Monday, December 22, 2014

Returning to Nature

He was was born and lived in a little village surrounded by mountains, both in front and back, left and right. The sky was less visible than the mountains. He grew up without any toys for it was the mountains and fields that were his playground, nature was his plaything.

A diocesan priest writing for a bulletin for priests reflects on what this has meant for him. As a child his spiritual life was composed of going to the mission station Mass against his will. The 14 stations of the cross on the wall only made him fearful. The mountains also caused fear in his young heart but when he was hurt he would climb the mountains;  they received him graciously which gave him consolation and  peace, and for this feeling he was thankful. The mountains were like a father to him.  Even today when he prays the Our Father and says the words heaven he sees the mountains of his childhood.

There was talk of turning this village into a dam and at that time he was responsible for the justice and peace work in the diocese so he worked together with the citizens to revoke the plans. During this time he began to see the need for the Church to get involved in preserving our environment. The plan for the dam was cancelled and he began to study the theology of ecology.

Living in the city and growing accustomed to the life  he realized that he was becoming alienated from nature. The emptiness he was feeling was the estrangement from the natural, and dreamed of walking the earth and fingering it again as he did as a child. The chance came suddenly when he was given the work to  head the Catholic Farmers Association in the  diocese.

Since he was responsible for the work among the farmers he decided he would have to spend time getting acquainted with farming and spent a whole year full time farming. The association had an old school building that was used to educate farmers who were returning to the farms, and a school for ecology. Being again close to the mountains he remembered  his own dead father. He walked again the earth barefooted, it  felt so soft and comfortable. The work was hard but there was great satisfaction, and he regretted not having done this earlier.

The Free Trade Act has opened the market to all the countries which will bring hardships to the farmers. He feels strongly that this was a lack of responsibility on the part of the government and repercussions will follow in the life of the nation. He also sees this affecting our spiritual life. His work he sees as sacramental in being one with the old people, and helping them to continue on the farms.

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