” by Marc Bekoff

    “Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation in America” by Nathan Winograd

    “Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings From Our Dogs and Cats” by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick O’Donnell

    “Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love” by Allen and Linda Anderson

  • Business

    “The Evolution of an Entrepreneur: Featuring My 50 Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business” by Jack Nadel

    “The BEST In Us: People, Profit and the Remaking of Modern Leadership” by Cleve W. Stevens

  • Creativity

    "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" by Julia Cameron
  • Diet / Food

    “Diet For A New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth” by John Robbins
  • Inspiration

    "The Art of Waging Peace" by Paul Chappell

    “Agape Love: A Tradition Found In Eight World Religions” by Sir John Templeton

    “The Measure of a Man” by Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The Global Heart Awakens: Humanity’s Rite of Passage from the Love of Power to the Power of Love” by Anodea Judith

    "The Magic of Believing" by Claude M. Bristol

    "The Vision of Emerson" by Richard Geldard

    “Love Poems” by Pablo Neruda

    "Long Walk To Freedom" - The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    "Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love and Courage" - by Richard Stengel

    "Conversations with Myself" - by Nelson Mandela and Forward by Barack Obama

    "Mandela: The Authorized Portrait" - by Mac Maharaj, Ahmad Kathrada, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Forward by Bill Clinton

  • Motivation

    “Why Do I Keep Doing That? Breaking The Negative Patterns In Your Life” by Dennis Wholey

    "The Portable Therapist" by Susanna McMahon, Ph.D.

    "Creating Money: Keys to Abundance" by Sanaya Roman & Duana Packer

    "Becoming A Life Change Artist" by Fred Mandell and Kathleen Jordan

  • Science

    “Creative Evolution: A Physicist's Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design” by Dr. Amit Goswami

    “Awakening Earth” by Duane Elgin

    “The Phenomenon of Man” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  • Spirituality

    “Kabbalah for Beginners” by Rav Michael Laitman

    “Care of the Soul” by Thomas Moore

    “Dark Nights of the Soul” by Thomas Moore

    “I And Thou” by Martin Buber

    “The Books of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life” by Deepak Chopra

    “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra

    "The Good Heart" by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

    "Anatomy of the Spirit" by Carolyne Myss, Ph.D.

    "The Healing Secrets of the Ages" by Catherine Ponder

    "The Taoist Inner View of the Universe and The Immortal Realm" by Taoist Master NI, HUA-CHING

    "The Art of Spiritual Healing" by Joel Goldsmith

Gatekeeper of The Temple of the Heart: Juliet Hollister

My dear friend Juliet Hollister passed away in 2001. She was 84, going on 24. I never really dwelt on her age, for to know her was to know a youthful spirit, though more than likely a very old soul. Forty years ago, from her kitchen in Greenwich, Connecticut, this then housewife and mother gave birth to a vision that became The Temple of Understanding, a United Nations sanctioned forum for the promotion of dialogue and understanding among and between the great religions of the world. Juliet’s friend, Eleanor Roosevelt, called it, The Spiritual United Nations.

Born in Forest Hills, New York, Juliet studied comparative religion at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, but as she once told me, “It was not an easy matter at the time for a woman to pursue a career in theology.” After devouring books on the major religions of the world, she became convinced that there was much more that united the great faiths than divided them. She became a living testament to this conviction.

Juliet carried a natural dignity and patrician-like quality, yet was devoid of the all-too-well known nuisances of the ego. She was truly a person without guile, pretense, or condescension. Her personality exuded a great big huggable charm. She had a passion and kindness that combined with a keen intelligence and unusually intense interest in people. She was a kind of magnet, and her presence was felt the moment one found oneself in her company.

Juliet’s life and her magnificent vision were, in a word, simple. I use this word in the highest complimentary sense. The same word comes to mind as I think about one of her dearest friends, His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Ask the Dalai Lama who he is, and he will quickly reply, “I’m just a simple Tibetan monk, nothing more.” Ask the same of Juliet Hollister, and she would respond, “I’m just a simple little mother from Greenwich, Connecticut.” They shared the quality of authenticity. The privilege of meeting authentic persons is truly sweet and illuminating.

The first words I ever heard Juliet say were, “How can I help you?” She had just telephoned me after learning about an idea for a spiritual, human potential television channel I had been trying to generate support for. Before I knew it, she invited me to come to her cottage-like home in Greenwich for tea and to share my vision. She was herself a great storyteller. And the story she loved to tell the most was about her beloved Temple of Understanding, and how that vision became reality.

