Friday, January 11, 2013


A GREAT CANTICLE OF HEALING Be praised, my Lord, for our sister, mother earth, who nourishes us and watches over us and brings forth various fruits with colored flowers and herbs. - from the Canticle of St. Francis of Assisi. 
As we attempt to make our way through human-made "fiscal cliff" issues, another much more serious disaster looms on the horizon. It is the likely warming of our planet by as much as six degrees in the near future because of our reliance on carbon-based fuels. Earth along with all her creatures, will suffer as a result. It is in the context of these immediate fiscal problems, and our long-term environmental crisis, that I turn to the wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi for a light to lead us out of the darkness that is of our own making. The Canticle of St. Francis begins with offering praise to God. This praise, though, is presented to the “Lord” not in isolation, but within the context of the whole environment in which life exists.

Praise arises out of the heart and soul of all creation. Francis goes on to name the many living creatures that, with the Saint, praise God. They are brother sun and sister moon, along with the stars of the heavens. They give light to both the day and the night. They are brother air and wind and sister water, along with all the moods of weather. They express God’s love for all of creation.
Brother fire provides light and warmth to the night and is beautiful, joyful, robust and strong. Our sister, Mother Earth, sustains us with both nourishment and beauty. Not to be forgotten or denied praise also flows from sister death. No living thing can escape from her, yet even she is a blessing and a vital part of the rhythm of life. If we recognized our familial relationship with the earth and all of her creatures, we would live in harmony and balance with her. Instead, because we find ourselves alienated from the natural order of the world, we exploit her (our sister Earth).

All of the devastating cliffs we face, whether they are economic or ecological, they are the result of living life in denial of our brotherhood and sisterhood with one another and with the earth. If we recognized one another in both our nation and our world as truly family, we would arrange the economic order in a balanced and sustainable way, says Thomas Raphael-Nakos, the author of the article. "The Canticle of St. Francis shows us a way toward repentance. It is a way out of the darkness that we have created for ourselves. ... Only a spiritual enlightenment can bring peace and healing to our souls,to society and to the world," he explains. Many dangerous cliffs are created out of our own spiritual blindness.

Free will is not fully manifest in other beings but in human beings it is fully developed. We have the choice of acting rightly or wrongly, morally or immorally. As the dominant species, the human race has an obligation to protect and guide not only mankind but also all lower forms of life. We can either destroy ourselves and other life forms or we can act in a way to uplift and benefit the world, thus making a meaningful use of our human form of life. The future of humanity depends on how we choose to act, either individually / selfishly or collectively / holistically. Such a choice should be guided by divine wisdom. ... Hence the understanding of causality in connection with the manifestations of living beings, the cosmic children, is of fundamental importance and free will is closely linked with the divine nature of life. ... This is the foundation of bhakti in the Vaisnava Hindu tradition. Saint Francis of Assisi was also a symbol of bhakti in the Christian tradition.

T.D. Singh, Ph.D. - Śrīla Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Mahārāja :
"Science and Religion, Present and Future"

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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