Good Earth Day

It’s Earth Day today.

It’s Good Friday today.

I can see a connection between Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and a day devoted to saving our planet. I was speaking to some of my more devout Catholic friends yesterday and they couldn’t see the connection or didn’t want to. They do not see religion and environmentalism as bedfellows but to me honouring the world and nature is a form of honouring whatever higher power you believe in.

Atonement, redemption, salvation – sometimes those very things seem to be what shape our lives more than anything else. We always seem to be making up for something.

In the Catholic Mass on Good Friday there is a service called the Liturgy of The Word where the clergy enter the church in complete silence without any singing. Then they make a silent prostration which signifies both the abasement of earthly man and the grief and sorrow of the Church.

Grief and sorrow.

For what happened to Jesus.

Grief and sorrow.

For what is happening to the world.

Maybe I’m the only one who sees a connection.

I don’t mean to be irreverent, but I see it.

When I was a little girl I used to attend Mass with my grandmother at Easter. The thing I remember the most about Good Friday was the stillness. No singing. No singing. Singing was the major reason I went to Church.

At first the stillness was disconcerting. Too quiet. I could hear my own heart beating. Hear my patent leather shoes squeaking as I fidgeted in the pew.

Stillness – translucent, a rose garden at dawn. Trying not to talk. Trying not to breathe. And slowly, oh so slowly becoming aware of the sacredness. Making me think, making me consider how long it can take to attain clarity.

There is sadness in stillness. And there is joy. Like religion. Like the Church. Like the Earth.

I don’t go to church anymore but the stillness, the reverent, opaque, heartfelt drift of it remains. In the trees. The water. The hills. The flowers that bend in the wind. And I wonder if you can find what you find in a place of worship out in the world, in the wild, in the thick of it all. I wonder if you can find the stillness.

There is a song sometimes sung at church called He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands. Whenever I hear it I think of Jesus holding this planet, our planet in his hands, cradling it like a newborn baby.

I think if Jesus were here right now holding our world in his hands he would entreat us to save it. And to savour the stillness.

Happy Good Earth Day.

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10 thoughts on “Good Earth Day

  1. No connection between religion and environmentalism? Forsooth!

    For some people, worship of the Earth or Nature IS a religion; think of the ancient Norse, the Native Americans, the Australian Aborigines …. etc, etc ad. inf.

    To me, ‘Look after me, and I’ll look after you’ makes more sense than ‘Be good, and you’ll go to Heaven’ … and I always feel better making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund or something than I do when I put it in a church collection plate.

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  2. Hi Selma,
    Yes there has always been a connection between religion and environmentalism, at the moment there is a lot of talk lately about Gaia, Tim Flannery keeps bringing this up in every speech lately. Not only Tim Flannery, I have often seen the name Gaia mentioned with Climate Change, so the two are definitely joined together.

    (For people that don’t know, Tim Flannery is hired by the Government to head the Climate Change board, in Australia, he’s actually a paleontologist, mammalogist and of course an environmentalist)

    Happy Easter Selma, I hope you have a great long weekend.

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  3. The way I’ve always seen it is if God made the world then he would want us to take care of it. I don’t know why people wouldn’t see the connection. Maybe it’s that connection with my Celtic/Native American roots? Be respectful of the gifts given. 😉

    I wanted to say thank you for tweeting the humming bird cam. We have seen the eagle cam but I’d never seen this one before – my boys are enthralled. 🙂

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  4. Hi TRAVELRAT:
    Not forgetting the Celts, probably the ultimate treehuggers!!

    The connection is definitely there. I also feel better giving to WWF or the Conservation Foundation than to anything else. It just feels RIGHT.

    “To me, ‘Look after me, and I’ll look after you’ makes more sense than ‘Be good, and you’ll go to Heaven’ … ” – I couldn’t agree more. That is the comment of the week right there!!

    Hi MAGS:
    I have heard that too. Tim is branching out, for sure. I saw him do a talk last year and he is a very passionate, articulate speaker. He really made me think.
    Hope you are having a wonderful Easter!

    Hi AINE:
    Isn’t that hummingbird the cutest? But I have some news for you – the eggs are probably going to hatch next week and wait till your boys see the babies…they will be enchanted. Adorable doesn’t even come close to describing them.

    I completely agree with you. Of course God would want us to take care of it. I feel the Celtic roots calling when it comes to this subject too. I have always found a deep level of spirituality in nature. In looking after the earth we look after ourselves and isn’t that the whole point?

    Have a very HOPPY EASTER!!!!

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  5. Hey Selma, I see that connection, too, of course I do! and, as you, not to be
    irreverent, but I think if He were here to see all that is being done, He would be in tears.

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  6. For someone who doesn’t go to church, you sure describe it well – the solemnity and stuff. I think you are spot on about the relationship between religion and the environment. If God created the world than obviously the world is sacred. When I was a kid I thought sin was about a bit of lying and stealing and those type of things, but now as an adult it is easier to see the real sins, the big ones that really count – the rampant abuse of power, corporate greed, profit at all costs mentality, ego-centric people, plus the other heavies like murder, child abuse, rape.

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  7. If Jesus came back now, like he did to the merchants in the temple, he would storm corporate boardrooms and throw out the bastards who do not care. That would remove most of them and the few that were left might think about deep sea oil drilling , forest destruction, ocean acidification and a few thousand more insults as the biosphere as it dies the death of a thousand cuts!
    lets make every day Earth Day!
    Thanks Selma.

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  8. Hi GABRIELLE:
    I will never forget my churchgoing days – they are ingrained in my brain (in both a good and a bad way.) The world is definitely sacred and we really don’t respect its sacred nature as we should. You are spot on about the nature of sin and it is interesting that the Vatican now includes polluting the environment and excessive wealth as among the Deadly Sins. A sad sign of the times.

    Hi JENNIFER:
    Oh, me too. I always experience the divine in nature. How can we not really? It is still a beautiful world out there. ☆

    HI STAFFORD:
    Oh yes he would. He would get that asshat CEO of BP and drown him in a vat of oil and I would stand by and cheer. The CEO of Goldman Sachs would be next. Don’t get me started….
    Every day should be Earth Day and those big companies who do all the damage should be made to pay. I would love to see it. I would love for them to realise that money is NOT the most important thing in the world. Hey, it feels great to vent. LOLZ 😆

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