As she would tell it, “It all began on a day in 1960, sitting in the kitchen of my Greenwich home with a friend, snacking on peanut butter sandwiches, talking about what a mess the world was in, with the spectre of nuclear Armageddon not a remote possibility, when as if out of nowhere, a light turned on in my mind and I excitedly saw an antidote, an ongoing forum where dialogue and understanding could be promoted by bringing all the world’s religions together under one roof.” Juliet would later say that the energy of this idea was enormous, and “I was convinced that I had to do something to bring it into the world.”

She brought the idea to her husband, Dickerman Hollister, a well-networked partner in a Manhattan law firm. After fruitless meetings with foundation executives, Dickerman arranged for his wife to meet Eleanor Roosevelt, at one of the former First Lady’s well-known salons. When approached with the idea, Mrs. Roosevelt immediately became excited, and arranged for Juliet to share her vision with some of the great political, religious, and citizen leaders on a whirlwind ’round-the-world trip. Joined by her youngest son, Dickie, the Connecticut housewife and mother met privately with U Thant, secretary general of the United Nations; Pope John XXIII; President Nasser of Egypt and his vice president, a young Anwar el-Sadat; Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister; Dr. Albert Schweitzer; and the Dalai Lama. Juliet recounts that every leader greeted her idea with resounding and enthusiastic support, except for President Nasser. Though he wasn’t a very pleasant man, he was willing to hear about the idea, and “I remember Mr. Sadat, in an earlier meeting, a much more sympathetic person, as having liked the idea very much,” she recalled. “But in the President’s office, when I actually had the gall to suggest to Mr. Nasser, a vehement enemy of Israel, that it would be a feather in his cap if he initiated peace with that country, he immediately yelled for his security guards to put me and my little boy under arrest, and we were actually thrown into prison!”

The situation looked very bleak, she said, until her son Dickie, when asked by some guards why they were arrested, drew a circle on the dirt floor of the prison cell with his finger, with the symbols of the world’s great religions inscribed inside the circle. “See,” said Dickie, “we want to help bring all the religions together in peace and harmony.” Within the hour, sympathetic guards got word to Mr. Sadat, who gave permission to free Juliet and her son. They were quietly put on the next plane out of the country, unbeknownst to Mr. Nasser.

With the support and blessings of many of the world’s top leaders, Mrs. Hollister’s vision became The Temple of Understanding, which grew into an international educational group recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization. From its Manhattan headquarters, and guided by her leadership and moving spirit, the group organizes symposiums, round-table discussions, educational projects, global forums, and spiritual summit meetings abroad. These summits became a meeting ground for the world’s major spiritual leaders.

The Temple of Understanding also played a key role in developing the North American Interfaith Network, an association of local, regional, national and international interfaith organizations, faith communities, and educational institutions. Conferences are now held annually.

In 1997, the board of directors of The Temple of Understanding created the annual Juliet Hollister Awards. The Award has been given in two categories: one for religious figures who have brought interfaith values into churches, temples, and mosques, and the other for secular figures who have promoted greater understanding of spiritual values in the arts, media, government, science, and law. The award recipients have included: Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; The Very Reverend James Morton; His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda; Maestro Ravi Shankar; Mary Robinson, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights; and His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. In 1999, the Award was given to Nelson Mandela at the Parliament of the World’s Religions gathering in Cape Town, South Africa. And in subsequent years, other recipients included Chelsea Clinton, in 2010.

I attended the 1997 event, the first Juliet Hollister Awards banquet, at the United Nations. There was Juliet, beaming and resplendent in a blue and gold Indian sari, entering the ballroom to the wild and affectionate acclaim of the 1,000 guests. In 1998, in the magnificent palatial-like hall of the Cipriani Restaurant in Manhattan, sitting next to her beloved friend, the Dalai Lama, more than 2,000 guests stood to give her a long rousing ovation.

“If you love an idea, an idea that is larger than yourself, then love it with all your heart; love it enough to act on it,” she once told me. “Love it enough to put it into the world,” she said. “Don’t give up until you do.”

