• 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

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.