As you walk today, simply whisper the mantra “GRATITUDE!” as you meet each person, plant, animal, mold or yeast along your trail…

Quote of the Day: Saint Clare felt that our humility before all creatures and before our Creator was paramount to a good life; it wasn’t about how smart we are!: In what, then, can you boast? Even if you were so skillful and wise that you possessed all knowledge, knew how to interpret every kind of language, and to scrutinize heavenly matters with skill, you could not boast of these things [for they will ultimately get you nowhere.]

Commentary: Much of ...

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Denis Hayes: I never dreamed how fundamentally Earth Day would alter the political, cultural and economic landscape.

Quote of the Day: Denis Hayes, national coordinator of the first Earth Day, recently wrote how he had high hopes for the first global environmental teach-in, as it was initially called: “Organizers had sweeping demands for breathable air and clean waters as well as for banning DDT, halting offshore drilling, saving the whales, and removing lead from paint and gasoline. I thought we would score some victories, but I never dreamed how fundamentally Earth Day would alter the political, cultural ...

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Who are you best at serving? How often do you reach beyond your own comfort zone?

Quote of the Day: Many of us have been touched by the comment attributed by Matthew to Jesus of Nazareth: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sister, you do to me.” Well, how Saint Francis chose to respond to this comment was to call his order the Poverelli, ‘the little poor ones’ to ensure that they experienced what the poorest and most marginalized among us experience daily, whether they were lepers, sharecroppers, Muslim slaves or battered ...

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Biocultural Restoration of Sacred Sites, Earth Day, and Restoration Ecology’s Patron Saint

The question, of course, is what on earth is going to bring about the transformation that is needed; what is going to help us, once again and anew, to find our place and purpose within this beautiful prolific earth? One response that has been frequently overlooked by scholars . . . is that of ecological restoration. — Gretel Van Wieren (2008) Ecological Restoration as Public Spiritual Practice

The Dawning of the Age of Restoration

As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of Earth ...

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Expand your horizons as far as you can imagine a harmonious pattern.

Quote of the Day: One of my favorite biographers of our Patron Saint of Ecology, Adrian House offers this perspective on Francis’s and Clare’s vision of creation. “Looking up at any time of day or night , Francis, Clare and their brothers could visualize a  ‘reverie of insatiable love’ in which they had a vital role to play, for one of the fundamentals of the universe was unity; every component related to every other… in a harmonious pattern.”

Commentary: It is ...

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Bring friends together to help renew the earth, and in doing so, help renew the bonds in your community.

Quote of the Day:  Isaiah heard the Creator poetically proclaim that  “Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down/And do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful/ Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth: It shall not return to my void, but shall do good will, achieving at last what was sent ...

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Walking the Line: The Cost of Lost Kinship when we Militarize Borders

I walk the line. Well, I used to walk the line, looking for desert belly flowers, rare cacti, kangaroo rat tracks, and cryptic horny toads. I walked one side of the fence while Mexican friends stationed on the other side of the international boundary did their part, six feet to the south of me.

They were in Sonora, Mexico, and I was in Arizona, the arid-most reach of the United States, but all of us were rooted in the same Sonoran ...

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We are not alone, and our own care and affection for others can extend in every direction.

Quote of the Day: Kwame Senu Neville Dawes, a Ghanian poet of the land, has written, “The whole earth/is filled with/the love of God.” That is our starting point: the Creator bestows love upon every human, but it extends to every other living being as well. When we read that iconic phrase, “For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son…” we sometimes move past the motive, to the blessing itself. Our Creator is in love not only ...

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Celebrate the wild congregation – the wild church service – that is going on right now within your body

Quote of the Day: In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he suggests that “We do not live to (or for) ourselves, and we do not diet to (or for) ourselves.”  We are members of an earthly community of spirits who precede, continue in us, and will not necessarily die the moment that our own cells do. We live with the grace of and are in service to larger community.

Commentary: Biologists now refute or dismiss the notion that each human is ...

