The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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April 13, 2001 Issue

Us through other's eyes

We can learn from common understandings

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

One benefit of studying a foreign language is what we learn about our own language. That's obvious for an English-speaking person who studies Latin, given all the words with Latin roots. Beyond that, a foreign language teaches us sentence structure, grammar and the rules of language we often take for granted.

We can have a similar experience when people of other religions discuss their practices and beliefs. Such was the case when listening to Artley Skenandore of the Oneida Nation speak to the Claude Allouez Forum.

Skenandore talked about the Oneida belief in the need to give thanks for the blessings the Creator provides us and to renew our spiritual fire or soul to keep our life in balance. The Oneida believe, he said, that when they pray and sing, they are joined with people all over the world who are praying and singing.

His comments about Mother Earth, Grandfather Wind, Brother Sun and Grandmother Moon may have reminded some of St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of Brother Sun."

In short, his talk was a good reminder that, despite our differences, not only do we have much in common, but we ignore such spiritual truths at our own peril.

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