GLOBAL ONENESS DAY and UNITED NATIONS DAY OCTOBER 24th

Halloween is not the only day to celebrate this month! Tuesday, October 24th, is a double-header — Global Oneness Day and United Nations Day. This is a day to nurture and elevate our consciousness of unity and the organizations that can further our living as One.

We celebrate the awesome and indisputable fact of our biological and atomic unity and also celebrate the existence of an institution founded by 51 member states in 1945. Seventy-two years later it contains 193 members (plus two observer states). Despite having quadrupled its original size, it still makes communication possible among its widely disparate members, and it still fosters many services that help the needy throughout the world. So, both in spirit and with leaders of all nations, let us CIRCLE THE WORLD WITH LOVE on October 24th!

To many our unity seems obvious. Yet violence, prejudices, “isms,” phobias, and delusions of independence and superiority persist. Sad!

These days many seek knowledge of their ancestral roots and watch TV shows that explore other peoples’ roots. We usually delight in discovering close or distant relatives, and want to understand our connections. Yet we forget or don’t realize that all life on Earth — and all creation —has been connected from the start. Curt Stager (Your Atomic Self) writes: “To look into the night sky is to survey distant gardens in which the elements of life are ripening, and your body is a composite harvest from these cosmic fields … Earth is indeed a kind of surrogate mother to us in that our bodies are derived from it, but we exist today only because our true star mothers died long ago.”

We also share Earth’s current and potential-future calamities. Mary Southard, CSJ, sees the positive side: “We as a nation and a planet have been hammered by fires, floods, hurricanes, natural disasters of all kinds these past months.  We are living in a moment of unparalleled crisis in Earth’s natural systems, and challenge to our human intelligence to respond in this unprecedented OPPORTUNITY to create the world we all want to live in. . . .  .”

So let us use October 24th as an opportunity to deepen our own awareness of our moment in creation’s spacetime. We know so much more about our interdependence than did past generations, and have vast opportunities to learn more. Let us include learning more about the United Nations and the unique services it offers. (c.f. www.un.org/en/sections/history/history-united-nations/index.html)          

Recently we’ve seen examples of people coming to the aid of others endangered by violence as well as by floods, storms, fires, and other calamities. October 24th would be a perfect day to join those who are awakening to our global responsibilities for one another and all life.

Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton recently coined the phrase “climate swerve” to describe the massive climate awakening that’s finally happening in the US. [Many other countries are way ahead of us!] These kinds of tragedies across the nation and world are creating unprecedented receptivity as people search for solutions. Now is our time to reach more people than ever and actually build the political power to change the current systems.

Many of our problems and systems were created before humans realized their interdependence with one another and all creation. Albert Einstein said that “No problem  can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Oct. 24th is a good day to alter our level of consciousness in order to solve these problems!

Einstein also gives this advice, perfect for contemplation alone or together on Oct. 24th:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Pope Francis agrees. In Laudato Si’ he writes:

“We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.” (par. 2)

“People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption.” (par. 55)

“It cannot be emphasized enough how everything is interconnected. Time and space are not independent of one another, and not even atoms or subatomic particles can be considered in isolation.” (par. 138)

Jesus prayed that all would be one. Today we need to pray that we accept that reality and act accordingly. May I suggest that we save some time on Oct. 24th to expand our consciousness by rereading parts of Laudato Si’ or by learning more about the United Nations or by pausing in awe to consider how interconnected and interdependent we are — with all creation, from the very beginning!

Introducing Betsey Crawford

Before introducing Betsey Crawford and her site, I want to alert those interested in Advent resources and/or a “deeper dive” into Incarnation in the 21st century that Advent in the New Universe Story, 2017 is complete. For information, see https://ecospiritualityresources.com/advent/.

