“. . . hallowed be Thy name . . . .”
Halloween, celebrated October 31st, was originally an “evening-before” celebration of those considered “hallowed” — holy, sacred, blessed, revered — and who are remembered November 1st on All Saints Day. The Catholic Church and several Protestant denominations in North America dedicate the entire month of November to remembrance of the dead. Originally, people limited their thoughts in November to deceased humans, but as our knowledge of the interconnections among all creation has grown, we realize that humans cannot be separated from the rest of creation.
Just as trees in the Northern Hemisphere lose their leaves in order to catch maximum sunlight during the cold days of winter, so all of nature calls us to remember that what seems like death is a promise of, and requirement for, new life. In the Gospels, Jesus reminded us that seeds must die in order to bear fruit. The image applies to humans and to everything else in creation. It was a natural process in the evolution of nature.
But that natural process is being violated by human-caused global warming (and other problems). Changes are coming too quickly for nature to respond to the threats. Death is now bringing extinction rather than new life.
What about birds?
For years scientists have been telling us that the ranges of bears, butterflies, and many other species are shifting north and toward the poles; that bird migrations are changing time and course; and that pollinators are trying to adjust to new flowering schedules. These alarming observations are only the beginning.
The October 2014 Climate Change Report from Audubon warns that shrinking and shifting ranges could imperil nearly half of U.S. birds within this century. (Many of the children born this year will live that long.) 314 North American bird species are threatened with extinction. This includes the possible extinction by 2080 of the state birds of ten states and also of the American eagle. (For an overview of the report, see climate.audubon.org/article/audubon-report-glance.)
Video: Unless the Seed Dies
In preparation for November and our remembrance of deceased loved ones, and more recently also of extinct species and ruined ecosystems, I am posting a video I made years ago for the Sister of the Holy Child Jesus’s monthly meditation series. I hope you will deepen your belief, as you watch, that all creation is hallowed; that divinity lives and acts in it all, without exception; that we who are the consciousness of the universe have responsibilities to it all.
(Because of that setting, it includes references to Cornelia Connelly, the woman who began the SHCJ. For a brief account of the life of this fascinating woman, see http://www.mayfieldsenior.org/about/Cornelia-Connelly.)
For the video Unless the Seed Dies, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf-z2Q82W2E
How do you plan to honor the hallowed dead and the hallowed extinct species this November?