Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Walking with a Humble God

Somehow during this Triduum and Easter I kept being struck by the humility of our infinite God. A God who humbly impregnated God-presence by inserting it into “nothingness”, which became known as creation. God looked upon it and humbly recognized that it was good, because it was filled with Godness.

Then God manifested complete self-emptying by being one with Jesus, the Son, on the cross. Because God and the Son are infinitely one, it was God who walked the humiliation of Jesus’ last days and death on the cross.  It was God who always knew that only the complete self-emptying of Jesus’ death could yield a new creation, the resurrected “Christus”, Jesus Christ. When Jesus surrendered his Jesus-existence, he allowed the appearance of the infinite God-existence, Christ, the Resurrected One, to be revealed.  The death of Jesus’ earthly-reality birthed the full expression of God’s infinitely-accessible unconditional love. That surrendering also freed all who share “Godness” (i.e. all who are wounded, all of creation, the entire cosmos) to become self-emptying expressions of God’s unconditional love.  We’ve been given a Jesus-Script to walk this path of self-surrender to new birth.

It leaves me wondering at the end of each day, “When did you find yourself grateful for surprising expressions of God’s unconditional love and presence in creation, events and persons?”  “How have you self-surrendered to those in your midst today?” "How do you choose to walk authentically tomorrow?”

 Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

Photo: Liturgy of Renewal of Baptismal Promises, dawn of Easter morning 2015, by Karen Streveler, OSB

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Radical, Biblical "Amen" to Earth Day

When I grew up as a child "recycle, renew and re-imagine" were not a part of my vocabulary. Playing outdoors with no sunscreen, riding a bike without a helmet and throwing bottles, glass, and paper into one trash bin was the norm. For me and my generation to go green and sustain the earth is a new concept of radical living. Let’s admit it's not easy being green, at least not as easy as some suggest. 

For almost 40 years, advocates of Earth Day have called on people to celebrate environmental progress and to protect our planet. To this goal, Christians can say a hearty "Amen, but... ."

"Amen," because we have good intentions and a desire to preserve, protect and sustain our earthly home.  Our intentions even have a biblical call to exercise responsible stewardship of God's good creation. But good intentions aren't enough and we need to think globally.  Without wisdom and sound judgment, they can lead to harmful, unintended consequences—harmful not just to the environment, but to those living in poverty in our world, whom we are also called to care for and protect. 
The concept of stewardship involves taking care of something that belongs to somebody else. For Christians, stewardship of the environment recognizes that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1). Creation belongs to the Creator. The Christian tradition affirms that humans have been given the privilege and task of tending and cultivating it for good.   

Trish Dick, OSB

Teach your children
What we have taught our children,
And the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground,
They spit upon themselves.

This we know
The earth does not belong to us,
We belong to the earth.
This we know
All things are connected
Like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
We did not weave the web of life,
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web,
We do to ourselves.