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What if the natural world is indeed the open book of the sacred?

Quote of the Day: In his collection of essays called The River of the Mother of God,  ecologist Aldo Leopold tried to explain why learning to read the natural world builds an ethics and aesthetics that can guide us n all aspects of our lives:

“I am trying to teach you that this alphabet of ‘natural objects’ (soils and rivers, birds and beasts) spells out a story…. Once you learn how to read the land, I have no fear of what you will do to it, or with it. And I know many pleasant things it will do to you.”

Commentary: The theologian Origen (185-254) had a similar thought 17 centuries before Aldo Leopold framed his comparison:

“The parallel between nature and scripture is so complete,

We must necessarily believe that the person

Who is asking questions of nature and

The person who is asking questions of Scripture

Are bound to arrive at the same conclusions.”

What if the natural world is indeed the open book of the sacred, the incarnation of the Creator in molecules and meat of this world before us? How does that change how we spend our time each Sabbath, how and where we worship, and who or what we call our kin?

Suggested Action #4: As you walk along your way each day, call each plant or animal within your reach your kin, your sister or brother. Read what they are “telling you.” It too is the Good News.

Gary Paul Nabhan aka Brother Coyote is a professed member of the Ecumenical Order of Franciscans, a graduate of the Living School, a conservation biologist, orchard-keeper and story-teller.


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