From Evil to the Sacred, an Order of the Sacred Earth

The Earth is sacred yet we are despoiling it for ourselves and for the children to come.  Climate Emergency is happening all around us—Australia’s burning up today is not just a canary in the mine but a continent in the mine!  How many more wake-up calls do we need?

This NOAA satellite image from December 26, 2019 shows bushfires ringing the continent of Australia. Photo by the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory on Wikimedia Commons

Our powers of denial and self-deception and deception of others is all around us.  Entire political parties actually remain in denial about climate change and cheer on leaders who do the same. 

How strange this is, that a species chooses to be in denial about its own demise, its own coming extinction.  Is this what it means to be human?

Bushfire haze, smoke, and afternoon sun echo the Australian aboriginal flag in Gosford, New South Wales, November 2019. [Photo by Rob Russell, Wikimedia Commons, CC 2.0] While Australians contemplate the possibility of “omnicide” – the continent becoming too hot and dry to support life – the government Australia is clearing proposals for 53 new coal mines (New York Times: “How Does a Nation Adapt to Its Own Murder?“)

What gods are we worshipping that are greater than our hunger to be fully human?  That are greater than the sacred reality of the Earth?  Gods of power and addiction to power it seems.  How different from that were Hitler’s idolatries?

In a forward to a fine collection of Thomas Merton’s writings on Nature, geologian Thomas Berry instructs us in how we recover the sacred when we have lost it when he says: “Eventually, only our sense of the sacred will save us.” 

Why is that?  Because

The Melbourne shop Muses of Mystery hosted a “witchcrafternoon” to create joey pouches, koala mittens and wraps for smaller animals. Pagan communities across Australia have networked to support relief and rescue efforts. Image from “Acts of kindness and love: Australian Pagans respond to the bushfire crisis” on The Wild Hunt.

an absence of a sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in many of our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world.  It has been said, ‘We will not save what we do not love.’  It is also true that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred.

In other writings Berry has pointed the way to recovering a lost sense of the sacred when he writes:

We will recover our sense of wonder and our sense of the sacred only if we appreciate the universe beyond ourselves as a revelatory experience of that numinous presence whence all things come into being.  Indeed, the universe is the primary sacred reality. 

Pope Francis (here pictured speaking in Ecuador: photo by La Cancillería de Ecuador, on Wikimedia Commons) has sparked a global increase in protecting the environment through his encyclical, Laudato Si

A new community has sprung up to bring alive a sense of the sacred and our actions to heal the earth and our actions to do so. It is called the Order of the Sacred Earth (OSE).

OSE invites us to organize in the struggle on behalf of Earth who feeds us no matter what our religion or ethnicity, our age or class, our nationality or nation, our political or economic tribe.  All are invited to the table because we all are facing a common foe—the demise of the planet.

All are bound together by a common vow: “I promise to be the best lover of Earth and best defender of Earth that I can be.”

We will discuss OSE further in subsequent Daily Meditations.

See Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics, 361; Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jen Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action.

Banner Image: Cover art for The Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action. Artwork by Colin Rolfe.

Queries for Contemplation

Science and the United Nations have told us we have ten years left to turn around the worst scenario regarding climate change.  Meditate on ten years from today; look back to today.  What might you have done with others to help turn things around?

Recommended Reading

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action

By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.” 
~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope
“The creation of the Order of the Sacred Earth is a magnificent step forward for humanity.”  ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of Way of Passion and The Hope.

Your Music Your Way Summit

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

10 thoughts on “From Evil to the Sacred, an Order of the Sacred Earth”

  1. Avatar

    The reality of the present must inform us how to respond to this Climate crisis. Our addictions must be awakened by a major crisis. The Earth is wagging its tale and barking for our Governments attention. It is preparing to take a big bite out of us and shake us out of our inaction. The hope is in the many movements working to alleviate some of the pain of mother earth. Businesses are aware of there future and some are working hard to provide renewables. Institutions must display a greater concern, including Religions. The institutional Catholic Church has much unused land and buildings and with the cooperation of all levels of Governments Globally could use this space for environmental projects. Climate change is a common enemy we helped to create. The world united in solving this problem might give us all a new transformed love of all living things and in this way have a fuller Life for all. Deacon’82 Environment and Global Interdepndence..

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Peter,
      Thank you for your comments. Searching for the way to inspire hope and trust in transformation is the key to motivating people to address the climate crisis. I, too, wonder if there will need to be a crisis that touches us all before we become self motivated. Meanwhile, there are these meditations that are bringing together more and more mystical imaginations.

