|The 'Friendship Visualisation' shows pairs of friends between the world's cities.|
The internet is helping humanity to build bridges all around the world at an incredible speed. Spiritual networks connect people who want to learn from each other and coordinate their efforts to pray for peace and visualize heaven on earth. People of different faiths are connecting to increase understanding and tolerance. My own little blog, “Building Bridges of Oneness,” has attracted viewers from 50 countries, from every continent except Antarctica. (Do they have internet in Antarctica?) The internet is responsible for bringing together love matches between people who would never have met otherwise. One of my cousins (from New York) is happily married and living with his wife in Mexico – a lovely Mexican woman he met on the internet! Many of the couples that I have married in my work as a wedding celebrant met on the internet. Thanks to the internet I have made new friends all over the world, including a kindred spirit living in California, who I have yet to meet in person.
We have all seen how social networks, and Facebook in particular, have helped people to locate lost friends and relatives, and facilitate revolutions, such as the one in Egypt. Thanks to Facebook, I have just met a lost family member, the daughter of a cousin I never knew. This branch of my family was disinherited many years ago, after my Italian Catholic uncle had married a Jewish woman, and then they couldn't agree on the religion their sons would be raised in. Rather than seeing his sons raised as Jews, my uncle chose to leave them and their mother. This is an example of how religion prevents people from making decisions based on love, rather than doctrines or religious laws.
Now it is time to build bridges of reconciliation between the remaining members of this family which was torn apart by stubbornness and pride so long ago. Because of religious differences, two boys grew up without a father, deprived of the extended family that I took for granted all of my life. The young woman who contacted me on Facebook grew up believing that her father’s father had been murdered, when he had been living with a new family; the ones that I knew as my aunt and cousins. Is it a coincidence that one of her brothers bears the same name that was given to the half-brother her father never met? And her other brother shares the same name as my cousin who lives in Mexico!
Of course I loved my aunt and uncle, and the cousins I knew when I was growing up. Many mistakes were made long ago, but past sins do not preclude one’s ability to love all those involved. I hope to learn more about my disowned cousins and their children, and perhaps even meet some of them. None of the cousins involved are responsible for the mistakes of their parents or grandparents. I really hope that they will realize this so that the half-siblings and their children can extend hands of friendship across the bridge of reconciliation. What a wonderful demonstration of Love this would be – a way to honor the One who is God of Catholicism and Judaism, and strengthen the bridge between these two religions.