Thursday, April 9, 2015

Living the Simple Life

Earthly life is a one time event and precious; we enjoy seeing life in its many varieties. All life makes efforts to maintain itself. Plants adapt to the rain, winds and sun, and send their roots down into the earth; propagating themselves with the seeds that they send back into the earth. Animals do the same, they make all the necessary efforts to propagate even at temperatures at 90 degrees below zero, as does the female and male emperor penguins, taking turns in caring for the young.

The 20th century gave us a great deal of hope but in the 21st we are beginning to notice the problems of our earth. Looking over the analysis and statistics we are  riding on a bus in which the  breaks are giving us trouble. These are the words of a professor at the Taegu Catholic University and the head of the Human Spirituality Center in the diocese.He writes about the  problems we face in this 21st century in an essay in the Catholic Times.

He wants us to look at the area of Admont around the famous abbey, the surrounding area and the whole  Country of Austria with a population of 8 million--  a  little smaller than South Korea. Even without trade with other countries they are self sufficient. They make efforts to maintain a clean environment, separating the trash for recycling, and the garbage, and willing to accept penalties for failure to do so.

No matter the efforts there is no guarantee they will  receive what they seek for the neighboring countries influence their own efforts. They are  still struggling with the refugees from the recent war in a neighboring country.

We are given certain limitations in our development and we need to keep this in mind. There are limits in space and conditions that we need to follow or we will pay a price. Buddhism and other advanced religions  have seen the  need for an understanding of voluntary poverty-- the simple life--  to prevent us from destroying ourselves.

Pressure is on us to make the change. He recommends we not only be attached to this earthly life, but keep our eyes on the resurrected life that Jesus has promised us, and desire it with a stronger faith. This hope will give us the  strength and  courage to accept the limitation of this life and do what is necessary to solve the problems with our environment.

He concludes the essay by telling us there is no need to spell out  what  needs to be done, for we all know deep in our hearts what is necessary, the problem is to do it.

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