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Monday, April 23, 2012

Climate Change and the Spiritual Exercises


- Angels of Creation by Edward Burne-Jones

There's an article at The Way, the British spirituality journal, that seems relevant to Earth Day ... Climate Change and the Spiritual Exercises by Stephen McCarthy.

Some have accused Ignatius of Loyola of having that Christian attitude of seeing all of the natural world simply as a prop for the benefit of humans - near the start of Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises is the First Principle and Foundation, Ignatius' view of the purpose of life in relationship .... Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. John English SJ refuted this view of Ignatius in a past Compass article.

So I was interested in seeing how Stephen McCarthy would relate Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises to climate change. The article is a little conservative for me in the way it sets up the environmental problem as a dichotomy between the values of secularism and Thomism .... secularists can be just as environmentally committed, if not more so, than Thomists ... but I like the way he uses the Two Standards as an example of choosing between selfish over-use of resources or caring custodianship of the Earth (for more on the Two Standards, see my post Philip Endean SJ on the Two Standards).

Here's just a bit of the article (you can download it for free at The Way) ....

Climate Change and the Spiritual Exercises by Stephen McCarthy

[...] Two common responses are despair and denial. Despair says ‘the problem is so intractable there is nothing we can do’. Denial says ‘global warming is a myth; there is nothing we need to do; OK, maybe the climate is getting warmer but that is part of a natural cycle which has been going on for tens of thousands of years and has nothing to do with the activity of mankind’. Without going into this discussion further, let us merely note that no serious scientific opinion supports the stance of denial, notwithstanding the irresponsible statements of a number of senior churchmen who take this position. Sadly, denial is, I believe, a disguised form of despair.

So what is a comfortably well-off Christian called to do? Where do we find Christian hope in all this? This was the second theme of my talk, and one which I have continued to pursue ever since. We have to dig deeper. What are we afraid of? Is there some inevitability here? Is everyone in the world, and for future generations, predestined to aspire to the same materialist, consumerist lifestyle that we now supposedly ‘enjoy’? Does humanity really need all this stuff in order to lead a fulfilled life? Indeed, what does it mean to flourish as a human being? What are we here for? .....




3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(((Sadly, denial is, I believe, a disguised form of despair.)))

Crystal! You're the only one left who might believe in us cause Victor has lost all faith and he continues to call U>S(usual sinners)and personally speaking Victor must be talking about himself cause we are victor gods and "ONE" only needs to check with "The Hunger Games" and they'll gladly explain "IT" all in reality.

Crystal, we've tried everything we know of and during these last few days, we showed him how powerful we were by compensading things from him but he just blames "IT" all on some Old Bomb friend of Ma's CIA and when I asked him what CIA stood for, he simply replied Christ' Innocent Angels of course. Personally speaking Victor needs more than prayer cause we 97% alien victor god cells think that Victor really is starting to lose "IT" if you ask me?

Crystal to top "IT" all we know how you like cats and long story short, Victor's Link and Tiger were closed into his chapel on about three occasions and on the last occasion not even his wife could explain how this happened. Victor and his wife were both a little concerned cause now and then Victor leaves a candle lit as a kind of "Fiat lux" and about a couple of years ago, there was a fire in his chapel but long story short, he thinks that his angels put the fire out but we know that's just not possible cause we put "IT" out! Right?

Anyway, Victor is starting to think that he's becoming a little senile and so that's what he choses to believe. When we asked why he can't believe in U.S instead, his reply was that "IT" would be easier for him to accept that when his GOD passes gas, there's an explosion in the universe and black holes that matter start to scather. Go Figure?

I hear ya! Thanks for your comment sinner vic and if this crystal ever becomes concerned and/or interested, I'll be sure to send Victor an email and inquire as to what is going on cause I hope you understand that "I" must also hear what Victor has to say about "IT" but in the mean time, I'll simply say:

Hi Victor :)

Peace be with ya.

Victor

12:08 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

Say hi to Tiger for me :)

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you crystal and by the way Link is Tiger's adobted daughter cat. Long story short, "The "B" Boys, one of our daughter's family's three boys have adobted this female cat while Tiger was staying with them last summer. Again longer story short, my wife and i did not want to put him on a leesh at our rented camp as requested so they kept Tiger for awhile but they are in the process of moving so we are holding these two cats until they are ready.

I hear ya! "The cat came back" with a friend!? :)

As for these two cats getting into my so called chapel, well, believe "IT" or not Saint Anthony, Saint Jude and Saint Monica have never failed in finding out things for me and this little joke of sinner vic, my so called 97% god cells foiled again cause this morning my wife and I saw them come out the door. Actually the doors are two sliding doors and one of them was off "IT's" track at the bottom.

I know what ya mean Victor!

Who said that?

Victor, Vic, sinner vic, me, myself and i plus the rest of your imaginary so called friends. :)

Peace be with ya!

9:57 AM  

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