Week of 11/21-11/26: Praise and Thanksgiving; Grief and the Need for Rites of Passage

November 21, 2022. Thomas Berry’s Invitation to Praise the Earth.
In this meditation we are invited to remember to praise, not only this good Earth, but the universe itself. Thomas Berry says, “In the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration. It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself.”

A song for the sacred elements. This is a wordless song for ceremony and prayer by Chenoa Egawa (Lummi and S’Klallam) and Alex Turtle (Diné and Southern Cheyenne) Originally posted to YouTube by Swan Clan Productions.

November 22, 2022. Grief in Colorado Springs: The Latest Mass Shooting in America.
Today we acknowledge not only humanity’s capacity for praise, but also for hatred and violence. We mourn the senseless deaths of at least five people in a LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs. The killer was, yet again, another young man. Spiritual teacher Malidoma Some warns us that when we don’t have initiation processes in place for young men, we are practically inviting anger and violence to be expressed in unhealthy ways.

November 23, 2022. More on Grieving the Loss of Young Life.
As young people were killed in three separate and horrific incidents recently, we ask the question Why? Among the reasons are: hatred stirred up by the inflammatory speeches of certain politicians, the NRA and the easy accessability of guns, and the spread of adultism where older people may unconsciously resent young people and will not step up to the plate to help teach values and virtuous living.

November 24, 2022. Thanksgiving, 2022.
We give thanks for this beautiful prayer of thanks from the Iroquois people. Here is part of it: For Mother Earth: We give thanks and greetings to the Earth; she is giving us that which makes us strong and healthy.  She supports our feet as we walk upon her.  We are grateful that she continues to perform her duties as she was instructed.  The women and Mother Earth are one, givers of life.

“Giving thanks.” Photo by Laela Sequoia on Unsplash

November 25, 2022. A Preferential Option for the Young?
As we continue to ask how we can prevent such tragic loss of young life, often at the hands of a young man, we once again turn to African elder Malidoma Some. He tells us that when a society is lacking in rites of passage, the young are confused and angry, the adults are bewildered, and the elders are missing. We explore ways that we can help to develop a healthy masculine in our culture as well as celebrating the divine feminine.

November 26, 2022. Caring for the Earth and Other Preferential Options for the Young.
In this meditation we reflect on the state of the planet that we are passing on to our young people. Do we care about the Earth that they are inheriting? How else might we nurture, celebrate, and encourage our youth? Three possible ways are: the Cosmic Mass, the Order of the Sacred Earth, and redesigning our educational system. For instance, we could begin to incorporate more wisdom in our schools by revivifying the arts and creativity.

Cosmic masses utilize DJs, VJs, dance, and other forms of creative worship and expression. Photo from the former website cosmicmass.com.

Banner image: Grief. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

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3 thoughts on “Week of 11/21-11/26: Praise and Thanksgiving; Grief and the Need for Rites of Passage”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    I have chosen to share my thoughts again on our DM for November 21, 2022: “Thomas Berry’s Invitation to Praise the Earth.” In our recent meditations, we had been reflecting on Praise as in Rabbi Heschel’s observation that “praise precedes faith.” We spent time joyously praising air–air that is so specially fine-tuned and renders life so diverse and marvelous on earth. And human life depends on—so much so that many religious traditions identify Spirit and Air. Thomas Berry says: “Everything is here for the same reason, for manifestation and celebration. But the humans articulate this. The others cannot articulate it reflectively. They can be a manifestation, but they cannot reflect on that. Therefore, as humans our role is to be spokespersons for the universe and to appreciate the universe as the context in which the Divine and human meet.” Then we were asked: “Do you, do we, do our institutions from education, to politics to religion, to business to media, experience the universe as celebration and an exuberant expression of existence itself?” I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems that most do not celebrate the universe–however scientists do, and we do!!! How well is humanity doing, do you think, in being spokespersons for the universe that wants to manifest and celebrate? Here are a few spokespersons: Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Swimme and Rupert Sheldrake–I think they have done a great job for “those who have ears to hear…”

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    We especially need the reminder to praise all of our natural gifts of air and earth and fire and water in the midst of the horrors of more shootings and violence. It is too easy to feel hopeless and helpless, especially in this season of advent when we are called to be hopeful. Yet we have the examples of Matthew and all who encourage us to persist in loving actions, to plant seeds even if we do not live to see the harvest.

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