|Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes|
In the beginning was the One. Existence was brought forth from nonexistence. A Kabbalist might say that creation manifested with the sole intent to create a creature and fill it with delight. (Kosinec, 2014) A truly joyful notion for a Cradle Catholic who was taught a lot of hellfire and damnation!
Regardless of the how or why of existence, we are here now. I pray for all creatures who share this reality with me to ask the One to help humanity find the point in our hearts that meets the point in our souls where a human level of understanding resides. I seek a truer purpose for mankind, one that doesn’t involve money or prestige or power. I pray for humans to live as Earth Warriors. May the understanding I seek be purposefully aimed at restoring the world to a place of clean air and water.
Physician and author of several books espousing the role of religion and spirituality in health care, Dr. Larry Dossey, has noted the importance of spirituality not only in wellness for humans, but for the environment as well. In a review of Matthew Fox’s book, Meister Eckhart , Dr. Dossey wrote, “Whether our species has a future on Earth does not depend on more of the gee-whiz technologies, but on whether we are willing to move into a psycho-spiritual dimension ... time is not on our side.”
There was a time when our world was seemingly new and pristine. We could smell trees instead of exhaust fumes. We could drink our water and had no fear that the toxins in it might burn our skin or be absorbed by our bodies and cause cancer. We could trust the ground we stood on not to form into a sink hole due to all the fracking going on. I pray for the Creator to send out the Spirit and renew the face of the Earth. (Ps. 104) Literally.
Practically since I was born, prayers from my tradition have urged me to ”Look Beyond” (Ducote, n.d.) the main-line teachings of my faith. “As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end." The creed I recite says, in part, “I believe in one God ... Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible ... God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God ... by whom all things were made.”
The consensus of scientific evidence indicates that time and space and all that is visible and invisible began from a numinous singularity that swelled into an inchoate soup. The creative stew then morphed countless billions of times as the universe unfolded. Indications are that the expansion continues still. (Swimme, 1992) I take this as the universe following the divine command to increase and multiply. (Gen. 1:22)
I think no point-in-time inside eternity exists as distinct from any other point-in-time. It could be that everything is still in the formation stage of creation. All I know is that I believe in God and I believe in the universe. And for all I know, it’s all the same. We and “it” are one.
Some images of Jesus portray Him on the cross with no hands or feet. To me, that particular rendition serves as an invitation to join in the creative process. I see the Creator bidding us to move into eternity and learn new ways. Then we may return to this finite place as co-creators where we become the action part of further emergence. We are expected to move forward and create a new peace, a new beginning, a new everything. It is not privilege, it is a mandate. I believe that is the true message of the Paschal Mystery.
We need to stop believing that commerce is the answer to all our woes. My wish is for all of us to re-learn the value of our senses. Seeing beauty could be a universal desire worth more than gold. Smelling the freshness and vitality of our plant sisters and brothers will be expected. And the right to delight in olfactory sensations will be fought for with the same ferocity we currently express when fighting over carbon. We will want to hear the chirping and tweeting, roaring and snorting, and all the sounds that emanate from our animal relations. It will be music to our ears. Food will taste better as we move closer to an appreciation for it, and for the miracle that brought it to us. And finally, we will all long to touch one another spiritually.
History has shown us that the way we are going does not work. Ever since we stood up on two legs, we have exploited the planet that sustains us. We have soiled our God-given gifts of water,air and earth. Convenience and financial gains have won out over survival and compassion. We need to call on wisdom rather than just knowledge to take us forward now.
Wisdom has long been embodied as feminine. The ancients had Athena, Minerva, Isis or Eve to personify it. St. Teresa of Calcutta, Sister Simone Campbell, Malala Yousafzai, and numerous other brave women fighting for justice have carried forth the wisdom tradition in my own lifetime.
So I call forth that feminine spirit in all of us to honor the Earth we wish to save. Roman Catholic priest and world-renowned environmentalist, Thomas Berry, called ecology a “functional cosmology.” Gaia, Our Mother Earth, is a living creature. She needs our love and protection as we move into a new thinking that involves conservation and sustainability in a wiser way of living that I call Praxecolo
by Patty Kay, A selection from the upcoming Girl God Anthology, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak.
|Celeste Gurevich, Whatever Works Contributor|
Whatever Works is a unique collection of writing by feminists of diverse faiths from around the world. This anthology combines personal essays, poems and academic musings with the goal of sparking conversations among women of all faith backgrounds. Religion plays a key role in defining and maintaining value systems, and yet it is often disregarded within feminism itself. This book shares the stories of highly diverse women with the hope that we can find collective solutions to the global problems that plague women and girls living under patriarchy.
Available late March - pre-order here.
Ducote, Darryl. “Look Beyond.” The best of the Dameans. GIA, n.d. Vinyl.
Kosinec, Anthony. ""Kabbalah Revealed" Episode 2: Perception of Reality." Transcript. kabbalah.info. Kabbalah, Bnei Baruch - Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, n.d.
"NEW ADVENT." NEW ADVENT: Home. Ed. Kevin Knight. Baronius Press Ltd, 8 Jan. 2012. Web. Spring 2014. http://www.newadvent.org/.
Segall, Matthew. "Logos of a Living Earth: Towards a GaianÂ Praxecology." Footnotes 2 Plato. N.p., 21 Nov. 2009. Web. Summer 2014.
Swimme, Brian, and Thomas Berry. The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era--a Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos. San Francisco, CA: HarperSan Francisco, 1992. Print.