Juliet succeeded in making her overarching dream a reality. “One unfulfilled dream that I must leave to those who follow me to fulfill,” she said, “is to build and erect the physical Temple of Understanding on the land we purchased years ago in Washington, D.C. The architectural blueprint of the plans for the Temple, executed as well, are also awaiting the hands of the builders when the proper funding comes in,” she said.

After an appearance on The God Squad, the television show co-hosted by a rabbi and a priest on the Telicare Television Network of Long Island, Juliet began to soulfully reflect on the state of the world. “There is so much work yet to be done,” she said. “It is so clear to me that all we have to do is awaken to the fact that we are all ONE, or as my friend Father Thomas Merton has so rightly said, “We are already ONE . . . what we have to become is what we already are.” Said Juliet: “It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Yet so much more work to do. So much more work.”

Above all other places, Juliet loved Kashmir, “the most beautiful spot in all the planet.” She owned a houseboat there, and whenever she could, she would go there “to rest and luxuriate my soul in the sheer beauty of its sacred mountains and skies.” She knew that Kashmir was a place of political conflict and potential danger, yet it would never stop her from making her trips. “I feel the angels are protecting me, and when I go to visit, I always pray that the physical beauty of this God’s world will transform into a beauty experienced on a more ethereal level, penetrating into the hearts and minds of every human being, so that there is beauty too in all our dealings with one another.”

Juliet believed she could see through the veil between life on this side and life in the hereafter and that there was a continuity of consciousness that moved into another plane of existence.

“It’s so clear to me,” she often said, and she firmly believed that one day science would validate and confirm the existence of another side. Juliet was a member of an organization called INIT, comprising a number of leading scientists from around the world, some of them Nobel Laureates, who were conducting technical experiments to secure contact and verify communication from conscious entities who had departed the earthly plane. She claimed that in one of these experiments, she had actually received a visual and audio communication from her beloved husband, Dickerman, who died in 1983.

Bill Moyers, a member of The Temple of Understanding, once said, “I used to think that The Temple of Understanding was an act of sentiment. Now I believe it is an essential strategy for survival.” And for Juliet Garretson Hollister, it has also become her living legacy to a world so very much in its need.

Mike Schwager is host of the Internet radio show, The Enrichment Hour, on WSRadio(dot)com. He is editor of two spiritual blogs, www.Enrichment(dot)com, and www.EnrichOurWorld(dot)net. Mike is also a communications consultant, serving organizations as a speech writer, media interview trainer and publicist (www.mediamavens(dot)com, and www.TVtraining(dot)tv). E-mail him at: moschwager@aol.com.

MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOUL

by Mike Schwager

The soul is that aspect of Consciousness become individualized on this plane as you and me. The soul is “immortal” and transcends materiality. The soul is an aspect of Source, the Great Spirit (as the Indians say) – The Unified Field – God – the ONE – Unity Consciousness – and is multi-dimensional and manifests not only on this plane but in other dimensions too. The soul is, as the Jews/Hebrews say, “Ain Soph” – without End (and without beginning). The Great Spirit is, as IT told Moses, “I AM”.  It is AMNESS.  IT creates but is not absorbed by ITS Creation.  And so who we are is indeed that Amness too, holographic-like fragments of the One.   DesCartes was wrong when he said, “I think therefore I am.” My experience in meditation tells me that “I Am -Therefore I Think.” Amness is Pure Awareness which when it focuses on the objects of Creation, is Consciousness. And so I AM pure Awareness become Conscious. I AM the Universe become Aware of Itself through Consciousness. And as an individuated and “free” Being, I evolve in States of Awareness, Being, Serving, Co-Creating, as individual and as one who grows into convergent states with other Beings. In this Great Process, we are involuting (complexity centricity) and evolving into transcendent states.  All this has meaning and purpose, in Source’s plan for the fulfillment of the Universe.  Love is the driving Glue of Evolution.

Religion Scholar Nathan Katz on The Enrichment Hour

(Sunday, February 1, 2015) – Wonderful conversation today with religion scholar Dr. Nathan Katz on THE ENRICHMENT HOUR.   Topics included Hindu-Jewish dialogue; Jain-Jewish dialogue; the Jews of Cochin, India; Tibetan-Jewish dialogue (including an historic dialogue hosted by The Dalai Lama at his palace in Dharamsala, India); an understanding of the benign nature of Judaism and its contributions to the monotheistic religions; spirituality vs. religiosity; and an upcoming documentary on Muslim-Jewish dialogue and relations. That documentary is entitled, “Is There Room at the Inn: Muslims, Jews and the Holyland”.

