Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Inter-Religious Prayer Service: An interview With the Speakers

Inter-Religious Prayer Service: An interview With the Speakers

Every Wednesday morning, Jesuit holds prayer services in which students get to further their education, faith, and ability to understand the situations that surround them. This past week’s prayer service was all about inter-religious prayer, and how to understand others who aren’t Catholics, and their beliefs. I was honored to interview the seniors who spoke at it.

An Interview With the Students:

I asked Aarin Jain ’22, Saad Zulqarnain ’22, and Samuel Parker ’22, questions to get a real perspective on their religion, and the similarities and differences to Catechism.

What is your religion, and what does it mean to be a part of it?

Saad said, “I am Muslim. For me, Islam is more than a religion. It is a way of life. What it means is that I routinely pray and ask for guidance from god while fulfilling my responsibilities in this world according to Islam. These responsibilities include piety towards others, assisting the poor and vulnerable, keeping my dedication in turning to God regardless of whether my circumstances are good or bad, and spreading the message of Islam without forcing it on anyone. I use the teachings of the Quran and of our prophet Muhammad as my guide to everyday life. I find it to work very well for me, which keeps me going in my practice of the religion.”

This is a great message. You can see the similarities, in minimizing destruction to God’s creation, and the responsibilities of what it means to be Muslim.

How does it feel to go to a Catholic school, such as Jesuit Dallas, but support a different religion?

Aarin told me, “Honestly, I don’t mind the Catholic aspects. Sure I don’t fully agree with most of the Catholic Church, but I still find it interesting to learn about, and also, being open to other religions is a big part of Jainism.”

I believe that learning about other religions is a huge part of life. You should be open to everyone, so if a time does arrive in which you are talking to someone, you can relate and share similarities and differences.

What are the similarities and differences in Catechism compared to your religion?

Samuel said, “I explained that the Buddhist teachings are a way to enrich my Catholic faith. Just like the sacraments are the “door to the sacred” the teachings of the Buddha are another door in my life that help me explore my faith. That said, the Church picks up where I believe Buddhism traditionally does not explore. Buddhism isn’t theistic in the way that Catholicism is. Buddha is not a savior, rather a teacher to help us conquer our own suffering. I do believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of man, however, I see Buddhism not as a way to only save myself from suffering, but as a way to see and hear God’s grace to earn eternal salvation.”

Finally, do you enjoy going to a Catholic School?

Samuel also said, “Yes. Very much. I’ve been in Catholic Schools since kindergarten, and I’ve loved being around people of my faith. While some claim it may be a sort of bubble from the diverse world, I’m appreciative of the formative opportunities that we offer to try to expose our students to the world. I’m especially proud to go to a Jesuit school, as Jesuits strive to seek understanding.
I think this verse from a song we sing quite frequently at Jesuit articulates how I feel about God in my life at a Catholic School:


(O God You Search Me, by Bernadette Farrell)
Before a word is on my tongue, Lord
You’ve known its meaning through and through
You’re with me beyond my understanding
God of my present, my past and future, too.”
I may not have included everyone’s responses in all the questions, all share many values and beliefs when it comes to life and preserving the creation of God.