I forwarded a copy of what I wrote about lighting candles to my sister last week and I may have sort of opened Pandora’s Box. Make no mistake, I love her dearly, but when it comes to matters of faith, we’re opposites. I’m most comfortable outside, the poem attributed to St Columcille that describes the perfect hermitage sounds like heaven (I’d be sure of good tight walls and a good fire myself), and I’m increasingly uncomfortable with a lot of the old hymns that are full of battles and fortresses. (Note, I love “In the Garden” now there’s a mystic for you.) And frankly the stuff they’ve come up with where you repeat the same phrase or phrases over and over and over until your eyes glaze over doesn’t do anything for me either. I don’t know, maybe they are going for the zombie effect on purpose, that could explain some of the support for George Bush.
Sis belongs to a congregation affiliated with the Four Square Church. She seems to be more comfortable with a system that is more ordered. She like what I wrote and asked what I’d been reading. Tall order, in some ways I think what I wrote probably reflects just about everything I’ve read in the last twenty years. So I started with a little blessing from The Celtic Way of Prayer. She liked it, but wondered if it didn’t come close to Nature Worship. Ok, can of worms time. I’m going to have to walk very carefully here. I don’t believe that any traditional culture “worships” nature. I do believe that I’m up against what 18th and 19th century western Europeans “thought” traditional cultures were worshiping.
What philosophers like Rousseau believed about traditional cultures probably says more about Rousseau than the “Noble Savages” he wrote about. The descriptions of the less admiring were usually phrased in a way that made us look more sophisticated and advanced. “Oooooh, look at the silly Hindus. They worship elephants and monkeyS!” “The Chinese are certainly strange. Imagine worshipping great uncle Harold.” Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.
Any suggestions on how to explain,tactfully, that the Celts and all the others didn’t or don’t worship nature, but they do see the hand of the Creator in all they behold and believe it should be respected. That everywhere you look the Creator can be seen and experienced.
Ran across one interesting website with the view that because we could destroy the natural world proved it wasn’t divine. Interesting idea, bit like the person who hits their spouse because they made them angry, so it’s their fault. Come again. There is a Creator/Creatress. That one part of the created universe can totally trash another part of the created universe only proves that we didn’t get the message. Oh, and if you believe that Man is “Fallen,” the fact that Adam and Eve screwed up does not mean that the rest of creation has a problem.