First viewing will take place at The Jewish Museum of Florida/FIU, Sunday, February 15th in Miami Beach.  The film features a conversation and dialogue among cutting edge Muslim and Jewish scholars asking the question, “What if there were guidelines in both Torah and Quran, and their commentaries, on how to live in peace?”

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, this interview will be archived at:http://wsradio.com/…/the-enrichment-hour-with-mike-schwager/

Defending Reverence for Life as an Abiding Principle for Humanity

by Mike Schwager

[Published by The Huffington Post, September 9, 2014]

One of the saddest recent images seen in a long time was the video of a truckload of several hundred young men of the Shiite faith being transported to a field, where they were shot and killed. Just prior to their execution, many, appearing to be teenagers and adolescents, were on their knees begging for their lives. It was heartbreaking to watch. And then…piles of bodies.

To witness young boys and men, just starting out, to have their lives brutally extinguished in this way, was almost beyond comprehension.

And then another heart-wrenching image — to view the photo of a boy and his mother of the Yazidi religion, having just jumped into the cargo hold of a plane, escaping the threat of oncoming terrorists — and to see the face of the terrified crying boy and the look on his mother’s face as she beheld her son, each not only afraid for their own lives, but perhaps even moreso, of the life of their beloved.

As the Yazidis were hiding out on a mountaintop, and before food and water were brought to them, there were the distressing images of young women and girls lying on the ground, starving, crying out with fear from the pain that malnourishment and severe thirst can bring. Somehow, these images evoked for me a haunting image I shall never forget: that of a terrified young mother and her children huddled on a dirt floor, with others, awaiting execution by a Nazi shooting squad at the infamous Babi Yar, the ravine in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. There, on September 29th and 30th 1941, 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation, the largest single mass killing in the history of the Holocaust up until that date.

To become aware of man’s inhumanity to man as we witness mass shootings and beheadings now by radical extremists in Iraq and Syria or to be aware of the atrocities of the past, whether it was at the hands of the Nazis, or in places like Rwanda or Cambodia, or the suffering of Africans on slave ships en route to involuntary servitude, is to make one acutely conscious of the dark side and tyranny of our species when Mind operates without Heart — and living beings are so completely objectified and dehumanized, that words like empathy, or kindness, orfeelings simply do not register with the perpetrators.

As we seek to understand the reasons for such cruelty of humans against humans, or rather those who have bought into the notion that those they exterminate are not humans, and as the Nazis were prone to say, “untermenschen” (lower than human) — the possible “explanations” are myriad in number. They include anger and rage; feelings of worthlessness, or loss of identity or pride or purpose in life; or hopelessness; or economic hardship or chronic poverty; or futility.

The artificial “remedy” for all these conditions tragically result in blame and projection of one’s resentment onto others – others who are seen as different — others who are objectified into “things” and “not people.” Consequently, there is no contact with the “other” as individual person – but the hatred, which is really a deep self-hatred and self-disgust — gets projected onto the “collective other” — the other ethnicity, the other religion, the other politics.

The dimensionless survival mind, the negative ego, feels threatened; and so extinguishing the perceived enemy seems by this mind to be the only solution. There is no room for words like humanity, or heart, or empathy – it is simply “us versus them” — and “them” becomes consigned as “not human, not life, but anti-life.” Out of the desperation the perpetrators feel, there is no desire or willingness to understand another and work together to solve problems, but rather to act quickly and ruthlessly to wipe out the enemy — the “enemy” who is in truth no one more or less than a fellow human struggling and dealing with life’s complexities as everyone else.

One day, in a sweep of the Jewish section of Dortmund, Germany, the Nazis dragged people out of their homes, to deliver them by truck to trains headed for places like Auschwitz and Treblinka. My father’s mother, my grandmother, and her four children, were among those apprehended; and in a vain effort to save her children, this diminutive-in-size but hugely brave woman was bayoneted and killed by her perpetrators in the street. I will never forget the anguish my father felt over the years as he mourned for his mother, and the way in which her life came to a brutal and terrible end. To the Nazis, she and millions like her — hardworking, God-fearing, loving people — had lost their status of personhood. They had been objectified into “untermenschen” — along with one of the most tragic episodes in human history.

