Horrendous floods, devastating tornados, blistering fires, violent earthquakes – is Mother Nature raging at all the abuse she has suffered through our lack of compassion for the earth?
How does ‘Mother Earth’ survive the high levels of pollution our factories and automobiles spew into her air? How do her rivers, lakes and oceans survive the waste people so thoughtlessly throw into her waters? How can she breathe when forests are stripped from her soil?
Amidst this planetary turmoil, innocent people suffer the loss of loved ones, their homes, their identity, their self-esteem, their treasures and history. People cry out from their pain wondering how they will survive such loss. My heart grieves with them.
As I sat holding the suffering of our world, a passage from Teresa of Avila came to me:
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world.”
With that thought, came the picture of a child being lifted from the earth-quake rubble and holding tightly to the man who helped rescue her. I remembered pictures of neighbors embracing neighbors. I remembered my neighborhood sending a pick-up truck to Louisiana filled with items to say we care. I remembered the constant danger of fire fighters hearing one say “this is what we do for others”.
This is how we survive!
As Teresa said 500 years ago, we are the hands, the feet, and the heart of Christ in our world today. As contemplative men and women, the Love we contemplate moves us to reach out to all of creation with love.
My hope and prayer this September is that we allow ourselves to be touched by the chaos and devastation our world is experiencing and that we become the instruments of compassion our world needs.