This morning after the 10:30 service, we were invited to participate in a time of silent prayer. For many of us, it was a time of refreshment and renewal, in which, by contemplating the ever-changing beauty of the Earth, we encountered the healing power of the divine.
And yet, for some of us, our joy in the beauty of nature was mixed with a deep sense of unease, as we remembered that Nature, our healer, is herself desperately in need of healing. Her condition is critical, and we, the people of this planet, are the only ones who can save her.
More troubling still is the reflection that while some of us draw inspiration from the beauty of a tree at sunset, others are forced to cut down or burn whole forests – the lungs of the planet – in order to provide basic necessities for their communities. This need not be. We can turn things around, if we so choose. Says climatologist Michael Mann, all it would take would be truthful information, and political will.
In Lent, Christians have always sought to find a balance between the contemplative and the active life. On Sundays, at the cathedral, we have been focusing on prayer, learning a prayer practice to follow during the week to come. This is the contemplative side of our faith. At the same time, though, some of us have also been focusing on repentance as an action, a tangible “turning around,” taking steps to become reconciled with our wounded Earth, and to work for her healing, while there is yet time.
Those of us who are following our Ecological Lenten Calendar are devoting between two and five minutes to the healing of the Earth. It sounds like very little – almost nothing in fact. But the facts we are being asked to consider may be new to us, and shocking. And the acts we urged to perform take many of us out of our comfort zone. We are challenged, not only to cut down on our plastics, or to eat less meat, but also to speak truth to power in ways that may be new to us. During Lent we are committed to taking forty steps towards the healing of the relationship upon which all our other relationships on this life depend. We invite you – we implore you – to join us.
Lenten Ecojustice Calendar March 4-7 English