Ironically, we see in history the capacity of those who seek to gain control, power and dominance by justifying their acts of dehumanization as religiosity in the name of God. But this is not religion, or any kind of spirituality that speaks to most people’s understanding of the purpose of religion — to teach and foster unconditional love, reverence for life, brotherhood/sisterhood and kindness on the Earth. All of the world’s great wisdom religions, Christianity, Islam (Sunni, Shia and Sufi), Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Native American spirituality, and the Shamanic traditions, stood and stand for these great values. But those who seek to imprison others in the trap of their own ideology while exercising disrespect for life are no friends of humanity – or the Earth.

As the great humanitarian, theologian and philosopher Albert Schweitzer has enunciated in his view of Reverence for Life, respect for the life of others becomes the highest principle and the defining purpose of humanity.

A great document, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inspired by the American Declaration of Independence, embodies the sanctity of life and the human rights of all peoples, individually and collectively. The Lebanese philosopher and diplomat Charles Malik called it “an international document of the first order of importance.” Eleanor Roosevelt stated it “may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere.” Pope John Paul II called it “one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time.”

The UDHR has become the basis for much international law. The first six of its Articles state:
• All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
• Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
• No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
• No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
• Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

We owe it to ourselves, our ancestors and our posterity, that the principles enunciated in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the fundamental spiritual principle of Reverence for Life, be upheld and honored everywhere, and for all future generations. For the sake of humanity. For the sake of Freedom. For the sake of human creativity and potential. For the sake of Life on Earth.

Mike Schwager is a speech writer, publicist and media interview coach. He contributes to The Huffington Post on spiritual and humanitarian themes. He is also host of the Internet radio show, “The Enrichment Hour” on WSRadio(dot)com, and editor of www.Enrichment(dot)com, and www.EnrichOurWorld(dot)net. His media relations sites are at: www.mediamavens(dot)com, and www.TVtraining(dot)tv. Mike can be reached via e-mail at: moschwager@aol(dot)com.

 

The Enrichment Hour: with Guest Thomas Moore

On “THE ENRICHMENT HOUR” for Sunday, July 20th:  a full hour with spiritual advisor and bestselling author THOMAS MOORE, author of the new book, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.Thomas Moore is a renowned spiritual advisor and bestselling author of books like Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul.  
On www.WSRadio.com, Click on STUDIO B/Live.Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutions—and others who have lived wholly without religion—hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion’s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In A Religion of One’s Own, bestselling author and former monk Thomas Moore explores the myriad possibilities of creating a personal spiritual style, either inside or outside formal religion.Two decades ago, Moore’s Care of the Soul touched a chord with millions of readers yearning to integrate spirituality into their everyday lives. In A Religion of One’s Own, Moore expands on the topics he first explored shortly after leaving the monastery. He recounts the benefits of contemplative living that he learned during his twelve years as a monk but also the more original and imaginative spirituality that he later developed and embraced in his secular life. Here, he shares stories of others who are creating their own path: a former football player now on a spiritual quest with the Pueblo Indians, a friend who makes a meditative practice of floral arrangements, and a well-known classical pianist whose audiences sometimes describe having a mystical experience while listening to her performances. Moore weaves their experiences with the wisdom of philosophers, writers, and artists who have rejected materialism and infused their secular lives with transcendence.

At a time when so many feel disillusioned with or detached from organized religion yet long for a way to move beyond an exclusively materialistic, rational lifestyle, A Religion of One’s Own points the way to creating an amplified inner life and a world of greater purpose, meaning, and reflection.

A Religion of One’s Own can be purchased at this link:
http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Ones-Own-Creating-Spirituality/dp/159240829X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

After the live show, this and other shows can be heard on archives at:
http://wsradio.com/category/lifestyles/the-enrichment-hour-with-mike-schwager/

Walking Down A Tree-Lined Lane with Pope Francis

[As published in Huffington Post]:

by Mike Schwager

Your Holiness — and I say that in deference to the exalted position you hold among millions of Catholics around the world — I am upset with your utterance that reinforces the sanctity of marriage and children in juxtaposition to the diminution of animals as pets.

Understand — I am not upset with you as a standard bearer for the Church’s position on the sanctity of holy family. What displeases me, and disappoints me, is a devaluing of love for our unconditionally loving animal friends. Do you not realize the impact of your words upon so many people on planet Earth?