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Don’t try to measure your “achievement” by how fast or far you travel, but by how slow and attentively you travel

Quote of the Day: In her Elegy for the Giant Tortoise, novelist Margaret Atwood chooses the slowest and humbles of all endangered or extinct creatures: “Let others pray for the passenger pigeon, the dodoI will confined myself to a meditation upon the giant tortoise.”  There are many reasons for her choice, but when I saw one of these soon-to-be extinct tortoise species nearly a half century ago, I was reminded that the elderly individual whom I sat next to ...

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Spend one hour, every seven hours, outside with friends or with other (wild) lives

Quote of the Day: Two acquaintances of mine, Cal DeWitt—a Christian minister and professor of natural resource management, and David Ehrenfeld, a conservation biologist and scholar of Hebrew traditions—have argued that a key principle of Caring for Creation is the observance of the Sabbath and Jubilee Years. As Cal put it, “We must provide for creation’s Sabbath rests. In Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, God command us to set aside one day in seven as a day of rest for ...

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Praise the distinctiveness of every life around you. Celebrate their specificity.

Quote of the Day: Center for Action and Contemplation teacher Brian McLaren once lassoed a whole flock of issues with one all-embracing rope: “The same forces that hurt widows and orphans, minorities and women, children and the elderly also hurt the songbirds and trout, the ferns and old-growth forests: greed, impatience, selfishness, arrogance, hurry, anger, competition , irreverence—plus a theology that cares for souls, but neglects bodies, that focuses on eternity in heaven, but abandons history on earth. [But when ...

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We can benefit from listening and working with nature as model, as mentor, as wisdom-keeper

Quote of the Day: Thomas Merton, who became a Franciscan brother as a young man during his early days at St. Bonaventure University, and remained so for the entire time that he was a Trappist monk at Gethsemane, revealed his affinity to St. Francis in this comment: “How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the rain, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: there are our spiritual directors, and our novice-masters. They form ...

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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 ...

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Try to find some time for deep stillness today, then journal about what you find of lasting value.

Quote of the Day: Kentucky farmer and Forest Christian poet Wendell Berry once wrote, “I come into the peace of wild things/who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief/I come into the presence of still water.”

Commentary: It seems that much (but not all) of the time, we need the wild world around and within us more than it needs us! Spending attentive time in wild nature not only brings us the tranquility that Berry speaks to; it washes away ...

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Each of us is living, evolving community of many species; we are not alone.

Quote of the Day: In his encyclical on Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis reminds us of the core of Saint Francis’s Canticle for all Creature in Creation: “Our common home is like a sister with whom we are our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us, who sustains and governs us, and who produces divers fruits with many-coloured flowers and aromatic herbs.”

Commentary: It seems that Our Creator want to “bring us to our ...

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Why begin a metaphorical pilgrimage of 50 days or reflection toward Earth Day 50 in April 2020?

Quote of the day: Pushcart Prize winner Bob Hicok offers us a darkly funny answer to this question, taking most of us to task in his poem Hold your breath: a song of climate change:  “The water is rising, but we’re not drowning yet. When we’re drowning, we’ll do something. When we’re on our roofs.”

Commentary: My friends, it is time for us to do something special: to begin to walk, swim or catapult ourselves toward discerning the deep ...

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Walking the Franciscan Way toward the Fiftieth Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated by 20 million Americans—in addition an untold number of others residing in 24 countries around this planet. They rallied together “in defense of Mother Earth,” in what became the largest affirmative event in human history until that time.

As a 17 year old high school dropout (also gone truant from the college I was supposed to be attending), I worked at the first Earth Day headquarters in Washington DC. I served ...

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Celebration of “Jerri” Wanda Mary Goodwin Nabhan Buxton – 1927-2020

As some of you can guess, I am the last person you’d want to assign to do an obituary of someone you love, so let someone else do that for Jerri & let me just say what she meant to me, many of you & what she exemplified of American life over the last century, for she was as emblematic of her times as Forrest Gump, Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball or Beyonce have been of theirs.

If you didn’t know, my ...

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Speak Up Las Cruces: Gary Nabhan

Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author Gary Nabhan joined Peter and Walt to talk about the border wall, native plants, and “how do we all get back together again in such divisive times?” [Hint: local food movement might help!].

He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement, whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the very dry and very binational Southwest.

The vision of Las ...

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