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I am delighted to introduce readers not yet aware of her site to Betsey Crawford at http://thesouloftheearth.com/journal-nature-and-spirit/. With my gratitude to Betsey, I will share a sample from her site. It usually features both her photos and her own words: stories and experiences. She has explored topics such as birds, roses, bees, asteraceae – yes, you’ll learn things! But beyond the knowledge, you’ll love the poetry in Betsey’s words and the beauty of her photography — especially the close-ups of flora and fauna. Her journals tend to be stories, so, rather than interrupting her narratives, I have chosen to use excerpts from her “Laudato Si’, repictured” even though the words are mostly Pope Francis’ in Laudato Si.

From “Laudato Si, repictured” starting with the end of Betsey’s introduction

… Pope Francis, Betsey explains, “talks about the importance of appreciating beauty, so that we will want to preserve it. That, naturally, is where I come in, combining Pope Francis’ words and photos of our gorgeous earth.

Dease Lake, British Columbia

We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth; our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Cricket on whole leaf rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) Konza Prairie Preserve, Manhattan, Kansas

It is not enough…to think of different species merely as potential ‘resources’ to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves. Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost for ever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer…convey their message to us. We have no such right.

Mushroom after a rainy winter in Blithedale Canyon, Larkspur, California

It may well disturb us to learn of the extinction of mammals or birds, since they are more visible. But the good functioning of ecosystems also requires fungi, algae, worms, insects, reptiles and an innumerable variety of microorganisms. Some less numerous species, although generally unseen, nonetheless play a critical role in maintaining the equilibrium of a particular place.


Hummingbird in a native plant garden in Mill Valley, California

Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another. Each area is responsible for the care of this family.

Columbia lily (Lilium columbanium) at a roadside stop in southern British Columbia

We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.

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Betsey’s “Laudato Si, repictured” site continues with more beautiful photos and quotes that you’ll enjoy. I predict you’ll also like Betsey’s photos with her own words at http://thesouloftheearth.com/journal-nature-and-spirit/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season of Creation Prayer Suggestion

If you are unaware of the Season of Creation (Sept. 1 – Oct. 4), please read my last post. What follows is a possible prayer service that groups can adapt as they wish. For a two-sided pdf copy, contact terrishcj@aol.com.

SEASON OF CREATION 2017 

Organizer(s): Adapt this in any way that enhances participation. Plan the group action. For hymn words, use links below or books (to minimize paper use). Create a lovely centerpiece and/or ask participants to bring bits of creation to add to a centerpiece. 

Gathering: With Christians and others throughout the world, we give thanks for Creation, for St. Francis, for Pope Francis, and for all those who inspire us to care for Our Common Home.

Reading:

“The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things.” (LS, par. 233) Pope Francis

“We are called ‘to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbors on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust on our planet.’ ” (LS, par. 9) Patriarch Bartholomew

Quiet reflection on above quotes

Sharing: 

What words or concepts in those quotes attract you? How can you deepen their personal meaning during this year’s Season of Creation?

Canticle of the Sun:

“In the words of this beautiful canticle, St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share  our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.” (LS, par.1)

“Canticle of the Sun” (The Heavens are Telling) YouTube by Michelle Sherliza, OP

CANTICLE OF THE SUN – YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H_YXfHXT0I

Spontaneous prayers of gratitude: each ending: We all give thanks.
e.g., . For the gift of water, in all its forms, for all its beauty, I give thanks. We all give thanks.
. For the efforts made by various groups to stop gas pipelines, I give thanks. We all give thanks.
. For the inspiration we receive from Laudato Si’, I give thanks. We all give thanks. 

Group Action Possibilities

  • Ask the World Bank to shift all of its projects away from fossil fuels and to 100 % renewable energy. Sign the petition: “Big Shift Global” Campaign.
  • Plant a tree or collect for an organization that plants them.
  • Make plans for a future action to reduce use of plastic.

Share:

What concern about our common home have you recently learned about (or is near your heart) and what do you do about it?

Pray together, from Laudato Si’:

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love.
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature
as we journey toward your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

Reading:

“A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.”   (LS, par. 202)

Laudato Si’ bids us to “sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.” (LS, par. 244)

Sing: “Let Us Build the City of God” City of God Dan Schutte – YouTube