Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Nature is the container of Mystery

"The mountains call and I must go" the John Muir quote that I love is paraphrased by others to say "The Tabernacle calls and I must go."  This results in the practice of Eucharistic Devotion, or as we used to say in Ireland "She/he has gone to make a chapel visit."  Gone to visit The Prisoner who has chosen to be a Prisoner.  This is contrary to commonsense.  Who in their right mind would choose to be a prisoner?  Yet it is done.  When something is important enough some heroic people freely choose prison.  They sacrifice their freedom in a greater cause.  That is sacrificial love, and leads us to look, and see that person in a new light.  It also challenges us to take a closer look into our own values, and what we are prepared to sacrifice for them.  What is so valuable for you, what are you so committed to that you would choose prison over freedom? Each human person, and all creation has such value that The Infinite One has chosen all creation, and human beings in particular, to be a dwelling place.

Now let us go a step further, and ask this question, what happens when we as tabernacles answer the call to visit the mountains and all that surrounds them? Do we not take The Prisoner-Creator to visit what has been created and that which is in the process of becoming a reality.  How important is it then for each one of us to respond to our call to be good stewards of all creation.  Right now we are not doing a good job and why are we shocked to read about the climate disaster at home and abroad?  It continues to get worse when will it ever end?  What are we handing onto future generations?  Tough questions that cannot be ducked or ignored.  Will we be able to say in a future time:  "Take a break.  Look at the clouds.  Listen to the wind, let the birds do the heavy lifting." (Louv) I was staggered to read we have lost 3 billion birds over the last number of years.  I look on the birds as natures ever welcoming chorus.  A joy-full chorus always there to greet us.  There are times, though, when it takes time for our ears to get tuned in. This is the sad reality.  Natures chorus is gradually growing silent.  Is this the death-song we are listening to?  Can you imagine going into nature and have no awe-full, wonder-full chorus there to lift our drooping spirit?  There is no app that can replicate the true sounds of nature. Thank the good God, the next generation is already taking steps to make sure the welcoming bird chorus will be there.  Is there opposition?  Of course there is.  Prophetic voices are always opposed by those who lack a vision for the future and only live in fear of the present. Today's prophetic voice are opposed by those whose god is avarice. Their only concern is the bottom line.  How bankrupt we are becoming while all the time rejoicing in the bank account growing ever larger???

Please take the time to reflect on the following from Elizabeth Browning: "The earth communes with Heaven, and every common bush is afire with God; but only those who see take off their shoes.  The rest sit around it and pick blackberries." One of the early desert fathers is quoted as saying: "My book is nature, and as often as I have a mind to read The Word of God, it is at my hand. That is why nature is called the First Bible. After came the bible with words. We are blessed with both.

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