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?
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?
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
…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.
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?
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.