Posted by: Drew Sutton | January 23, 2009

Creation Sainthood

“A tree gives glory to God by being a tree.  For in being what God means it to be it is obeying God…  This particular tree will give glory to God by spreading out its roots in the earth and raising its branches into the air and the light in a way that no other tree before or after it ever did or will do…The pale flowers of the dogwood outside this window are saints.  The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of the road are saints looking up into the face of God.  This leaf has its own texture and its own pattern of veins and its own holy shape, and the bass and trout hiding in the deep pools of the river are canonized by their beauty and their strength. 

The lakes hidden among the hills are saints, and the sea too is a saint who praises God without interruption in her majestic dance.

The great, gashed, half-naked mountain is another of God’s saints…”  Thomas Merton,  New Seeds of Contemplation

Thomas Merton the great contemplative writer of the 1950’s and 60’s give us a magnificent reminder that a tree being a tree and a mountain being a mountain, reveals God’s beauty and our responsibility to Creation.  It also helps to reframe and reconsider the destruction that is happening to these saintly figures in Creation. But what happens when Creation no longer is able to be the saints God has called it to be.? The tainted air poisons the tree that breathes.  The trees cease to exist because they have been cut down. The canonized seas richly filled with God’s Creation, becoming more and more depleted are simply vast reminders of what was.  The mountain minded for coal, the land stripped of its nutrients, the gifts of Creation no longer capable of displaying their beauty due to over consumption, abuse and destruction. 

As a new day is upon us at the beginning of a new year, a new administration and a new opportunity to grow in deeper communion with one another and with God’s Creation, the NCC-Eco Justice Program has several ways for us to help remind people of the beauty of creation.  We’ve been advocating for Senate Bill 22 that seeks to protect land in Wyoming and West Virginia. The bill has passed the Senate.  Thank you for your support and we will need to continue to build support as the bill goes before the House.  Keep an eye  both here on the blog and the NCC Eco-Justice Website for updates on how to continue to protect the land in Wyoming and West Virginia.

Also look into the NCC’s Christian Principles to a Healthy Body and Spirit that loo Creks into the chemicals and toxins used in products that harm humans and other elements ofation.  These principles help us to better care for ourselves while protecting others within the saintly order of Creation.

By being more intentional in the way we live and the way we observe the world we can continue leading people to see the world as Merton saw Creation; the trees, flowers, lakes, mountains revealing the beauty of God in their sainthood.

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