Childhood First Great Commandment
Dear old and new friends,
Religious scholar Dr. William Dinges has written, “Humans are deeply implicated in the massive ecological destruction we are seeing…we can’t continue to think and act as if we are ecologically segregated from the rest of creation.” I agree with him, and the issue is how do we respond to climate change, global warming or the pollution of the air, water and the earth? Typically we blame this crisis on pollution created by big industry, giant power plants and “other” car owners. But in our participatory interconnected universe there are no neutral observers; we are either co-creators or co-destroyers! Today it is important to remember that first great commandment of childhood, “You made the mess…you clean it up.”
The moon landing in 1969 radically changed our perception of our Planet Earth. When photographed from space we saw the Earth as a bluish-green globe devoid of border lines separating countries and peoples. It appeared as a living entity floating in space instead of an inert object of matter. Since 1984 quantum theologians have proposed we consider the world as God’s body! Now along with the Corpus Christi—the Body of Christ—we had to reverence the Corpus Dei—the Body of God, a sacramental reality to handle with holy care.
Ecology, once a scientific concern, must be seen today as a spiritual issue that requires we begin to live a new ethics of our morality. Quantum physics today proclaims what mystics in all religions have said when it teachers that at the microscopic level all creation, all life, is dynamically connected. The major sin of our time say quantum theologians is speciesism—the human assumption that we are the ultimate life form under God and are entitled to lord it over the rest of creation.
As individuals we feel powerless to heal our pollution-sick planet. The global size of the problem causes us to mown, “How can I, a lone individual, reverse the rapidly increasing shrinkage of the polar ice caps or clean up the pollution of our rivers? Even while feeling impotent, we have a moral, ethical and spiritual responsibility to be personally involved in correcting climate change and the pollution of the air, water and earth. To begin this holy work we need make an act of faith: we are not impotent. Because each personal action to rescue our planet, while appearing small and ineffective, is connected with countless millions of other such actions as part of a global web of ecological salvation.
You can begin this new vocation by acknowledging that each act of recycling is spiritual and sacramental. Each time you perform the simple act of turning off an unnecessary electric light, say “Amen” (aware we use this word to conclude prayers and sacred actions) to remind you that saving electricity is a spiritual prayer-action. Each time you pick up a piece a trash from the street or recycle a newspaper or plastic item, say “Amen.” By such holy actions of saving God’s Body we are saving our own for we and all the Earth are intimately united as one.
Be politically involved in the salvation of the Earth by voting for candidates who promise to promote strict ecological legislation. An example is the present proposed Keystone Pipeline XL project that is a potential ecological threat to our nation’s farm lands. A present crisis is the very process of fracking by which the oil is being extracted in the tar sands industry of Canada. It in itself is a massive polluter of air and land that cannot be supported by those who are seriously ecologically committed. Most important is praying daily for your beautiful and poisonously-polluted Earth, which really is praying for yourself!