This is particularly ironic, your Holiness, since you bear the name of one who was in communion with the pure hearts of animals — and who animals befriended because they sensed his own pure heart.

As we walk down this tree-lined path together, Francis, can you feel the trees reaching out to us with their love? What’s that you say? “Yes, Michael, I can.”

I’m happy for that, Francis, for it shows me you are in tune with the vibration of nature’s creation, and that says to me that you have reverence and feeling for all life, which includes human life but does not exclude the other beings who emanate out of God’s pure Love. Neither you nor your Church have stood up for the animals. Don’t you think it’s time?

Do you know the unconditional lovingness of a dog, your Holiness, or a cat, or a horse, or a dolphin?

Do you know the tragedy of a system in America and most other countries around the world that disposes of these creatures in shelters dedicated to killing, rather than adopting? If you’ve experienced their innate lovingness, and intelligence, and great hearts — can you not stand up for them too?

Do you not know how they contribute to the loving wholesomeness of human homes — whether the occupants are married with children, or not? Have you not seen how they heal the hearts of the lonely in nursing homes and among the sick in hospitals? Are you not aware of their bravery and heroism in standing with our soldiers on the fields of war?

They are truly, your Holiness, God’s gifts to humanity and the world. They are of inestimable value in the beauty of their own inherent beingness and right to life — and in the quality of life of humans, who so often suffer with such great complexity of mind. The companionship of these loving souls makes a huge difference in the life of humans. Your namesake, St. Francis, knew this.

And can your heart extend further, your Holiness, to speaking out against the suffering of the farm animals? The huge suffering of the little lambs, and calves, and cows and pigs. And the unspeakable pain the chickens endure, stuffed in cages for life until their execution. Why must we eat them? Why must we torture them until they are slain? When the Bible spoke of our dominion over the animals, surely it isn’t speaking of cruelty towards animals, but responsibility and stewardship. And implicit in stewardship is love and caring. Isn’t that so Francis?

And in the world of entertainment, can you not speak out against the pain of the great whales, who are confined into spaces that cause them terrible emotional and psychological suffering — all for the sake of the entertainment and pleasure of the humans who come to see them, oblivious of what they are enduring?

Last but not least, your Holiness, please speak out against hunting. How can people such as you who are representative for the sanctity of Life — condone the killing of benign and innocent deer, or of noble and immensely intelligent creatures such as elephants?

Francis –your Holiness – I beseech you, and appeal to you — to become a standard bearer for life! Don’t you think that is what the enlightened being whose name you revere — Jesus — would want you to become? Not just a sacred representative of humans, but of the creatures who walk and share this Earth with us?

Ah — it’s a beautiful day today, is it not Francis? Can’t you feel the great trees on this glorious path we walk energetically embracing us? And do you hear the birds singing their hearts out to us, in celebration of our unity with them and all life? Almost as if the Spirit of God embraces us?

“Yes, I can Michael. Yes I can.”

___________________

Mike Schwager is a speech writer, media coach and publicist (www.mediamavens (dot) com, and www.TVtraining (dot) tv). He is also host of The Enrichment Hour on WSRadio (dot) com, and editor of the spiritual blog, www.EnrichOurWorld (dot) net. E-mail: moschwager@aol.com.

Father Frank Mann on Discovering Compassion for Animals

Father Frank Mann, a Roman Catholic priest in Queens, New York City, talks about reverence for animal life and his discovery of animals’ intelligence and feelings, and that they are deserving of kindness and compassion.  Through this discovery, Father Mann has come closer to understanding his mission in life:  that through kindness to animals, humans can gain a depth of soul enabling them to be kinder to ALL life – and building a kinder world.

The priest is, on a personal level, trying to keep his beloved cat Newman alive. Newman, who was the first animal to open the Father’s heart about the preciousness of animal life, has chronic medical problems and needs regular veterinary care. Father has a webpage where donations can be made to meet his beloved Newman’s medical expenses: www.GoFundMe.com/7kvers

As a priest, Father has taken a vow of poverty, and therefore your donation will help him keep his beloved pet alive.  He does so much for others.  Perhaps you will consider a donation to  Father Frank.  Thank you!

