About us
Daily Reflections
Special Issues

Mailing list
Bookmark this site

Daily Reflections Earth Healing

Daily Reflections
by Al Fritsch, S.J.

A series of written meditations and reflections

Help to keep Earth Healing Daily Reflections online

Read current month's Daily Reflections
Table of Contents: Daily Reflections

May, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Al Fritsch


Bookmark and Share


Spring garden
Cultivated irises at a Kentucky homestead.
(photo: Janet Powell)

                                                           Reflections May, 2012


                                          Mild is the virtue, beauty the quality mark,

                                            Delicate like a New Fire's first-lit spark;

                                          Iris, glorifier of the fifth month,

                                             Ancient messenger of the gods.


                                          Flowers like multi-hued rainbows earth-bound,

                                            Too bright, tulips; too humble, lilies of the valley;

                                          Too outrageous, peonies; too temporary, locust;

                                            Too faint, blueberries; too hidden, blackberries.


                                          Divine-designed iris in prime blooming time!

                                            We find them where we put them years ago,

                                          Faithfully returning, ever so faithful;

                                            Brave survivors of winter winds once again.


                                          Irises herald and greet summer's heat,

                                            Stout stalks waving with the breeze;

                                          They love the sun, well, some sun,

                                            Foretelling a sweaty season just begun.

Follow our latest works and events!
Connect with Al Fritsch &
Earth Healing at:








May in Kentucky
Celebration of May 1st.
 (*photo credit)

May 1, 2012   
How Do We Make May Day a Worker's Day?


              During much of the 20th century, May Day was regarded by the Soviet Union and its associates as a time to celebrate the worker.  In much the same manner, on Labor Day we in America celebrate workers and take a critical look at labor safety and justice conditions.  However, let's look beyond worker safety to other related issues.       


              In-sourcing: An effort is being made to return jobs to America and bring back some businesses using the incentives of skilled labor, lower-priced natural gas, proximity to markets, and lower transportation costs -- and more recent tax benefits proposed or real in certain parts of the country.  Productivity is high per unit of product, and the patriotic incentive of "Made in America" cannot be discounted.  Yes, new job creation is restricted by use of computers, robots, and labor-saving higher tech machinery.


              Infra-structure construction: Considering that our country should never tolerate unemployment, the answer is to tax the wealthy and corporate profits and deductions, and use proceeds to create WPA-type jobs that will equal the workmanship of the post-Great Depression programs.  No doubt the work is needed today and we certainly have willing workers; it is the funding that demands a national willingness to get the financial resources from the coffers of the tax havens.


              Skills and technical training:  The above in-sourcing phenomenon can only continue to flourish if we have skilled people, because the age of workers pushing buttons or putting in one set of bolts on an assembly line is fast disappearing.  When a robot replaces a barely thinking person, the likelihood is an unemployed and unskilled worker.  Certainly some new skills can be taught the under- or unemployed and should be a governmental priority in order to raise the level of employment capacity in our country.


              Job Fairs are perfect May events, and a component in getting more people employed -- since several million jobs are to be filled at this time -- and the challenge is to get people to move to the job and not the other way around.  Yes, fill job slots that are currently going begging for the sake of the entire economy.  Why look outside of our country?  Make the opportunities available to more and more of our willing workers.


              Out-sourcing volunteers, especially in health and education fields, could give valuable experience to new graduates and also benefit poorer nations through the skills of these willing

people.  Government grants to help forgive college loans could be part of this volunteer program, for many are under stress to repay loans when other expenses take an intolerable toll on nerves.  


              Prayer: Lord, allow us to think about creating programs that benefit those willing and able to work, and to address worker opportunities with a fresh sense of urgency.













Summer into Autumn
Old milk jug in Kentucky creek, much-needed work to be done in collecting such rubbish.  

(*photo credit) 


May 2, 2012    Is There Enough Work for Every American?


              The right to employment is part of the right to livelihood, and our government is the ultimate guarantor of this right when private job openings are limited.  In these uncertain times millions of unskilled workers have been replaced by robots -- and the productivity per worker keeps rising.  Is there enough work to go around for everyone?  The following are six arenas that may allow for a fully employed work force:


             1. Subsidize home and pre-school care for infants, elderly, and all home-bound.  Every home-care giver deserves a living wage because the good of our people demands that those in need of constant care have dedicated caregivers who earn their keep.  This removes many from institutional care, and those benefiting could include half the 17 million American un- or underemployed.  All pre-schoolers deserve approved experienced guardians in home facilities -- and paid by governmental funds.


              2. Keep the under 21 year olds in training (in many cases technical school for acquiring meaningful work skills) until 18 years of age and thus keep dropouts out of the potential labor pool.  Through subsidy encourage the 18- to 20-year-olds to continue in skills training for at least two additional years at public expense; that could be less than $50 billion in costs -- easily met by savings from reducing military personnel numbers.


              3. Reintroduce Conservation Corps for young people after formal schooling so that they can gain access to experience that will be needed in the future.  Forest management, trail-making, eradication of invasive species, road beautification, urban forestry projects, surface mining and brown fields reclamation, park improvement, and heritage building enhancement are just some things that could keep a million youngsters meaningfully employed.


              4. AmeriCorps and Peace Corps expansion could take several hundred thousand newly graduated college students with reduction or elimination of debts through years of service overseas.


              5. Renewable Energy Development would only require that a level subsidy field be given by Federal policies to wind, solar and other renewables in contrast to current fossil fuels favoritism.  In fact, renewables would be enhanced, and upward to a million more people employed (often privately) through a carbon tax that could be directed to renewable projects.


              6. WPA-Type Infrastructure Improvement could give work to at least one millions workers in road maintenance, bridge replacement, airport expansion, waterway upgrading, flood control, and other related projects so vitally needed today.  The monuments still serviceable in post-Depression projects could be replicated today.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to use our ingenuity to connect people, jobs, and funds for the good of all people.












Kentucky Spring 2012
Finding a nest of turkey eggs in the forest.
 (*photo credit)


May 3, 2012   Isn't It Time to Conquer Tropical Diseases?


              Several times we have reflected on failure to give attention to tropical diseases that afflict the poorest of the poor in distant Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  Part of the problem in the past is that the drugs were not affordable by those in need, and the "free" market lacked incentive to do tropical disease research. 


              Cancer and affluent diseases are quite well funded; however, the tropical diseases offer high potential "bang for the buck." In 2000, the Millennium Development goals focused on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and the doubling of funds from 2001 to 2008 brought a decline in malaria by one quarter.  In 2000, about $6 billion were given for global health-related efforts and even with the Great Recession this has climbed to about $28 billion in 2011, with U.S. bilateral aid accounting for over a quarter of this amount (Reference: The Economist, February 4, 2012, p. 65).  However, much of this rise in global health funds has been directed to middle income nations with the overall giving for poorer nations somewhat flat since 2008.


              In January, 2012 the World Health Organization and a number of major governmental and private funding groups including the Gates Foundation agreed to focus on ten of the worst of these tropical diseases (e.g. sleeping sickness) that either kill or sap the energy of the afflicted regions in which one billion unfortunate victims live.  What potential donors are starting to realize is that even though only a relatively minor amount of money goes for tropical disease, immense results can and do follow.  An MIT study found that treating intestinal worms can cost as low as fifty cents per person; general benefits and even school attendance could be greatly improved in many of these countries for low initial outlays of money.  The United Nations, national aid and private foundations and private donors are all coming to the conclusion that the time is right for tropical disease work.  


              We have noted in past reflections that the Carter Center at Atlanta, Georgia has helped reduce and bring under control the Guinea worm affliction in West Africa, through a combination of better medication and sanitation -- an unusual mark of success.  The other targeted tropical diseases deserve equal attention.  As for treatment, it is found that some can be treated simultaneously with drugs for diseases such as elephantiasis and river blindness.  However, even providing free drugs through assistance programs does not mean they will be used properly or on a regular basis as required, and some critics say that blanketing regions with certain drugs will only lead to drug-resistant varieties springing up -- and thus the need for better monitoring and treatment programs.


              Prayer: Lord, help us see those who are in great need and to show a global compassion to bring about tropical disease control and treatment.















Kentucky Spring 2012
Wild blue phlox, Phlox divaricata, Madison Co., KY.
 (*photo credit)


May 4, 2012    Do Super PACs Destroy Our Democratic Process?


              On May Fellowship Day we are shocked again by the immense corroding effect of big money or "Super PACs" on American democratic process.  This new word is rapidly becoming familiar in our lexicon and practical politics. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court made an awesome (to many of us, "awful") decision in the now infamous Citizens United case.  Independent funds could not be limited in federal elections, and this opened the floodgates for massive amounts of undisclosed funds going through subterfuges with anonymous names to tear down or build up targeted candidates.  And of course the mass media reveled in this new-found income that could spell victory or defeat for one or other person regardless of qualifications.  Money and cleverness of promotion spells victory. 


              In 2012, the spectacle has moved to one of downright wanton disregard for the electorate.  The superrich have power through the money in the media to decide on the one who ought to be elected and a complacent electorate obeys the well-funded favorites.  This occurs to such a degree that the democratic process is subverted.  The U.S. Public Interest Research Group calculates that the super PACs in the first two years of existence raised $181 million, and since the initial writing has most likely gone far past $200 million.  This money was given by a very small number (perhaps fewer than 200 of the undertaxed and profligate superrich -- whose salvation demands to be shaved down to average citizen size).  In fact, half the funds come from as few as 37 people giving as much as a half million dollars each.  Recall that casino magnate Sheldon Alderson and wife gave $10 million this year to Newt Gingrich. 


              A lethargic electorate will view with little reflection what they see on the TV screen, and when the message is repeated enough times with convincing voices and visuals the gullible are taken in once more.  This glib approach to information gathering and vote deciding allows the power of the super PACs to be realized even when the elections are local or statewide.  One candidate who the rich decided upon is the one who is best able to handle the interests of the funding source -- and democracy erodes all the faster.  Beat down this person; build up that one.  If such a pessimistic outlook is anticipated then the super PAC has become an instrument of devastating effect and can ruin the election process


              Super PAC special interests are hardly ever environmental ones, for environmental corrections are often costly and cut into corporate profits.  Super PACs are most effective in four areas of our corporate "free market" economy, namely, the military-industrial complex, big banks and financial institutions that "must not fail," Big Energy and lax regulations, and the big drug and health insurance conglomerates.  These four, plus their revolving door lobbyists of ex-legislators and associates, can bring ruin to our democratic process.  How long will we allow superrich mischief?


              Prayer: Lord, give us backbones to stand up against unfair practices that harm our people.



















Kentucky Spring 2012
Dwarf larkspur, Delphinium tricorne.
 (*photo credit)


May 5, 2012   Are Earthhealers to Be Exemplary Good Samaritans?


              And who is my neighbor? (Luke 10:29)


              At various times we tend to restrict neighborhood to those closer to us -- and that occurs when we are aware that we have limited resources to share with others, whether those resources be time or energy or material goods.  However, occasionally the needs of those far more distant seem far greater than those nearer to home and thus we strive to extend our concern outward to them.  We even find ourselves asking whether in choosing one area of concern over another we are hardening our hearts to some.  We realize that past sufferings of others may hurt us; future limits caused by our indebtedness in resource use will haunt us; and present suffering challenges our discernment and endurance.  The degree of compassion is a key.


     Jesus shows us how to be with others in their current suffering -- through immediate compassion that is shown to those who appeal to him in person.  The Scriptures speak through example of Jesus' response forthrightly given to a wide variety of people he encounters in his journeys.  We strive to be more Christlike.  Our lived experiences are certainly different, but that should not stop us from first seeing sufferers as the Good Samaritan does with the robbed victim; the Good Samaritan takes what supplies he has at hand (oil and wine) and gives immediate assistance to the sufferer; he then continues by taking this person to the inn for rest and even pays the fee for his lodging.  But this is not sufficient; he makes a commitment to do more, and thus says he will return and ensure the person's needs have been met.


              Jose Laguma  ("taking Stock of Reality," CJ Booklets, #143 2012) says Christianity gives a possible utopia that is both place and way.  He quotes the Salvatorian martyr Ignacio Ellacuria as having three moments of reality: noetic moment, taking stock of reality; ethical moment, taking responsibility for reality; and praxis moment, taking charge of reality.  These three appear to be similar to our various descriptions of Earthhealing as the HERE, or the acknowledgment of the existing situation; the NOW, or the decision to take responsibility and act with compassion; and the WE, or the commitment to undertake the healing in a spirit of collaboration with all people of good will.


              Within the movement towards teamwork we see that our ability as a social unit is handicapped by addictions we suffer as a people.  Thus, the WE now undergoes the larger incorporation of a Higher Power, without whom we will not achieve the results we seek.  The insatiable appetite of the consumer culture leaves people constantly striving for more material things.  We cannot act.  Desolation in our inability leads to further acknowledgment of imperfections, and compassion leads to seeking a more spiritual solidarity among believers. 


              Prayer: Lord, help us see those in need, respond immediately, and continue our concern through commitment to joint healing action.













Around Kentucky
Asiatic dayflower, an aggressive exotic pest, invades improperly tended vineyards.  
 (*photo credit)


May 6, 2012  Is Addressing Excessive Consumerism Like Vinedressing?


              Whoever remain in me and I in them will bear much fruit.

                                        (John 15: 1-8)


     Vine Sunday hits close to home, for I was taught vinedressing from my father who would trim the vine twice, once in early spring before the vines grew, and once in mid-summer to allow the grape clusters to mature without extra unproductive vines.  Jesus mentions this twofold practice in the Gospel of John passage.  We are vines connected to the root of Christ, and we know that to detach a vine from the total plant causes it to quickly wilt.  When close to Christ, we are like productive vines; we need to see the dead wood of excessive consumerism (unneeded material products) removed by the pruning tool in spring, and then the later growth (wasteful types of goods) trimmed still further in our summertime of life.  By careful use of material things we are drawn away from a consumer-based economy to become a spiritually fruitful people.


              The analogy of proper plant care is interesting:

              * Vines need nutrients and moisture in order to thrive, while we need a connectedness to Christ through prayer and sacraments;

              * Vines must be protected against the rash elements, and we need the Lord's protection against worldly temptations, including excessive material goods;

              * Vines are expected to bear much fruit at the harvest time, and we bear fruit as part of the community of believers;

              * Vines are expected to yield grapes for years to come, and we are expected to help build a future New Heaven and New Earth; and

              * Vines have their natural beauty, and so do those who conserve and use resources properly.


              We are part of the total community, the vineyard of the Lord.  The long history of our Church is one of connectedness as revealed in the marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic, and apostolic).  Unity and holiness are part of our mission.  We are connected through the ages back to the Apostles, and being connected today with our Pope.  At confirmation I am touched by someone who was anointed by someone back to Christ; in our world today I know someone who knows someone who knows the Pope, Christ's visible representative.  We are connected in space (universally) and in time (for 2,000 years).       


              Excessive consumerism distracts us from our important mission of furnishing fruit.  God is our vinedresser and we, as vines, need the nourishment furnished by the Lord.  We need the spiritual connection with Christ, and through discernment we come to realize that consumer products are deadening and wasteful, distracting us from the spiritual mission at hand.  Our fruitful efforts are expected to be here and now for others to see and follow; they are also meant for the future and thus we must trim them so that others may benefit in the future.  Well-tended vines are meant to last.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to be fruitful vines and in becoming fruitful to be changed into those who care for other vines.












Around Kentucky
A quiet place for a backyard garden.  
 (*photo credit)


May 7, 2012  Can an Herb Garden Be a Place of Prayer?


              This spring our three-acre parish grounds are being gradually transformed into an edible landscape, that is, one that furnishes food for residents and feed for some wildlife.  To see this through we have enlisted the services of a local Boy Scout troop, the supervisors of whom will follow through to completion.  Currently we have transformed about half of the lawn space into fruit trees, a blueberry patch, and several garden plots.  We protect the bases of our eight varieties of fruit trees with plastic guards, and we ring garden plots with rows of mustard to discourage rabbits from entering these areas.  All the while we want to make this a community project and the grounds a meditative garden with a variety of produce.


              The intention is to expand the current stands of herbs among salad greens: perennial mint (two types), oregano, and garlic; and annual parsley, basil, dill, and cilantro.  In addition to these now in place we intend to add a number of the biblical herbs along with native and locally grown ones with the assistance of our active local Garden Thyme Herb Club.  We intend to add chervil, chicory, cumin, feverfew, horehound, horseradish, lavender, lemon balm, nettle, fennel, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, and others.


              Previously we were hesitant to include the parish grounds in a neighborhood project due to supposed limitations on church insurance coverage.  Furthermore, we sought to avoid damage whether by leaving church doors open or by inviting the neighbors to the garden space, since the well-equipped local recreational park space has been damaged by vandals -- the price for openness.

However, we were encouraged by other groups changing their grounds to meditative garden space and this becoming an integral part of church ministry.  Our grounds are an ideal space for stimulating all senses to experience "sacred space:" sight of the surrounding mountains; sound of bees and crickets along with local birds; smell of the more aromatic herbs; occasional offerings of taste of the herbal plants and nearby fruits and berries; and of feeling of the breeze and sunshine.  We have declared the outdoors as part of church activities, and thus included the garden space as meditative grounds available as an outreach project for all the people.


              Improving and maintaining such physical facilities will take some effort.  The entrance is to be clearly marked and the walking space must be hardened enough to allow for elderly with walkers and wheelchairs.  The beds will be bordered over time and the plots prepared and plants identified by signage.  In due time better approaches will be built as well as benches installed.  The final product will need to be promoted on a local communitywide level and some effort to ensure that the park is not vandalized -- and that is always the ultimate challenge.


      Prayer: Lord, teach us to extend the "Holy Land" to our backyards and to make these into places of prayer and reflection.


















Rose pink, Sabatia angularis
Rose pink, Sabatia angularis, Knox Co., KY.
 (*photo credit)


May 8, 2012        Does Coal Have a Future?


              Sitting within sight of a major coal-haul railroad-switching center in America, in the number-two coal-producing nation, it is perhaps a perfect place to ponder the future of coal.  For a number of years the Sierra Club has had a coal-fired powerplant project and count about forty closures.  What about factors that will hasten or retard these closures?


              *  True electricity-generation costs: Is the coal really as cheap as all think and pay in current electricity production, or are we deferring some costs to future generations, namely, immediate air pollution effects, reclamation of land, ash deposition, and long-term respiratory health costs?


              * Health costs: In an age of escalating health costs, will society require coal extraction to bear its fair load of expenses without subsidies and tax incentives and breaks?


              * Land disturbances through surface mining: This has had major environmental impacts and the need for reclamation will add large extra costs if properly paid for today.


              * Ash deposit problems: Could the burnt coal residue be turned into concrete and other products, and avoid deposits that are worrisome to nearby residents when allowed to escape?


           * Accessible alternative sources: Will renewable energy sources (especially wind), along with natural gas from newly technically feasible fracking operations make other fuels more worthwhile and continue the current trend of closing down old and cancellation of construction of new coal-fired power plants? 


              * Global trends: If the trend is true in America, does use of coal in electricity production follow that trend in China and India and other nations; rather are they not moving full steam to mining and importing ever larger quantities of the black gold?


              * Competition with natural gas: It appears in most recent research that natural-gas-drilling escape is double what was though, and is closer to 4% of total amount drilled.  Since methane is about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide greenhouse gas, it means that the two fossil-fuel sources are about equal or even slightly worse for natural gas after all factors are considered.


              Future technologies: Is it possible to effect gasification of coal in situ without major land disturbance or external pollutant escape?  It most likely is wishful thinking.  Certainly coal emission capture procedures are being tried, but how successful can they be without expenses that make coal uncompetitive?


              Prayer: Lord, give us the courage to discern future trends regardless of the complexity of the situation.















Lady bird beetle, blending in among pebbles along Lake Superior.
 (*photo credit)


May 9, 2012  Is Admitting "Through My Fault" Part of Earthhealing?   


              In the revised church liturgy text initiated in November, 2011, we are encouraged to use a longer confessional text for the beginning of the Mass.  On further reflection I became convinced that this text ought to be used more often.  In saying more than "Lord have mercy" all members of the congregation strike their breasts three times and say that these misdeeds were through "my fault."  Yes, for some this is a weekly experience that is utterly different from an "innocent" American culture where it is always the other guy's fault.  It is a world of perfect performance, perfect children, perfect friends, perfect ME.  This is a fault.


              Know ourselves.  We are the wrongdoers and we admit this before the congregation, an act that is embarrassing, and on top of this we are admitting our faults before the entire heavenly court.  We need cleansing so we can proceed with the Liturgy; we seek the warm embrace of a merciful forgiving God.


              Act responsibly.  The state of being forgiven is a moment of liberation, a freeing from the bonds of sin so that we can act in a more effective manner and truly join wholeheartedly into the celebration, without reserve.  Here we see that we help make up for what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ.  We help repair the damages done by becoming more perfectly united to Christ.


            Commit ourselves for others.  In freedom we are prepared for the work that is ahead of us.  We are to extend the Word through spreading the Good News and the love of Christ through the deeds we do for others.  We commit ourselves to improve our work over time.


              Being immersed in our culture, we fail to see that faults, in fact every personal fault, create social disorder which need to be rectified.  In healing our wounded Earth it is not sufficient that we merely stop performing misdeeds; we must also repair the collateral damage that persists after we cease wrongdoing.  These repairs were the many additional fasting and prayers that were recognized throughout the Church's history and are real even today.  The original concept of indulgence (certainly not a freedom to commit sin as some falsely said) was to help restore the world to a proper order.  In time this concept became misapplied.


              Cap and trade is based on this false concept of indulgence, namely, one is permitted to continue practices provided others make the restitution that is needed.  Here the wealthy get off by paying others to be more socially responsible and less polluting.  It is far worse than previous misunderstandings, for here the trader is removed from social responsibility by paying a group that will do doubly much to repair the damages done by the trader's misdeeds.  However, a socially responsible theology must acknowledge our own faults and we must resolve to make proper restitution. 


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to take responsibility for our own actions and not try to load them off onto others.


















Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia
Joy of springtime in Appalachia: the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia.
 (*photo credit)


May 10, 2012   How Do We Rejoice in Springtime Joy?


         You crown your year with your bounty,

            abundance flows wherever you pass;

            the desert pastures overflow,

            the hillsides are wrapped in joy,

            the meadows are dressed in flocks,

            the valleys are clothed in wheat,

            what shouts of joy, what singing!

                                       (Psalm 65:11-13)


              We are often using the term "joy" in the Christmas and Easter major feast, but should not this special characteristic of who we are be reflected throughout the seasons and the year?  Maybe we need to go out on a hike and simply enjoy what we see in the landscape, the sound of the birds and bees, the feel of the warm sun, the smell of earth and flowers, and the taste of a wild strawberry or any edible thing in season.


              Experiencing joy a day after reflecting on our own faults is most fitting, for we are people who know how our misdeeds have been forgiven, and we are enabled to help repair damages.  We know that the beauty of creation still shines through -- for God's forgiveness is expressed in the verdant land.  The month of May is when vegetation covers over the scars of a landscape, and we affirm with joy that earth is made anew to the glory of God.


              The following is my reflection found in the book featuring Warren Brunner's photographs, Mountain Moments (Acclaim Press, 2010).  Pick up a copy and see the pictures.  One is of a little girl who is running down a hill, photographed by Warren in her first chance to run after a bout at being an invalid -- what joy!  Mobility, whether fleeting clouds, or growing plants, or winging nestlings, or bolting colts, or humans free of faults are all moments of joy -- and God enjoys every moment of it.


              All creatures exude joy.  Why not?   They exist and that is cause for joy.  Spring showers, summer rain, autumn mist and winter snow all show joyful moments.  The sun sends smiling beams on the hills and warms them so they smile in return.  The winds and breezes speak more loudly and the rivers clap their hands as well.  This is more than poetic license.  All nature has a bounce that cannot help but infect those who reside here.  This happy surrounding is enough to make us smile and delight in what God has given us.  St. Francis sees it in brother sun and sister moon; so ought we.  We smile with Earth and all its parts but more -- we can freely articulate this joy through prayers of praise and good works for others.  Let's get all to smile and enjoy life itself.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to express joy in smiles, and greetings, and encouragement to others, and just spending time in springtime in the wonder of your creation.




















Via Dolorosa, Station 1: Where Jesus was condemned to death
Via Dolorosa, Old City, Jerusalem.
(*photo by Annemarie Angelo, Creative Commons)


May 11, 2012  Why Declare the Holy Land a Pilgrimage Destination?


              A host of reasons make us inclined to declare the Holy Land in the Middle East a global destination, which many could seek to find once in a lifetime.  In so doing all contribute to the cause of global peace.  Twenty years ago this spring I made my only visit to this part of the world as a participant of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.  Memories are still fresh.  


              Culture in the Holy Land bubbles over.  Here in the Middle East is the focal point of three world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Many of the over half the world's believers are followers of the Book; they would like to see holy sites at least once in their own lives.  If every person were given such an opportunity just once it would mean a million pilgrims every month of the year continuously being repeated -- and others would perhaps want to return a second or third time.


             Pilgrimage is a form of tourism with a religious goal in mind.  At this junction of three continents modern land, air, and sea travel are available.  For those who cannot journey, a virtual series of DVDs and television programs are available and this can give some pilgrim experience much like making the "stations of the cross."  I have just completed The Holy Land in Colour by Sami Awwad and this brought back memories from that sole 1992 trip.  We know that Muslims desire to make the Hajji, a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca; why not extend this to the holy Jerusalem location as well?  And why should not Jews scattered elsewhere and all Christians strive for that one lifetime experience as well?


              Economics of such pilgrimages would benefit all parties.  From an economic standpoint this is an opportunity for local residents to run lodging, food, transport, guidance, and souvenir services.  Services and travel impact the environment less than a purely consumer culture of material goods.  Yes, energy is expended, especially in air travel, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime expense.


              Global fellowship and world peace would be enhanced by this interreligious effort of a common destination.  This keeps down the horror of one group wanting to exterminate another or that one group has exclusive rights in what should belong to all: a land commons to be shared by all.


              Earthhealing ministry, often regarded in local terms, could have a global outreach as do global tours to a multitude of places.  Recognition of the Holy Land as a global asset and destination would have a healing effect and a reordering of global priorities.  In sharing the Holy Land we worship one God -- the ultimate mission to promised people that has not been rescinded.  We reaffirm that oneness when we consider the pilgrimage as a singular action even though ultimate sites would be different.


              Prayer: Lord, allow all people of faith the opportunity to renew their spiritual wellsprings and thus become Earthhealers.



















Spring beauty, Claytonia virginica
All bases covered. Spring beauty, Claytonia virginica.
 (*photo credit)


May 12, 2012    Is Earthhealing Primarily Practical?       


     It has been fifty years since Rachel Carson presented us with Silent Spring in 1962, and a lot of water has run under the bridge since then.  Once a season we reflect on Earthhealing as a broad concept of repairing a wounded world.  Is Earthhealing primarily application of existing principles and methods of reclamation, or is there more?  I did mostly practical work at the primary level after helping to co-found the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, DC in 1970, and then spent a quarter of a century (1977-2002) directing an appropriate technology demonstration center in Kentucky (ASPI).  Practicality was my primary concern along with raising funds through environmental resource assessments in various parts of our country. 


              While experiential work is utterly necessary I hesitate to say that it is so primary that reflection and theory are to be shortchanged.  Rather, we need cycles of active work at the practical level and periods of active reflection on that work, to come to more encompassing levels of understanding and action.  Earthhealing is a global task; it is not the brain child of the erudite but must be grounded in experience at the grassroots level.  You cannot treat Earth unless you first touch Earth -- and thus in older age when far less mobile and energetic, I still must garden in order to keep communion with earthen matter.


              The healer must always think of practice as requiring two components: actively healing self in order to be honest about what one is able to do as a healer; and actively extending the healing to the broader world in which we find ourselves immersed.  Teaching does not come first and then we apply what we teach or learn; teaching is secondary and follows from gaining experience and then wanting to demonstrate that experience to others.  Jesus healed and Jesus taught but the pastoral healing experience fashioned the manner and content of this teaching.  Healing and teaching go hand- in-hand, but it is the healing that allows us to experience Earth.  Without reflecting on hands-on healing, meaningful teaching will be devoid of needed application to other people


              This brings us to the third level of our Earthhealing process, namely, the teamwork needed for solving current problems.  The crisis is not due to failure to understand the problem at a basic level; it stems from our failure to acknowledge our addictions.  Once these are seen as socially dysfunctional, then we discover our need for assistance from others -- and a Higher Power.  This then makes the environmental crisis a crisis of lack of trust and love.  We find that we need the help of others for our individual work, and the expanse and effectiveness of this work, depends on our love and fidelity.  And this love is of divine origin.  These insights demand reflection and the practical willingness to surrender ourselves to trust in God for the sake of genuine earthhealing.


              Prayer: Lord, keep us practical, but allow a precious pause to reflect and to focus us on where we are going.

















Summer into Autumn
Two bronze frogs (Rana clamitans clamitans) share a shady spot.
 (*photo credit)


May 13, 2012   Why Does Earthhealing Involve Loving People?


              This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.

                                    (John 15:12)


              Today's readings give us a sign of a loving God who watches over all of us and expects our love in return.  The love knows no national boundaries and shows no partiality (Acts 10); the source of love is God who first loved us (I John 4:7-10).  Jesus calls us friends and commands us to love and bear fruit that will remain.  Furthermore, this vocational mandate includes an empowerment, for God will give us the means to do what we are called to do.


              Accepting social blame involves love.  The heart of the ministry of Earthhealing is an atmosphere of love that is environmental in scope.  Within this ministry we discover what the Lordship of the Resurrection is about as it pertains to our being empowered to work with and for the Lord.  Acknowledging our own contribution as social beings to the addictions before us means that we are part of the total mystery out of which mercy and love must flow.  The crisis is not directing blame to other parties; it acknowledges that we are all at fault either in what we have done or have failed to do.  Blame becomes something social.


              A mother's love is a special reflection on Mother's Day and a mother's special loving care.  Our mothers certainly come to mind, and the love, care, and devotion with which they brought us into the world.  Furthermore, the love of Christ takes us naturally to his own mother, who shows a loving sense of ushering her new-found son into the world and caring for him in his early years.  Mary's Magnificat is a mother's love story, a revolutionary movement filled with gratitude, devotion, and responsibility to bring him to the world.  This poor maiden opens for the poor the promise that they will be as instrumental in bringing about profound change in our world.


              Earthhealing knows no boundaries, nor any targeted culprits beyond a social group including our global neighborhood of which we are partly to blame.  Love teaches us how to have a sense of total compassion, for we all share in suffering.  Our Earth commons has been damaged and in need of reclaiming, and thus we are called to be the reclaimers to the degree in which we can participate.  Thus, all reclaimers are Earthhealers in this general designation.  We are to humbly accept our role in the atmosphere of love in which Christ gives us the means to operate.  Earthhealing involves loving what we have to do because we are participating in making the New Heaven and New Earth.  Not only do we acknowledge social blame in a spirit of neighborly love; we accept our responsibility in being with a loving and suffering Christ; we accept our commitment to make restitution also in an atmosphere of love for the good of all. 


              Prayer: Lord, we are to love deeply like you love: universally for all, fundamentally as source of love, willingly as Christ has done for us, and gratefully as being called in friendship to show your goodness in the grateful way we act.















aspi calendar 1
Horselogger Rooster Moran at ASPI field demonstration.
 (*photo credit)


May 14, 2012     Is Pure Libertarianism Unchristian?


              I have previously hesitated in taking up this question of libertarianism due to wanting to remain non-partisan in these reflections.  However, something needs to be said because of the battle to include ecological values in this year's political discussion.  Issues may be private and individual or public and social with lack of our enhancement of social controls.  The libertarian seeks to maximize individual freedom; the more socially minded, social freedom and control. The private (generally wealthy) party with the greater power has the solution to be imposed on the rest.  What makes this discussion more complex is that some elements of libertarianism (freedom to take individual actions without hurting others) are to be championed; and some are simply detrimental to the social order in which we all participate. 


              I recall several decades ago when libertarians sponsored a forest discussions among members of the regional activist Heartwood forest group in Indiana.  Several of us contested the libertarian and privatizing thrust targeting the privatizing of the National Forests that was the hidden agenda of the sponsored meeting -- and several of us exposed the reason for the meeting.  Again, instead of silence or subterfuge, let's address the issue head on.  Libertarians are becoming politically visible and active, and even offer candidates in this election year.  At the heart of the matter is a limit on the social controls so needed in a globalizing world.  The Christian must be not taken up with over privatized or overly communitarian tendencies but hold to the Principle of Subsidiarity, namely, giving to the lowest level the freedom to act on that level when something can better be performed at that level.  Many environmental and financial regulations are best performed at an international or global level.


              Libertarianism in its foundation is finding satisfaction in individuals being left alone and thus free from the burdens of social and ethical responsibilities to others.  Sachs says that two as diverse as Buddha and Aristotle saw flaws in this pure position;  Christians add, so does Jesus in everything that he says in Scriptures.  We are called to be selfless, to find happiness in going out to others, to saving ourselves by sacrificing ourselves.


              One answer to the possibility of a modified "Christian libertarianism" is that few people would admit to be purely libertarian -- and their moderation takes them outside of purview of this reflection; the moment they adjust their motivations and politics to enlightened self-interest (which also has deep flaws), they are no longer purely libertarian but have moved further to the socialized end of the political spectrum.  To become more social not only helps needy neighbors, but also sees this as a means to self-enlightenment through giving satisfaction to others.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to be champions of individual freedom and yet aware of the need for global social controls with good honest government to assist in this mighty work.





















Picture 4175
False solomon's seal,  Smilacina racemosa (left), faces solomon's seal, Polygonatum commutatum, (right).
 (*photo credit)

May 15, 2012   Why Are True Prophets Never Popular?


              True prophets have a hard time whereas false ones are often popular and well-received by both peers and local supporters.  Since politics is the art of the possible, it would seem that authentic prophets who place a conditional "if" on an anticipated action are really working within a political framework.  However, I wonder whether true prophets have ever been elected dog catcher.  Why the difficulty? 


              Authentic prophets seek honesty and purity of the message's content, not popularity.  A revolt is the opposite of conformity that is key to good politics; the prophetic brain is most likely quite different from the politician who does not like resistance.  Most conforming people seek comfort in agreement, and they even regard the prophet as a disturber of the status quo -- a different goal. For the politician the message needs to be compromised and toned down.  A citizenry that denies the current conditions becomes the target of the prophet and not his or her receptive audience.  The prophet seeks to deliver the message even if resisted, and this at any cost.  The key is primarily acceptance of the message, the HERE, not the prophet's person -- though responsible acceptance often includes a judgment on authenticity of the prophet. 


              The prophetic message stands apart from a "success" of the presenter of a word, willing to compromise nothing in order to preserve the genuine message.  On the other hand, agents of change with a more political bent are concerned about immediate implementation, the NOW.  However, prophet and agent must work in tandem for a longer-term solution to the problem at hand.  The prophet announces the news as a John the Baptist; the agent of change goes about a methodical approach to implementing the announced message to the best degree possible and with a sense of urgency.  The purity of the prophetic message must not be compromised; the challenge is for the agent of change to be faithful to the prophetic message. 


              To change one's ways in order to be acceptable is like the Christian being tempted to burn incense at the Roman pagan shrine.   It seems so easy to tweak the system and make a hidden prayer that we really don't mean what we are doing.  Through tweaking, the authentic prophet becomes false and can lead many astray. Honesty has been compromised; truth has to be put in parenthesis, meaning apart from the lived circumstances.  Each of us anointed in Baptism/Confirmation to be priest, prophet, and king need the reflection on how true we are to the pure message we must bring to others.  The prophetic message in these critical times must be preserved from tarnish at all costs, for it takes prophets to challenge deniers of the word.  Truth must be presented to agents of change in a way that preserves its transparency and force.


              Prayer: Lord, preserve our prophets in this age of temptation.  Help them deliver a message that is primarily necessary, not  popular.  Help all to see them within their honesty.


















Picture 4178
A closer look at the (true) solomon's seal (Polygonatum commutatum), in flower.
 (*photo credit)


May 16, 2012  Is the Tenth Commons to Reclaim "In God We Trust?" 


     Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are from God?

                                        Thomas Jefferson                          


       In Reclaiming the Commons we listed nine areas of commons (air, water, land, culture, health, communications, silent space, flow of goods, movement of people), and we did not say the listing was exhaustive.  Upon reflection, our American founding fathers trusted in God, and our national motto was placed in the last stanza of "Star Spangled Banner" composed during the War of 1812; later in 1864 the Secretary of the Treasury shortened the phrase to "In God We Trust" to fit on all American money.  In many ways this motto is part of our commons though some may like to see it erased.


       Commentators say that within one generation Americans have adopted a shocking array of addictive behaviors. The acknowledgement of our condition is the beginning of a multi-step program to address social addictions -- though this may not follow precisely the step-by-step individual programs.  However, we do need to include our trust in a Higher Power and surrender to the divine will.  As social addicts we acknowledge that we have lost control and we need God's help lest we die in our selfish ways.  We must gradually come to trust that God who is all merciful and loving will assist us in the reclamation work we need to do.  No better time to reaffirm this than on Endangered Species Day.


      Breaking the addiction to our consumer culture is not guaranteed.  To heal our wounded culture will take honest work and the admission that we cannot do it alone is a gigantic step in the right direction -- just as addicts must admit the need for others and that ultimately means a Higher Power.  To look to ex-addicts for assistance is to say that the poor are the ones who will lead the battle for change that we must undertake as an addicted people. The heart of the believer's faith rests in not doing it alone or attempting to be little gods who have a power within our natural being to rise through superior intellect to regain control.  In opening ourselves we find Christ with us; we grow in the urgency of the mission, for he guides us.   


      Never before has the mission been so urgent -- and this mission is open to failure or success.  Never before has there been such a threat to human existence (and that of all Earth's flora and fauna).  The demand is for meaningful urgent action, which needs cooperation on the part of all people of good will.  To continue to call for and to make room for this participative action requires people who have a faith in the future, a faith that is nurtured by real spiritual food -- not by symbols, not by play acting.  Our saving work demands the nourishment that only God can give us through the sacramental life.     


              Prayer: Lord, help us to know ourselves and take humble steps to ask your help through repeating "In God we Trust."














June in Kentucky
A heavenward view of billowy clouds.
 (*photo credit)


May 17, 2012   Why Look You up to Heaven?  Why Not Act Now?


              Ascension Thursday is the day we need to move out from our imposed isolation and demonstrate to the world the virtues the Lord asks us to exhibit.  There are many ways to do this (see April 25, 2012 for different ways to demonstrate solidarity publicly).  Public work must go deeper than nervous activism; it embraces the willingness to dedicate our lives to doing our duty to all parties.   A deepening understanding of Earthhealing causes us to rededicate and recommit ourselves to ever more serious responsibilities.


              Are we willing to act?  The disciples were looking up to heaven for the Lord to return quite soon and lead them on the way.  However, it only appeared over time when the imminent coming was apparently delayed.  A deeper level of work that takes more time was involved through the centuries.  A world that seemed to be in the control of foreign and often pagan elements had to be confronted and engaged in a meaningful manner -- and that is not done in a day.  Engagement became a critical issue.  If you don't work you don't eat.  If we are to be part of the mystical body of Christ we are to be engaged through being Christlike in our challenging the powers of the world.  We become the hands and feet; we are engaged in the economy of salvation in a very real manner.  We know the current situation, the HERE, and confront it fully.


              Do we act quickly?  Taking responsibility occurs over a period of time.  Thus we are able to see what needs to be done and to put this into some degree of action ASAP (as soon as possible) or NOW.  We look at the parable of the Good Samaritan who sees a person in need and does something about it.  This is an instant taking of responsibility just as most of us would do when coming upon someone who is hurt.  We could run to escape the scene, but that is not right.  When we respond we do so by direct assistance or we call for assistance on 911 or for help among those around to also assist.  To do something now is what Earthhealing faces today.


              Do we act effectively and generally with others?s?  Here a level ethical responsibility transcends into a longer-term commitment, much like people who make sure the assisted person is careful over time.  This takes assistance from a wider range, or the WE of our society, but it is not a responsibility we abandon to others.  If we assist someone as a Good Samaritan WE are willing to return in a period of time to make sure all is okay with the victim -- and to offer additional assistance if necessary.  This broader range of involvement is needed because victims are not generally cured in an instant; a social cost occurs with misdeeds and these costs are only corrected by longer term solutions that take time and effort. Thus is the effectiveness guaranteed.  In fact, what WE as involved people do is become one with the victim when compassion-for becomes identification-with the victim.  


              Prayer: Lord, teach us the true spirit of the Ascension when Jesus moves on to his heavenly place and leaves us to continue the work he has begun.

















Picture 4235
A glorious May-flowering peony.
 (*photo credit)

 May 18, 2012    Can Millennial Youth Find Fulfillment in Work?                

              When I grew up on the farm we were expected to work from a very young age, since that was the only way the farm could stay viable in the aftermath of the Great Depression.  We had to all pitch in and do our part.  It was unthinkable that we would be allowed total free time or to do what we wanted during much of the summer vacation.  My dad had four expressions that he voiced virtually each morning except Sunday and depending on the season of the year:


              Autumn  -- "The days are getting shorter." (Sept-Nov)

              Winter  -- "The days are short."         (Dec to Feb)

              Spring  -- "There's much work to do." (Mar to May)

              Summer --  "It's going to get hot." (Jun to Aug)


              Should youth be working?  One experience that has made my life more fulfilling was the ability and capacity for work -- the first resulting from required farm work discipline, and the second by virtue of good health.  Today, federal work rules highly restricts youth as to age or type of work -- even forbidding certain types of work to youngsters.  Is this really a good thing or not?  Many jobs ought to be done by older mature folks (especially the un- or underemployed), but a multitude of jobs await fulfillment provided that reasonable compensation be found for these young people.


              Farm work can be dangerous and so the touchy issue of how much youth ought to be involved.  Should the youth be allowed to drive bulldozers or operate chain saws?  Construction work can be as dangerous as farming -- and what about mining and forestry forms of work?  Certainly not every job should be available for youth with so much unemployment of the un- or underskilled.  Risk-taking comes easier with youth because they often think of themselves as invincible and invulnerable; they will take hair-raising risks that older folks would hesitate to try.  As a youngster, I did just such things on occasion -- and they still give me chills. 


      Volunteer work affords youth (even preteens) opportunities to see their work with tangible results and take pride in what they can accomplish.  Trail-making, road and riverbank cleanup, house painting and minor repair, and yard work would be such tasks worthy of youth participation when under proper supervision.  Visiting and assisting in care of senior citizens can have a socializing effect on youth as well.  Domestic chores are good for the early years to teach a sense of responsibility.  Older youth can be employed as baby-sitters, allowing parents to have an evening away; they can run errands for the elderly and shut-ins.  However, declining newspaper popularity means fewer paper-deliverers.  Scouting projects can afford desired work and the feeling of accomplishment this brings.  Attendants at major events and checkout and bagging at supermarkets are teen work prospects as well.  There is much work for all if we just look about.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to value work and see its benefits.
















Newly unfurled fronds of fern. Red River Gorge, KY.
 (*photo credit)


May 19, 2012    Are Modern Robin Hoods Today's Agents of Change?


              We have the rich, we have the poor, and the twain hardly ever meet.  See the April 10th question.  In critical times the Spirit may move us to become Robin Hoods; then we will take from the wealthy and give to the poor.  Do some find such thinking a threat to law and order?  The commons belong to all, and many forms of redistribution are worth exploring.  Taking from the rich for the poor redistributes essentials and opens the formerly wealthy to a chance of salvation.  However, Robin Hoods take on many less dramatic forms that are worth exploring:


        Behind-the-scenes advisors shun individual publicity but attempt to influence public leaders through persuasion.


        Care-givers raise the spirits of the ill and encourage them to be cured and return to active life -- or offer their ongoing sufferings for the salvation of the world.


        Essential takers follow the "Cardinal Frings' Rule" to take from a larger supplier when essentials are needed by the poor. 


        Ghost writers working for leaders can be efficient agents of change in crafting political talks, celebrations, and dedications.


        Global cyber warriors are bent on halting the military or financial activities of enemies through secretive procedures.


        Guerrillas or those fighting in non-organized units for some form of change could also include spies and saboteurs.


        Internet hackers may range from sophomoric nerds to those bent on closing down competition, some for fun, some mean-spirited, and some for greater access to information.


        Media producers perform behind-the-scenes calls for action.


        Moral supporters are parents, relatives, friends or teachers who have a moral influence on another party.


         Prayer partners offer their petitions for supporters who are more publicly active reclaimers of the commons.


        Spiritual counselors and confessors engage people in looking at imperfections that retard them from being public witnesses.


        Teachers and mentors see that the good others can do through influence is an extension of their own philosophy of life.


        An Understanding ear is attached to a person who listens to another and helps them transform their words into deeds.


        Prayer: Lord, teach us to ask critically about the needs of others and to take proper means to bring this about.













Common blue violet,  Viola sororia sororia.
 (*photo credit)


May 20, 2012 Are We Like Christ -- Priests, Prophets, and Kings?


     Go out into the whole world; proclaim the Good News to All Creation. (Mark 16:15)


              The entire creation is the recipient of our work and ministry.  In reality, this going to the world allows us to see the vast scope of our work and how we are to be like Christ and part of Christ's movement into the world.  We must do something and do it now, and not limit the arena of where we act.  Our work springs from the powers vested in our Baptism/Confirmation.


              Prophetic: We have the powers to see, to acknowledge what is wrong in the world, and the willingness to express the truth and take the consequences.  The HERE is what we observe in a face-to- face encounter; we refuse to run from the situation of our world.  The prophet is the one who takes the task at hand to be one of going out and does not hesitate to become involved.  The Spirit moves us to engage a world far beyond our local community, and this engagement breaks the bonds of the vicinity's environment and expands our concept of neighborhood to the entire planet.  Awareness of those who act "locally" must become expansive to all levels of community -- domestic, local, regional, national and global.  By first clearly seeing the situation around us, we can be able to go forth in a prophetic manner to a greater "other."


              Priestly: We are to do more than see; we are to take responsibility and do something that is open and showing a sense of power given.  This power to speak out combines the prophetic with a leadership role, an agent of change, who is willing to spread Good News and to do so in such a manner that the process of change will be hastened.  Proclaiming Good News has immediacy or a NOW to what is seen and must be changed.  The proclaimer accepts the role of being a true catalyst by offering him (her)self for the good of all at the right place and time.  The priestly way is to make offerings or sacrifices (making something holy) and when done compassionately it can have great benefit.  This benefit is extended beyond our community; incorporating our offerings for and with others has an ever expanding ripple effect on healing Earth.


              Kingly: Leadership involves responsibility or responding to a world in need, and that means all creation.  Our leadership is a joint venture, a WE, that embraces the democratic spirit of an entire people who need to learn from and embrace all creation.  One could argue that this is a priestly role but the leadership of teamwork in Earthhealing is so paramount that we prefer to keep this order here.  We must embrace more than one level at the same time in this age of globalization.  While the priest focuses on the individual levels, the kingly role must foster a cooperative gathering of concerned people, and leadership thus takes on a participative manner of global teamwork.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to spread the powers given in our  Baptism/Confirmation to an entire needy world.
















Tributary to Chaplin River, Mercer Co,. KY.
 (*photo credit)


May 21, 2012  Are Renewable Winds Blowing? Waves/Tides Splashing?


              The continued emissions from carbon dioxide will be having an effect, as the window of time for controlling greenhouse gases closes in the coming few years.  While this pessimistic outlook haunts us, a simultaneous optimistic opening of the renewable energy source/energy efficiency window occurs.  Is it fast enough?


         Wind is blowing strongly.  In the year 2011 the installment of wind turbines had a 6% increase over the previous year.  During the year, an additional 41 gigawatts (GW) of wind generated electricity was installed globally (equivalent to 41 nuclear power plants): China had 18 GW; the United States, 6.8; India, 3 GW; and smaller amounts from Germany, UK, Canada, and Spain.  The American increase alone is sufficient to meet energy needs for two million homes.  More and more wind farms are being constructed, and sizeable leases proposed off the East coast near large urban areas.


      Tidal and waves are flowing as well.  The coasts of the U.S. have additional renewable energy sources that are not as popular as wind and solar, but when developed their potential will be great; these are wave and tidal energy resources.  Early this year the U.S. Department of Energy released an assessment report that said that all water-related renewable energy sources (including currently utilized hydropower) could potentially supply 15% of the nation's electrical needs by 2030.  The maximum theoretical electric generation from waves and tidal currents will amount to approximately 1,420 TWh per year, or nearly one-third of the nation's total annual electricity usage.  This opportunity is especially promising among West Coast states.  


      With new renewable facilities on or near the coasts, this nation in the next two decades could meet half of its energy needs with renewables -- and without using the land to do this.  Some may object to obstructions to their private oceanic view but ought to remember that the facilities in many of these cases will most often be further out to sea and beyond view.  Such views are nothing compared to the environmental impact resulting from the emissions of land-based, coal-fired powerplants that so many of our citizens have had to endure in the past several decades; lives have been shortened by emissions from such fossil fuel power plants.


       Counter to this movement to renewables is the recent discovery of large access to natural gas in America and other countries.  The first new nuclear powerplant is being financed in Georgia (as of this writing).  Coal markets are expanding in India and other Asian countries.  New off-shore petroleum sources are being discovered and opened.  The world is taking possible human-caused global climate change seriously but not in this country.  Are we being irresponsible, and does the redoubling renewable energy development take high enough priority in this election year?


      Prayer: Lord, help us to become concerned about global sustainability and take measures to act responsibly.










Eastern box turtle, Terrapene carolina
Eastern box turtle, Terrapene carolina.
 (*photo credit)


May 22, 2012   How About Celebrating World Turtle Day?


              Why did we wait so many years to celebrate the turtle?  Do we take for granted these slow-moving but friendly creatures, which carry shelters on their backs?  All wildlife is ultimately at our mercy as we regard mastery as a power to allow life or death.  The frailness of turtle habitats and reproduction methods reminds us to be gentle in our care for creation, and especially our slow-moving, land-based brothers, the tortoise.  Occasionally, I have stopped on country roads and moved a little terrapin to the side of the road; others admit doing a similar deed.  In fact, a recent study of treatment of wildlife triggered a researcher to put fake turtles and fake snakes at various locations; he found that 90% of drivers sought to avoid the former and 90% of them tried to hit the latter -- even backing up on an occasion for a second run over of the poor fake snake.


     I went into my strawberry patch year before last in late May and there was a little terrapin munching on my strawberries; it paused when I came and looked up unblinking but with such unaccustomed innocence.  I could only say "Go ahead little fellow; you will enjoy my berries more than even I do."  However, I later wondered whether turtles understand English?


      In our world it takes special additional practices to allow turtles to thrive, especially the giant ones.  These remnants of evolutionary activity are cited as exceeding normal imagination (30 feet and one half ton in weight of every color and description).  These varieties are often found in the tropics and especially in the Pacific islands.  In Central American nesting areas the marine turtle hatchlings never make it from where eggs are laid to the water's edge before being preyed upon by wildlife and by the human population who prize turtle eggs.  Wildlife organizations are paying the residential populations to police and protect the hatching and on their perilous journey to the sea.  Turtle lovers were impressed when the Gulf BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 was in full flow; volunteers arrived from many places and converged on west Florida Gulf shores, scooping up and transporting unhatched turtle eggs to the opposite (Atlantic) shore to protect them from the threat of oil contamination. 


      With some of these long-living creatures being threatened by fishing nets and gear and by oil and toxic spills, we hate to mention that the turtle makes a tasty dish for gourmet eaters.  In fact, good-sized land turtles can be harvested and the flesh has what some Appalachian harvesters call portions of all other meats (chicken, pork, etc.).  When on the farm, we did harvest turtles but were unaware of how threatened these beautiful and unique creatures might be.  I would not advise this hunting prize at this time, especially when we are striving to reduce meat consumption.


        Prayer: Lord, teach us to respect the creatures all around us for they give us rare joy and give us all far more pleasure by their existence than by their harvest.















Monarch, Danaus plexippus on ironweed, Vernonia gigantea
Monarch, Danaus plexippus on ironweed, Vernonia gigantea.
 (*photo credit)


May 23, 2012  Can AA Twelve-Step Program Apply to Social Addiction?


              Not only alcoholism but a number of other disorders such as drug addiction are treated by applications of the traditional "12-Step Program."  In the social addiction of "consumerism" we could say that some of the basic steps have been highlighted, but should all of them?  This one by one step in transferring from individual to social addiction may appear too "forced."  Furthermore, the ones who take it upon themselves to undergo the step procedures may not be the greatest culprits.  The main traditional focus (step one and two) can be more susceptible to imitation: an acknowledgment of being powerless in our addiction and that our lives have become unmanageable; and that we believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal life. 


              Amazingly, we as a people fail to see as we are immersed in our consumer culture that the entire economy has gotten out of hand, and mere tweaking of the system at one or other point is not sufficient.  A culture that lives on indebtedness of a vast amount is attempting to transfer to a future generation the payment of what is needed today, and this payment is because we cannot face up to the reality of living within our national and global means.  Indebtedness in many lands and in our own country has reached chronic proportions and there is no immediate cure at hand -- only modest ways of reducing the size of the bankrupting process.  The Greek bailout, if successful, may prove an exception.


              While all within this American consumer culture must awaken to the massive disorder at hand, we are aware that many will deny this even if gasoline reaches ten dollars a gallon.  Still, awareness grows in extraordinary times.  If such an acknowledgement is a challenge, it may appear as a surprise that following the motto "In God we trust" is even more challenging.  So deeply secular is our culture that many do not want to even mention a Higher Power much less that we are dependent upon it in some fashion.  In other words, secularists demand that there be no Higher Power in our tolerant pluralistic society -- one dictated by their own ideology. 


              Thus to proceed to the third and following steps of a personal growth in understanding of self and how we must interact with others, have to stop at this second stage if accepting the dictates of secularity.  How can we cooperate further if some do not accept that we depend on God and refuse to say they have become addicted through misdeeds?  Yes, this is a major obstacle and is only answered when we see that misdeeds by some do not halt those who make up what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ.  We certainly need restrictive curtailment of excesses by culprits; we also need the suffering entailed in bringing about political and economic change.  To concede to paralysis is to admit despair.


              Prayer: Lord, teach us to be Easter people, who see in the horror of a crucifixion a new life, a renewal of a tired world that can become something new.  Teach us to accept that suffering means the work it takes to reclaim the commons.  













Spotting the common garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis, at the garden's edge.
 (*photo credit)


May 24, 2012    What is Corporatocracy? Is America a Victim?


              First of all, the word "corporatocracy" is easier to understand than to pronounce.  I hate all these new words --provided there are two common word linkages that say just as much.  Jeffrey Sachs in The Price of Civilization (Random House, 2011, p. 105) defines corporatocracy as a political system in which powerful corporate interest groups dominate the policy agenda.  To be specific, he goes on to say that this is the burden of the United States at this time and focuses on the fact that both major political parties are deeply entangled in this form of government. 


              Corporatocracy arose over the confluence of four big trends: our system has weak national parties and strong individual districts; the post World War II military-industrial complex (a megalobby operation); big financial money for elections (see May 4th on Super PACs); and globalization's race to the bottom that tilts the balance of power away from workers to corporations.  These four have led to a perfect storm in which the lobbyists (involving many ex-legislators and aides) have overrun Washington's halls of Congress.  Besides the military-related advocates, others include Big Energy, financial institutions, Big Ag, and drug-related lobbyists and firms.


              Much of this chapter by Sachs is devoted to showing how weak both political parties are and how they simply ignore the overwhelming will of citizens in such matters as making the wealthy pay higher taxes to halt the growth of national debt, as well as a complete absence of long-term plans and budgets for everything from environment to general government.  This review of corporatocracy standing alone is terribly pessimistic, for it does not allow for any way out without taking dramatic measures; it also shows that no one in the leadership role has come forward to challenge this system.  When the chips are down all bend to the power of money and its massive influence on electing them; those seeking elected office spend all their time raising money for the next election and not for legislating in a meaningful fashion.  


              Sachs has his own way of weaving through to possible solutions, but maybe we need to reintroduce the solution to our efforts at calling for reclaiming the commons.  The ultimate commons is, as we have said in the discussion of May 3rd, on our national motto "In God We Trust."  A few of us are convinced that we are so dragged down in the weight of bureaucratic and corporate bindings that we can do little by ourselves.  A people drugged on consumerism in its rawest expression are addicted, and when addicted act irresponsibly and have lose control over their lives.  Responsibility takes will power and this takes an admission by the addict that we are powerless and must rediscover our trust in God.  In doing so, we find the wherewithal to say "no" to the super-rich and all they stand for -- and start to take back our democracy.


              Prayer: God, deliver our country from the fangs of the wealthy, and open us once more to authentic democratic values.

















Moonrise over outer Bluegrass farm.
 (*photo credit)


May 25, 2012   Must We Critically Discern Natural Gas Development?


              The "fracking" process of forcing special fluids into shale rock strata and therein liberating natural gas has now become a massive new commercial enterprise especially in the Northeast.  In less than a decade the U.S. and other nations went from net natural gas importers to exporters; this phenomenon was totally unpredicted at the turn of this century a dozen years ago.  Is this a godsend or is this hastening human-caused climate change that has been neglected in popular discussion in recent months?


              Godsend: In some parts of America during this year partly by mild winter conditions and partly by competitive fuel prices, natural gas customers saw prices plummet by almost half, and others found unexpected savings on their fuel heating bills.  Lower prices means a viable way to substitute for closing coal-burning powerplants.  They also mean that some industries such as steel products that were dependent on lower fuel prices but higher transport costs are coming back or in-sourcing in our fair land.  And the natural gas is rich in ethane that is a basic component of plastics and other chemical activities.  New jobs are opening in industrial and energy sectors in parts of the rust belt. 


              * Note that the King Hubbert estimates were developed in 1956 for Shell Oil to predict domestic energy resource decline.  These curves of rise, peak, and decline predict fuel supplies fairly well, provided techniques for retrieval do not change.  Fracking and other innovations can change the available resource, and thus affect the original predictions -- and they have.


              Warning: We like win/win situations, but are the results  better than our American dependence on coal as the primary electricity generating fuel?  Currently, methane from various sources contributes an estimated 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions.  If methane has about twenty-five times more greenhouse gas potency than carbon dioxide coming from coal and other fossil fuel combustion, does this mean that estimated escape of up to 4% of natural-gas-drilled is adding significantly to the climate change equation?  Is natural gas production MORE a greenhouse emitter than coal use?  Coal impacts on the land would be avoided by less mining but water impacts from natural gas extraction may be also quite worrisome.  And then we observe major disruptions of communities by making one person a millionaire due to land used and a neighbor struggling with noise and polluted air and water.  


              Economically, natural gas fracking has been considered a success for many; ecologically, the jury is out.  Optimistically, some would like to believe it is a win/win practice.  However, currently hydrofracturing is exempt from Federal regulation and oversight.  Fairness requires a better handling of new wealth and better curtailing of escaping gas.  We need no more fossil fuels for renewables and energy efficiency are proven green practices.


              Prayer: Lord, give us a discerning spirit since so much depends on our choices of fuels during this decade.















A bouquet of wildflowers and weeds.
 (*photo credit)


May 26, 2012  Are There More Than Eight Questions for Downsizers?


     In order for us to implement a Resurrection-Centered Spirituality it is necessary to downsize both present lifestyles and future expectations.  Downsizing is a key to commitment in this age of readjustments on domestic, local, regional, national, and global levels.  Often this is related to degrees of indebtedness.  


             How well do I budget?  A credit average of $15,000 debt per American (and that does not include home mortgages) is terrifying. Downsizing must seek to remove the credit burden that our grandparents never knew before the age of credit and debit cards.


            Are there too many electronic gadgets? I write this the week I gave away (for driving service time) my Kindle Reader because it was more worrisome than electronic books on a home Computer screen.


           Do I protect my free time and manage credit?  We may consider "free time" as something to cut into for some work project that is taking more time than expected.  That is perhaps a mistake that tempts us all.  Free time should be unplanned and held as sacred.  Some families give that quality time for being with members and  hold this as an important aspect of life's commitments.


          Do I reduce substance use? This applies to all areas such as prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and food.  Keeping tab on practices is a good start.


          Is the dwelling too spacious for personal needs?  Many of us know people who moved into smaller residential space and were pleased once it occurs as to savings on time for upkeep and a relaxed atmosphere associated with less material concerns.


         Must I please supposed impressionable folks?  Often the size of the house, car, or types of clothes fit the exterior demand to be equal to or better than peers.  However, the challenge with downsizing is to make others see that thrift has a value.


      Can a garden be a key to downsizing grocery bills?  Part of downsizing may be smaller cuts of meat or less frequent eating out.  Another could be curbing meat consumption across the board and emphasizing more vegetables -- and the urge to grow your own.


        Lastly, can we downsize our expectations? Often this action is regarded as temporary and we fail to see the permanence and benefits of living more simply.  Downsizing is personal responsibility, but it is also a national act of patriotism that may demand closing more overseas military bases and less expensive military hardware manufacture by congressional districts.  We can be strong, secure, and thrifty through downsizing at all levels.


          Prayer: Lord, give us the strength to answer the questions arising from downsizing, and to do so with a sincere heart and willing spirit.

















Eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus
Eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus.
 (*photo credit)


May 27, 2012   Pentecost: Do We Proclaim the Primacy of the Word?


              The primacy of the "word" is proposed here because this is written by an aged activist with limited resources at hand.  This forces me to look into the power of publishing one's views or a written method for discernment and suggested actions.


       Word, well and timely spoken or written, can become a powerful instrument of change.  Common Sense by Thomas Paine showed this power of word at the start of the American Revolution for it molded the spirit of change among colonists.  The instrument must be clear, short, and to the point and something that catches the fire of the reader who passes on the experience to others.  Words can become incendiary depending on the vocabulary choice of written text or the charism of the deliverer of spoken word.  Non-violent or violent action may follow, dependent on phrase and presentation.  Equal to power of delivery is receptivity of hearer or readers.  When people are aroused as French revolutionaries in the 1790s, then unpredictable things can happen and the situation can explode.  Measured words seek a degree of control over resulting deeds.  So much depends on giving and receiving of the word.


       Protestors and demonstrators in 2011 who were determined to occupy public or private parks or abandoned or foreclosed buildings look for acceptance of their expressed message and challenge.  The demonstrator expressed word through being present, spoken chant, written sign or other ways.  The goal was to elicit response or reaction to a perceived unjust and dysfunctional system.  Deeds of basic dissatisfaction were expected to follow and, in turn, these deeds were articulated in a new set of words, a set of Good News for a broader audience.  Last year, that power of this symbolic process was known to Occupiers and demonstrators the world over who raised questions that call for changes to be made with the current system.  Indignation was expressed first in the call for change; will it be followed by rebellious actions? 


       Incarnational theology justifies the primacy of the word for Christian believers, for the Messiah as eternal Word was born in time (a deed).  The weakness of this word in ministering deed can lead to shorting of a mission and to suffering and death.  From this springs new life and from deed comes forth Good News leading to change.  Christ is the Word, spoken in time, and transformed into the realm of redeeming suffering, death and resurrection.


      Words take time to sink in.  We need patience when speaking words, even well-chosen ones, and time to have them heard and listened to.  We need not follow the temptation to smother them with the verbosity of an Internet chat room and blog when giver and receiver ought to spend time resting.  Moving word, well spoken, and well received, leads to deed, well grounded, quite effective. 


       Prayer: Lord, this Pentecost give us Spirit to inspire, wisdom to choose wisely, and energy to go forth in some way.  Help us take the Good News to all of Creation.
















A transplanted Memorial Day flower in bloom.
 (*photo credit)


May 28, 2012   How Is Love Part of Memorial Day?      


        Memorial Day is a time of remembering loved ones.  This has a sacred history that goes far back in time beyond the civic celebrations instituted in America to commemorate the fallen heroes of past wars and sacrifices.  Primitive people remembered their dead; David's psalms remembered God's goodness; and at the Last Supper Jesus called for a memorial until he comes again.


      Love is a Commandment.  To live in Christ's love is to keep the commandments but that involves loving others and treating them properly.  This is part of the godly life, the life of the ones who are close to the Risen Lord who laid down his life as the greatest expression of love.  Today, more than at almost any other day, we recall those who made the supreme sacrifice for their loved ones: soldiers on a battlefield who died for their country; workers, farmers, pioneers, housewives, and untold others who sacrificed for their immediate families and descendants; the missionaries and those who gave their all to establish a community of believers; and the untold heroes and heroines who care for the sick and elderly.


      God is Love.  Every bit of loving that we do and see in the world around us is an expression of the God who is present to us.  Even the animals coaxing the nestlings to fly away manifest God's love to some degree.  When we see people freely serving others in love, we see the greater totality of God's love being manifested in hospitals and sick rooms.  We often wonder whether we could love enough and how can we both love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves -- the two great commandments.  By loving God we enter into the arena of infinite Love, and thus are immersed; we are not creator of the space for love, only the opening of ourselves to receive love's rays. 


     Love is a Response to the God Who Calls.  We seek to find love in its entirety, and to do so as followers of Jesus who gave all.  We are commanded to "Love one another."  That love means we extend the goodness of the Sacramental gifts through radical sharing to others.  We know we must love with everything we have, but that comes so hard for us to do at times.  Loving takes compassion, forgiveness, understanding, silence at times, speaking at others.


     To love as Christ loves is impossible so why try?  This question is always raised when we conceive of loving as continuous acts of kindness -- which can manifest love in some little ways.  However, the dilemma of never approximating Christ's love is a misunderstanding, the product of an erroneous competitive culture worthy of critique.  Actually, we become one with Christ and thus bring him so close that his love for others becomes our love for them.  Thus we enter into the love of Christ, not compete with it; we find teamwork and not ambitious striving to get ahead.


       Prayer: Lord, help us on this Memorial Day to love you with our whole heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves; help us to share Christ's love to the degree he allows us.















Emergence of fungi after late May rain.
 (*photo credit)


May 29, 2012  Must Renewable Energy Facilities Be Spacious?


              A half dozen years ago an academic received notice in the British national press for a report written for a leading nuclear energy periodical.  This "researcher" arranged the various renewable sources according to the amount of space taken up in production as a relationship of space versus energy generated.  We will not burden readers with these somewhat unreviewed assertions.  One will have to include today the promising "Run of the River" hydroflow facilities that take into account normal waterflow as an energy source; these are now being installed in major American rivers (and with virtually no new space required).  Not all who champion renewables want expansion of this source through damming free-flowing streams; in fact, more of the older dams are being removed each year at urging of environmentalists.


              Dual use complicates the calculations. Many renewable sources and other activities serve in double capacity.  One of the largest cattle herds in Kentucky grazes on the spacious federal chemical waste facility very near us here at Ravenna.  Furthermore, the second greatest user of renewable energy (biofuels) does not consume the entirety of the corn feedstock, for vast amounts of spent grain are used as livestock feed -- even though some of us would prefer the corn only used purely for human consumption. 


              Nor is the dual use of windfarms on cultivated or pasture lands as one observes in the Great Plains to be overlooked.  In fact, little of converted wind-farm land is actually taken up with wind facility access roads and turbine installations.  The assumption is that forested or undisturbed lands are converted to make way for renewable energy sources to be considered major new land uses.  With proper allocation for wild species the desert and mountain locations can be used for the common good.  Nor ought one to count as space energy "consumption" the PV arrays being installed over existing parking lots and on roofs of many structures.


              Off-shore energy operations, whether promising wind farms now being constructed, or even other offshore energy extraction facilities, do not increase much land use other than some added ports, transmission lines, and storage areas.  In fact, the "study" of the land use has been touted at various times but was little more than a propaganda piece for nuclear energy in contrast to renewable sources.  Opposing studies say that all renewable energy additions could be implemented (if biofuels are left out) using no new disturbance of cultivated or wildlands, especially using the roofs of existing buildings.  Windfarms can have dual uses for the greater part.  Renewables will certainly have an impact when fully implemented; the advantages certainly outweigh negative impacts, and space is not a major issue in replacement of fossil fuels.


              Prayer: Lord, help us to champion areas of greater good, so that the limited surface of our planet will be used properly.  Help us see the advantages of renewable energy sources.















Daylily in brilliant orange.
 (*photo credit)


May 30, 2012  Joan of Arc: At 600, a Perennial Teenager?


     Today's feast of Joan of Arc (1412-31) (bio on May 30, 2006) is of someone who was a historic heroine and not a fictional character in French History.  She lived a short but extraordinary life almost defying reality but still very real.  How could a late Middle Ages illiterate youngster rise, shine, and die so suddenly and remain in history as an unappreciated light, a dream of teens?


              A peasant farmer's daughter was her background, more austere than perhaps any other world-leading personage.  After coming into the world on January 6, 1412 she tended cattle and went off quietly to pray.  All my life as a Francophile, whose grandparents were French by birth, Joan of Arc baffled me; how could she have been?


              As a prophetess, she truly held a unique role in religious and secular circles where the blend of both is so distinct.  Joan became known in her land when she predicted several French defeats in the One Hundred Years' War and her calling was recognized.


              As Maid of Orleans, she led with no military experience; she rallied soldiers in ways no captains could do and without using her sword (only carrying a banner with the words "Jesus, Maria") and led troops into a successful battle at Orleans in 1429 -- and the army won; she went on to lead in another battle at Patay.


              As a supporter of monarchs, she stood beside her weak king, Charlie VI, when he was crowned in Rheims in 1429.  Interestingly, he lived on past her short sojourn, and later became a reasonably successful king in an age of royal weakness and spinelessness.  


              As an illiterate Virgin, sold by the Burgundians to the English, she actually offered her life for the ideal cause of her people.  As a captive in 1430 she was isolated and brought to trial without legal support -- even from her king who failed to save her.

              As a saint and martyr, she was accused of being a heretic and thus burned by her English captors at the stake.  With limited education she was forced to attempt to answer cleverly conceived questions.  She called, Jesu, as she was consumed by fire -- a sound that haunted soldiers to their dying days.  The English said, "We are lost, we have burned a saint."


              As a female activist, she was an exemplar for knowing how to take responsibility.  One accusation was that she dressed in male military attire; what a charge!  She was exonerated through a trial two decades after her death at the insistence of her family.


              As a French and global phenomenon, Joan helps her country even amid the hostility of secularism long after her death; she leads a world to acknowledge the moral force of religious values.


              Prayer: Lord, raise up new Joans to take leadership roles and help save our wounded Earth with the bloodless sword of idealism.















A quiet Appalachian stream.
 (*photo credit)


May 31, 2012  Do Environmental Mini-alarms Smother Radical Change?


     Without a radical and urgent policy change direction the world

risks to lock itself into an unsustainable energy future.

     Maria van der Hoeven, International Energy Agency Director.


              We hear an alarming report on some environmentally-related issue as to a pollutant or inefficient practice.  A school is evacuated when someone breaks a mercury thermometer -- and they forgot to spread some flowers of sulfur in the spilled area and go on with business.  As students, we spread liquid mercury to shine dimes and we survived -- I think.  Mini-alarms are topics for TV evening news, but they are also simply part of the cacophony of sounds when twirling the dial and browsing the Internet and radio outlets.  In fact, information access and competition for attention to numerous mini-alarms yield to the excuse that major alarms are like the rest, allowing them to be dismissed as "alarmist" propaganda.  When major alarms call for radical change and involve corporate bottom lines, merchants of doubt suddenly appear.


              Climate change is a major alarm and has been given time and again by 99% of climate scientists, all the major national scientific associations, the Vatican's science advisory commission, and all who call for prudence in lifestyles.  Even though the world has been in the midst of the largest recession since the great depression, global carbon emissions jumped 5.3% in 2010 (30.4 gigatons) and half that (when data is completely gathered) in 2011.  At the same time, energy demand is expected to increase by one-third in the next quarter century.  Even with current renewable energy source growth from a projected 13% to 18% of total energy use, the total results could mean 20% more carbon emissions in 2035 or a 3.5 degree C increase in global average temperature -- amounts that could lead to predicted ocean rises and other global disasters.  In this coming quarter century China alone will increase its carbon emissions by 70% (still at that time half the American per capita) and other emerging nations will follow suit as well.


              America and other wealthy nations must change for the sake of the global environmental situation.  Many adults fail to take such announcements seriously, because if they do they will have to change radically.  If in the next five years we fail to take seriously the road to carbon emission change, the ability to handle the coming situation will be lessened to such a degree that it will have a virtually irreversible effect.  We must stop the continued high subsidies for fossil fuel use in the U.S. ($409 billion in 2010 versus $64 billion for renewable energy).  What makes the picture all the bleaker is that according to the IEA's World Energy Report (November 2011) "locked in" capital stock will bring the world to the brink of disaster without any additional major change.


              Prayer: Lord, we hear Jeremiah and see him compete with merchants with louder voices; awaken in us the prudential sense of alarm that can be more clearly heard and followed.

Copyright © 2012 Earth Healing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Earth Healing team:
Albert J. Fritsch, Director
Charlie Fritsch
Janet Powell
Mark Spencer

Excerpts from the JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright © 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday & Company, Inc.  Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

[Privacy statement] | [Accessibility Pledge]

Use FreeTranslation.com to translate this page into