9. Feb, 2014


'Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth's greenings. Now, think. What delight God gives to humankind with all these things ...  All nature is at the disposal of humankind. We are fit to work with it, for without it we cannot survive.' (Hildegarde von Bingen (1098-11-79). Right at the very moment that so many people are suffering immense dislocations through the forces of the bellowing of nature, Hildegarde's musing on the necessity of working with nature, rather than destroying it, may seem to some, quite perverse at this moment in February 2014. But there is a twofold message here.Firstly, that whenever we are swamped by darkness in whatever shape or form, it is essential to look towards the Light. It is why, as a tiny example, when there is a great sea crashing on the coast, people stand in awe, marvelling at something deeper. But then the choice comes. Do we retreat in total fear and anger against God for allowing these environmental happenings, or do we realise that there is here a nudge towards each of us taking personal responsibility for both the Dark and the Light ?  The easy and immediate way is to project our feelings of anger or despair onto someone else. But this is a global community in which we live, and as Meister Eckhart(1260-1329) has reminded us on several occasions,'Each of us is a distant mirror of God'. So we have the fire power within us to be not only creative but also active even though our practical limits may not be global. We can progress towards the Light by praying for the people damaged by environmental mismanagement, and link that to" taking to the streets" to arouse the slumbering values of politicians, asleep in their woollen capsules of indifference. St.Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) said that 'Courage doesn't merely endure the pressures of such situations without flinching, by restraining fear, but also in due measure attacks them.' 

Thank you. Tom Baxter