New Biz Empowerment & A Priest Loves Animals

My first guest in the first half hour of “The Enrichment Hour” tomorrow, Sunday, March 23rd (1:00 to 1:30 PM Eastern, 10 to 10:30 AM Pacific) is Hall of Fame entrepreneur, Jack Nadel, author of the award-winning book The Evolution of an Entrepreneur: Featuring 50 of My Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business, and creator of the inspirational new video, How To Succeed In Business. Jack and I will talk about his ultimate crash course for entrepreneurs, making both eBook and video available for a low price ($5.99) in a direct author-to-consumer offering – for instant reading and viewing on all computers and mobile devices.
 
Jack urges Americans to reboot to new business creation and self-empowerment. His mission is to make his insights available at an affordable price for millions of Americans whose income falls short of their expenses.He strongly maintains that entrepreneurship is an important key for economic turnaround, and will provide relief to the Middle Class, long-term unemployed, underemployed, veterans, Millennials and new college graduates.
 
                                                                 ————-
My guest in the second half hour of “The Enrichment Hour” (1:30 to 2 PM Eastern, 10:30 to 11 AM Pacific) is Father Frank Mann, a Roman Catholic priest from Queens, New York. He has served as a parish priest and as the Catholic chaplain at Brooklyn College, and is presently a feature writer for The Tablet, a major Catholic newspaper in New York. Father Mann also works for DeSales Media, for which he creates and organizes educational forums on topics ranging from human rights issues to spiritually influential individuals. He is the recipient of a 2010 Catholic Press Award for his article on the significance of pet therapy in hospitals and nursing homes.
  
Father Mann had a major internal transformation in his view of animals, including farm animals, while driving on the Long Island Expressway and spotting a billboard, which had been created by Mercy for Animals. It was a picture of a dog, a little puppy, and a piglet, and it said, “Why love one, but eat the other?” The impact of this billboard sign was huge for Father Mann. He had to turn off the expressway to reach a service road, where he turned off the ignition and contemplated the meaning of the sign. As he sat in his car, he felt completely emotionally overwhelmed by what he had seen, and cried.
 
It was shortly after this, and after research on the intelligence and kindness of pigs, and how they were severely treated and slaughtered, as nothing more than meat for the table, that he became a vegan and a powerful advocate of compassion for animals – all animals – as the expression of God’s love for His Creation.
 
Father Mann stands out as a voice too often missing in the official utterances of the Church, or most other religious institutions. But he points to the compassion of great Church figures like Saint Francis of Assissi as role models that need great emphasis. Father is featured in a You-Tube produced by www.TribeofHeart.org: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ekOPyXGs3Q
 
The priest is also, on a personal level, trying to keep his beloved cat Newman alive. Newman, who was the first animal to open the Father’s heart about the preciousness of animal life, has chronic medical problems and needs regular veterinary care. Father has a webpage where donations can be made to meet his beloved Newman’s medical expenses: www.GoFundMe.com/7kvers. Your help will be so very much appreciated! Priests are on a vow of poverty and consequently this makes keeping Newman regularly treated, so very challenging. Thank you for considering a donation to the Father and to his beloved Newman!
 
The Enrichment Hour can be heard live on www.WSRadio.com – click on STUDIO B/Live. After Tuesday, it can be found archived by going to right column, click on “Lifestyles” and scrolling down to “The Enrichment Hour with Mike Schwager”.

God Is Universal

by Mike Schwager

If there is a God, there is only ONE God – for me, for you and for everyone else. It is the same God for my Muslim friends, for my Jewish friends, for my Christian friends, for my Hindu friends, for my Buddhist friends, for my Deist friends, for my theosophical friends, for my agnostic friends, and for my atheist friends. That different people worship God in different ways, with different labels, simply means that the ineffable ONE is so vast, so awesome and so mysterious that He/She came to different people’s eyes, ears, Hearts and Minds in ways they could comprehend through the prisms of their cultures and their Weltanschauungs (their worldviews). Sometimes God comes to people as a Presence, an unmistakable Presence that transcends the peculiarities of their backgrounds, and is felt as Pure Spirit, Pure Energy, Pure Power and Pure Love. Then we know that “God” doesn’t carry an ID card – He/She loves all Creation in one magnanimous unconditionally loving way – and that God is so transcendent that we can know that He/She created us but is not absorbed by Its Creation. And if God created us, then it also has to be that God is not only without, but within.  The Presence we sometimes encounter vibrates for us, because It also lives within us.  For each of us.  God IS – and will always be, throughout eternity and beyond.