Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Yorkers-Busy, Culturally Stimulated and Reaching Out to God

Some good news coming out of New York. For those of us who live here we know that New York is a culturally rich and religiously rich and stimulating place to live. If you are bored in New York, it's no one's fault but your own. There's a lot to do, throughout New York State and of course in the city as well. I recently went on a day trip to The Cloisters, located in Fort Tyron Park in NYC. It is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. God bless John D. Rockefeller Jr. for his generosity and vision in promoting and establishing this museum through his charitable work. He donated his collection of medieval art to the museum that he endowed as well. I had been there many years ago, but during this visit I was awestruck by the beauty of the medieval cloisters, that have been reconstructed in the museum, as well as the art from medieval Europe. After visiting The Cloisters, which provided enough cultural stimulation for a week for me, there was more. The day trip included a guided tour of Central Park, another gem in the city.
So I wasn't surprised when I read an article recently that New York suicide rates are the lowest in the country. There are states that rank higher in levels of well being or happiness but when it comes to suicide, apparently we're the lowest. There's a lot of diversity, stimulation and things to do here, which I'm not sure has anything to do with the statistics, but I know if someone is depressed, there's certainly a lot to take their mind off their problems here.
Also, there are a lot of houses of worship here, with Masses, prayer services and religious services throughout the day. All the major world religions are well represented in New York and it's a well known fact that belief, prayer and belonging to a faith community helps people feel better and lessens anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. (According to studies I've read, people who believe in God and pray also live longer.) Believing in God and praying helps people to feel better and also gives people a sense of purpose and hope, even in the midst of problems and despair. So perhaps that has something to do with it as well. Also, of course, prayer connects us to God and opens us to grace and blessings. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, we're created for fullness of life and joy, it's so sad when people fall into despair and don't realize that.

Jesus said, I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.