The Cross and the Lotus
Two recent converts to Catholicism were in my RCIA class. They come from a Buddhist tradition. I've found being an RCIA teacher, that Buddhists make excellent Catholics. They have been a great help to me. They also told me some stories from Buddhism that resonate with Christian stories. They even tell me that legend has it that Jesus traveled East and met with the Buddha.
Well, what was Jesus doing between the ages of 12 and 30? Nice legend.
My friend, Mary, who is from Kerala, India, speaks of other Christian faiths in India. Her husband is a Syriac Christian who trace their history back to Jesus' followers and once called themselves Nasranis. Think Nasranis = Nazarenes = followers of the Nazarene, Jesus.
Mary is quite comfortable talkings about Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Protestants. She looks at their similarities. In fact, she has a symbol of the cross blooming out of a lotus blossom. The lotus is a symbol of Buddhist enlightenment. And see what's blooming out of the lotus.
This symbol if found not only in India, but along the coast of China. The two faith traditions must have been accepted and collaborated. Aren't Buddhists and Christians interested in intellectual curiosity and spiritual advancement? Ecumenical good will? Alleviating suffering? Atoning for sin? Meditation? Sacrifice? Love?