They have owned remote convents, willow-shaded hospitals, and schools and orphanages on green campuses. For decades, nuns have been little-noticed stewards of the land.
Now, a group of nuns at a Plainville nature center is pushing to preserve properties owned by nuns and other religious groups, arguing that protecting open space is a worthy pursuit, even for those focused on a higher plane.
The Dominican nuns at the Crystal Spring Earth Learning Center have formed the Religious Lands Conservancy Project, a partnership with the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. [Source]
Rather than a theologian, Berry considers himself a cosmologist and “geologian,” an Earth scholar. He believes the only way to effectively function as individuals and as a species is to understand the history and functioning of our planet and of the wide universe itself, like sailors learning about their ship and the vast ocean on which it sails. “It takes a universe to make a child,” he says, adding that he is “trying to establish a functional cosmology, not a theology.” The amazing, mind-boggling cosmological perspective, he feels, can resuscitate human meaning and direction. The most important spiritual qualities, for Berry, are amazement and enchantment. Awe is healing. A sense of wonder is the therapy for spiritual autism.
In other words, caring for our planet and ascertaining where we are in the universe goes to the heart of what it means to be a faithful Christian. Nothing is really itself without everything else. Christianity’s task, if it is going to survive, will be to place itself within the context of science’s new story of our human origins and the evolution of the universe.
A geologian? That is just too funny. Here is one of his poems:
It Takes a Universe
by Thomas Berry
The child awakens to a universe.
The mind of the child to a world of meaning.
Imagination to a world of beauty.
Emotions to a world of intimacy.
It takes a universe to make a child
both in outer form and inner spirit.
It takes a universe to educate a child.
A universe to fulfill a child.
Gee I guess Hillary got it wrong, but maybe this is what she was thinking of for universal health care. I also guess people might become frustrated waiting for the universe to come and pick up their child to take them to universal day care.
Also on the nuns site from one of their newsletters was this piece of cosmic relativity.
As a species we are programmed to reflect on the reality that we experience. Out of our reflection we construct our meaning and create our cosmology. Our cosmology is our belief about the creation and purpose of the world.
In November they had "A Beautiful Gaia Concert" which promoted "Love Songs to Earth." O Beautiful Gaia. Of course they also link to multiple sites that reference sustainability (code words for abort to keep the population in control), reproductive health, and responsible reproduction.
Their attitude is like going to an art museum where all of the names of the artists were removed from their works. That the art exists as its own creation. I know this world view first hand. I have always loved the world of science and the awe of studying the complexity and wonders of the universe. I saw creation without a creator and the universal architecture without an architect. Many art historians study the biography and life of creator of a piece of art to try to more fully understand the art produced. Our eyes looking downwards to study the earth should also look upward to thank God for its wonders. Only by more deeply falling in love with God can we more deeply appreciated what he has created.