We are living in a time of ecological devastation, in which our materialistic culture has had a catastrophic effect on the ecosystem. Our rivers are toxic, the rainforests slashed and burned, vast tracts of land made a wasteland due to our insatiable desires for oil, gas and minerals. We have raped and pillaged and polluted the earth until it is in a dangerous state of imbalance we call climate change. If we dare to listen, creation itself is now calling to us, sending us signs of its imbalance. We can see these signs in the increasing floods and droughts, feel it in a land that has been poisoned with pesticides, and those whose hearts are open may hear the cry of the world soul, of the spiritual being of our mother the earth. It is a cry of need and despair, that humanity who was supposed to be the guardian of the planet has forgotten its responsibility and instead desecrates and destroys the earth on a global scale.
For centuries it was understood that the world was a living being with a soul, and that we are a part of this being. Once we remember this in our minds and in our hearts, once we hear the cry of our suffering, dying world, our prayers will flow more easily and naturally. We will be drawn to pray in our own way. There is the simple prayer of placing the world as a living being within our hearts when we inwardly offer our self to the Divine. We remember the sorrow and suffering of the world in our hearts, and ask that that the world be remembered, that divine love and mercy flow where it is needed. That even though we continue to treat the world so badly, divine grace will help us and help the world˜help to bring the earth back into balance. We need to remember that the power of the Divine is more than that of all the global corporations that continue to make the world a wasteland, even more than the global forces of consumerism that demand the life-blood of the planet. We pray that the Divine of which we are all a part can redeem and heal this beautiful and suffering world.
Images above (and on front-page mastheads) by Gretchen Durst Jacobs. Top and front-page mastheads: "Riverside, Looking West" — Middle: "Grant, Bridge" — Bottom: "Clifton Gorge"
Word above: "Praying for the Earth" by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.