You don't hear the word HARMONY used very often. If someone is asked to add some harmony and peace to their busy life, it's very possible that he might first seek a Chinese restaurant or cheap spa! But...Harmony - that peaceful, accepting, caring co-existence among living ones - is the basis of a life "well-lived"...a human life in obedience to the will of God. For God's plan for the creation is not one of domination, greed and discord, but rather one of peaceful and loving interactions.
Harmony can't exist without a RELATIONSHIP which is more than the superficial acknowledgment of co-existence.
The SOURCE of harmony can not be an external code of "good behavior" - careful language and smile.
The true ROOT of harmony lies within the inner-self... the intention of our soul.
It is our DESIRE to live the full human experience in a manner which honors the Creator. Whenever we live without harmony, we are disobedient to God.
One of the vows (promises) made by Cathedral of Hope Franciscans is: "Recognizing that God created everyone a part of the "web of life", we vow to live in HARMONY and to be PEACE-MAKERS with all of creation."
When St Francis lovingly spoke of Brother Sun and Sister Water, he acknowledged a spirit of harmony with these elements of creation. And with his fellow villagers and the Muslem Sultan, Francis always related in a manner of peace, harmony and good-will. In each of our relationships, we have the opportunity to find harmony...deep "alive harmony" rather than "fortune cookie superficial" harmony. But to accomplish this goal. we have to keep our soul's intention directed to that "place of peace" in every relationship and trust that God's Spirit will guide and help us.
Before I wrote these thoughts, I sat on my balcony, quiet and ready to say evening prayers; looking at a clear blue sky and several near-by pots of herbs...rosemary and basil. My vision fell on the top of a juicy stem of young basil where a fat little grasshopper sat - very quiet - probably trying to avoid my notice. But I too sat quietly...watching. And then my little - new - friend's head started bobbing among those tender leaves. I guess that any fear it might have first experienced in our encounter had vanished because its mouth parts chewed away on that tender leaf...front legs holding and pulling more leaf its way. From time-to-time, I enjoyed the sweet aromatic smell of a broken leaf...smell to me but great food to it.
"Go ahead, Brother Grasshopper, eat all you want. There's plenty of leaves on this plant - enough to satisfy both you and me. That little plant has provided plenty for both of us. We can live in harmony and enjoy this basil plant which is "your world" but still part of my world too."
I finished my evening prayers while those tiny jaws continued chomping down on more leaves.
This is living together in PEACE. This lets both of us live together in JOY. This is living in HARMONY with the world around us. This is LIFE in harmony with the Creator's plan.
( I wonder if my little Brother Grasshopper would like a slice of juicy red tomato too...I think that basil and tomato were created by God to be eaten together............)
Peace and Shalom in your life