From "Creed," by Dom Helder Cámara

I want to believe that the whole world

Is my home, the field I sow,

And that all reap what all have sown.

I will not believe that I can combat oppression out there

If I tolerate injustice here.

I want to believe that what is right

Is the same here and there

And that I will not be free

While even one human being is excluded.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Lord's Prayer, for the Planet



Many people I admire--Barbara Kingsolver, Charles Eisenstein, most of the world's farmers and the rural poor, the Carteret Islanders--believe humanity will be extinct within 50 years. We can no longer dispute the reality of climate change, though the question of when its severity will topple, or perhaps merely transform, the society inhabited by the world's most well-off people, remains unanswered.

On September 23, 2014 in New York City, UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon has called an emergency climate summit, a declaratory, final effort to gather the world's leaders around the crisis of climate change before science officially declares we began too late. According to the summit's organizers, we have a year and a half left to reverse current disastrous trends. After that, Barbara Kingsolver might be right.

In solidarity with this summit, the people of NYC and 350.org have called a People's Climate March. Parallel marches are happening all over the country (find yours here).

I am attending this event not only to re-examine the baggage I carry that I am, we are, powerless and despairing, but also to feel the sheer unitive power emerging from a gathering of people who are as terrified, electrified, and numb as I am.

I realize more heavily--and hopefully, for a more beautiful, unified world--every day that our children's generation will not inhabit the post-Industrial Revolution world that I have learned to populate. Perhaps the climax will occur sooner than that.

Even spirituality will change.

Prompted by the march, by the countless times I have uttered these words without any sort of reverence, skeptical about its application to our time, I offer a re-imagined version of the sacred mantra of the Catholic faith tradition, the Our Father, proclaimed by Jesus to be the perfect prayer, perfect beyond time and crisis.

Our Father, and Mother, and great Creator, the plural-feminine Elohim, who birthed the blackholes and blackberries alike, who art in heaven but viscerally, illimitably present, sovereign, within and throughout Earth, hallowed, like a Druid oak grove, the Ganges, the Blue Ridge Mountains, be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, by your sand-speck sons and daughters, through whom your reign may burst or shrivel, on Earth, the only Real we know, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, tilled, sown, tended, kneaded, baked, by many hands, whose sweat, without speaking, enters our souls,

And forgive us our trespasses, our luxuries and apathies and ignorance, once invisible, now menacing

As we forgive those who trespass against us, for only through our unshakeable bonds, named and cherished and healed, can we re-learn the sacred, can we learn to breathe again.

And lead us not into temptation, but from evil, from the crumbling continuance of what science prophesies, deliver us, your People, into a cool fertile glow of resurrection.

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