. How can I be useful while there are so many schools of thought—4,200, according to what I just discovered—competing with one another already? And why are there so many religions and beliefs? There has to be a way to unify or simplify all the teachings into one common method of awareness so people can learn who God is.
. The term “religion” turns off many young people, so they steer away from belief and from supporting a particular tradition. Perhaps there is a common denominator to extract as a substitute to the word religion? It would be great if I could come up with a term that would represent the essence of all these religions and bring people closer to God through a nonreligious approach.
. “I believe we all deserve to enjoy a personal relationship with our Creator and Supreme Soul. This relationship will bring more happiness to our everyday life.
. “A personal relationship with God takes us far beyond church buildings, synagogues, mosques, or temples. We can remain as members of any of these religions and practice their teachings but with a renewed, radiant, and vibrant soul that we align with the Source of all energy.
. “I believe that this new spiritual practice will enhance our own faith in the religions we grew up with.
. “As for me, I was born and raised as a Catholic Christian. The awareness I now have to forge a strong, positive, personal relationship with my inner being will not stop me from being a good Christian, but it will further enhance my religious beliefs with greater appreciation and joy.
. “The awareness I am talking about applies to all people of all religions. It is a Universal Truth that is invisible and unseen, yet it exists in each and every one of us. Once we are aware of its existence and we acknowledge its power, it helps us create our own reality.
. “I pray that many adults will join me in my belief and create similar centers in the communities in which they live nationwide and around the world, in order to help their own young people become further enlightened.
. “I envision that we will achieve decreased violence and terrorism around the globe through establishing a foundation for world peace that will be led by the young people I describe here, as they are the leaders of tomorrow.
. “I truly believe this blessed vision to be my mission for the remainder of my active life. Now I know why I was brought to this planet, and I know what the purpose of my life is.
. “I want to dedicate my life to empowering young people to become self-dependent. I want them to learn how to have a life with a clear purpose, one that is based on self-esteem. I desire them to have the faith that their dreams will be fulfilled, knowing always that God is on their side with His love and mercy…
. No matter what we do in our future, please remember that we are much more than what we think we are. Let us learn how to think and how to feel, with the purpose of seeking joy and happiness for our selves, and for others…
. Think big and visualize your dreams, knowing that with belief and determination all your dreams will be realized and fulfilled.
At the end of the day, what we study or do in life can only bear fruit if we believe that we will eventually hold in our hands that which we feed to our minds. In other words: Our thoughts become our things!
. “But, Gloria, isn’t it mainly hard work we have to do to fulfill our dreams and goals?”
. “Mr. Shepherd, I am not underestimating the role of hard work in the process toward success. I am emphasizing the power of faith and trust in what a person believes in and aspires to as being behind the necessary foundation that underlies any of the hard work that follows.
. “Faith is a power that is behind all great movements or great changes in the lives of human beings. Look at the spread of Christianity as an example!” Gloria declared, her voice rich with passion. “Faith was its basic foundation, and it continues to be despite all the reforms and the evolution of Christianity’s tenets. It all started with faith in what Jesus said and did.
. “Look what Gandhi achieved by virtue of his faith in what he believed. The power of his faith instilled peace into the minds of hundreds of millions of Indian people and gave them a better life. The same can be said about Nelson Mandela and how he changed the future of South Africa by ending the apartheid regime. I could go on and on and mention many other great teachers or leaders who used their faith to empower their movements for positive change.
. Joseph nodded his head in agreement while Gloria continued, “Now to go full circle and answer your earlier question about me, I know down deep in my mind and my heart what I would like to achieve. I am not there yet, but I am certain I am on the way. I focus on the now while I keep my vision for the future alive within me.”…
. Gloria’s mission expanded nationally year after year. She remained humble, and her shining light illuminated the hearts and souls of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In her writings and speeches, she expressed her desire to merge traditional religious doctrines with new spirituality in a manner that did not offend the traditional religious leadership. She was peacefully aligned with her inner being and always aware of her purpose: to serve.
. Gloria touched the lives of many followers with her messages of love, joy, and peace.
. Always, always, her motto remained:
. Love is all there is.