      I am intrigued with your suggestions that the Catholic CHurch and other institutions who are wealthy in land might give space and support to environmental projects. In the present political climate, the age old polluting industries are getting the majority of governmental support. (My state, Pennsylvania, recently supported an environmentally noxious Shell cracker plant in the Ohio valley, while snubbing a more environmentally sustainable alternative.) If churches, old retreat centers, and other fallow properties could offer space, shelter, a parking lot, and renewable energy, imagine the savings for a start-up! Ir could rival a government grant in value!!

      Would you or Deacon’82 Environmental and Global Interdependence choose to become part of the Order of the Sacred Earth?

      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar

    As a young nun, I was on a private retreat and was drawn to look out the window where I saw everything bathed in light. I looked down at the breakfast I was having, no light. Looked out again, brilliant light. I continued eating when I heard the words very clearly: “Everything is Sacred!” Every bite of the Kellogg’s 19 cereal(!) was sacred; every chew, every swallow, the milk, as well as the spoon I ate with, the taste; everything was delightful. When I finished eating, I realized 45 minutes had gone by! Then the thought came: “What do I do with this? I cannot take this long to eat breakfast every day!” I always wondered why God had given me this experience . . . Now I know. I must say that I have always been drawn to Nature all around, and just lately had a beautiful experience with a cricket in the house . . . It stayed in almost the whole day; I told it I loved it and continued what I was doing. Finally, I asked it to leave, and it did. I later went back to the room where it had been, looked down on the floor and saw a smooth white stone with a little animal painted in the corner. There was a message which read: “No one is too small to be a friend.” I was totally amazed and delighted to be reminded of my oneness with everything!

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Vivian,
      Thank you for sharing your mystical experience of sacred light within a timeless experience of eating breakfast. All that unseen interconnection that you were invited to see:the the sun and soil that nurtured the plant, the farmers who harvested it, the people who manufactured the cereal, the ones who designed the packaging, the trees whose bodies became the packaging, the creators of your spoon and table top. All of it made of light. Literally. All intertwined,

      Your comment has given me an insight… long as we consider nature as sacred-but-other, we will always regard it from a stance of separation. Your experience offered a different view. But if we regard humans, our creativity and our machines, our re-purposing of materials as sacred abilities if not sacred results, then we might see the whole of our planet as sacred. That is what Matthew is working on with these meditations. He is weaving the subjects of his meditations as if lacing up a boot, everything tied to everything else.

      What was the purpose of these extraordinary mystical experiences for you? Perhaps to convince your eco-community to join the Order of the Sacred Earth. It doesn’t have to be your convent. It could be a committee, an activist cel, or whomever you share your sense of the of the interconnected planetary sacred.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      FOr the Daily Meditations Team

  3. Avatar

    Matthew Fox you are the theologian of my heart. Thank you for all you have written and verbalized in this world.

  4. Avatar

    This week there was a letter to the editor in our local paper from a professor of mathematics at a local university. He contends that climate change is just a theory and not necessarily caused by humans, that the science is not set in stone. It goes to show that even smart people can be stupid sometimes. What will it take to convince these people? Oh, and I do believe Mother Earth will not die when Humanity dies. She will continue without us (probably in a better state).
    And PS: kudos to my Pagan Sisters in Australia! The continent is in my daily prayers, since that is all I can do to help, but here I do what I can to save the planet. I am anxious to hear more about the Order of the Sacred Earth.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Elaine,
      Thank you for writing.My question four your mathematician is whether or not mathematics is “set in stone”. (interesting choice of words)

      I hope you do read Matt, SKylar, and Jen’s book, The Order of the Sacred Earth. You will find that there is more you can do in addition to prayer, and there is good company to be had while you do it.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

      1. Avatar

        Dear Gail, I so laughed when I read your response about mathematics! Thank you for lightening my day. And I recently bought OSE so I will look forward to reading it and gaining some ideas. Blessings.

  5. Avatar

    Thank you for this… my non profit is Conscious Earth Living Foundation and Sacred Earth was the other name I was going to use.

    Please see Revelations 11:18 – it is powerful and I would like to discuss it in terms of the climate crisis today. Blessings…

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Patricia,
      May your Foundation for Conscious Earth Living flourish! Your consideration of Sacred Earth as a name shows that we are all riding a paradigm shift towards a new consciousness of who we are as humans in this spiritual community of Earth. There are two ways that your F
      Foundation could connect with the resources of the Creation Spirituality movement. One is becoming a pod for the Order of the Sacred Earth. The second would be to connect that pod to Creation Spirituality Communities. Matt has written Daily Meditations on both of these efforts.

      We are weaving a new web of humanity one thread at a time, or perhaps in your case, two threads!!

      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: