“THE BODY OF CHRIST IS THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE”
Commissioned by Sisters of the Earth Community at Green Mountain Monastery/Thomas Berry Sanctuary
Thomas Berry: The Third Mediation
Michael O’Neill McGrath,OSFS
What an unusual and unprecedented time in history to receive this commission, and what a great blessing it proved to be for me, personally.
Right at the time of gathering ideas and using the essays of Thomas Berry for my morning meditation reading, a dear friend who is a certified gardener gifted me with a potted plant- which is the descendent of a cutting from a plant first grown and nurtured by Albert Einstein when he lived in Princeton, NJ!
I have never named a plant before, but “Albert” is now thriving on the porch of my home- and even produces tiny pink blossoms! As a result, that is Albert Einstein’s plant which Thomas holds in his lap like a Madonna and Child.
Behind Thomas, a tree symbolically displays all four seasons suggesting the passage of time, our deaths and re-births, and our ongoing evolution and growth spurts as physical and spiritual beings.
Like Moses, Thomas has removed his shoes to respect the sacredness of earth as holy ground. His shoes are moccasins to make a connection to Native American spirituality and the influence of Lakota Nicholas Black Elk on his thinking.
If you understand Black Elk’s teaching you will understand mine, the continuity of the human with the natural world in a single creative community. Thomas Berry
Finally, the quote had to be just the right one to tie it all together: the starry sky above Thomas and the stream of water below and behind him; the roots of the tree and the green shoots in the ground from Albert’s plant at his unshod feet; the Holy Spirit looks over his shoulder while perched on a bare winter branch. ~ Br Michael McGrath,OSFS
Text on back of card ~
We are called to communion with the Divine Source of our being, communion with the entire human community, and, finally, communion with the universe itself.
While we have recognized the inseparable nature of the Divine with the human community, we have not yet realized that this communion, to be perfect, must include communion with Earth.
This is the unique awareness that begins to take place in our times. The Body of Christ is ultimately the entire Universe.
Experience of this communion is so strengthening, so ecstatic, that it can provide the energies needed to carry life on into the future.
From The Third Mediation ~ Thomas Berry
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