At One With the Earth
in the “Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite”
Register "At one with the Earth"
Oxford Review "Our Pantheistic Sisters"
Spring comes late north of the border, but when it
arrives, the silly season begins again. Back in the seventies it was
common to read stories of Novus Ordo nuns lying naked on the ground,
worshipping Gaeia But the seventies were a long time ago, perhaps
they have gotten to old to run naked, but they don't seem to have lost their
affection for the goddess. “Our Pantheistic Sisters,” a perfectly
marvelous review by Anne Barbeau Gardiner, appeared in the February 2008 New
Oxford Review. It is a must
Green sisters eat organic food because they
think it still has the divine life-force in it. Sr. Wild explains that the
important thing is the "spirit of the food" we eat: "I go for
quality of Spirit in my food." Eating dinner for her is a daily "eucharist"
with the "body of the earth and sun." Similarly, Sr. Miriam
MacGillis remarks, "If we truly saw the Divine in a potato," we
would not commit the "sacrilege" of "turning it into Pringles."
Since they consider it already blessed and a "manifestation of the
Divine," green sisters do not bless their food. Hard to believe, but some
actually "ask the food to bless them."
Another abuse of the Stations of the Cross is
the "Cosmic Walk," a meditation sequence on what Fr. Berry calls
"the universe story." In Winslow, Maine, green sisters have 25
stations in a pine grove where people can "walk the story of the
universe" and come to know that story "in their own bodies."
The Cosmic Walk is also popular in a portable version created by Sr. MacGillis.
This involves a long rope placed in a spiral, with 30 index cards representing
the stages of evolution. Standing at the place of the first "Flaring
Forth," the "pilgrim" is to reflect that she too is 15 billion
years old, and at the end of the Walk, she is to declare, "Today I know
the story of myself." Thus, the "pilgrims" of the Cosmic Walk
become "the story participating in its own telling," and experience
their being as "the cosmos 'made flesh.'" More, they learn that
"there is no finite created world, only an ever-expanding universe
constantly changing, and of which humanity is inseparably a part."
The "pilgrim" who walks the Trail
first comes upon a "womb opening" called the "Station of
Life/Death/Transformation." The guidebook instructs "her"
(apparently only women go there) to pass through it, touch some stones, beat a
drum, and repeat three times: "Behold I come. My name is _____. Accept me
here. Accept me now." Further on, she is told to pick up a "prayer
stone" that will hold the "spirit" of her "life
journey" and to listen to that stone "just as the stone will listen
to and absorb the prayers, thoughts, and questions" she will have on the
Trail. Then she arrives at the "Council of All Beings," a circle of
stones and trees where she assumes the role of a non-human creature to discuss
"what is wrong on earth." She then walks along the "Path of the
Great Elders," a line of old maple trees, and comes to the "Place of
At-One-Ment," where a stone seat faces a scarred cherry tree that
survived being surrounded with barbed wire. Here she is told to reflect on
"human sins" against the natural world and ask forgiveness from
Green sisters are propagating their errors as
fast and as far as they can by books, lectures, retreats, icons, and
workshops. One can only wonder: Where are our shepherds?
But wait, the fellow pictured above is certainly not a
nun. The mustache gives him away! He is Jim Profit, S.J. He
is, in fact, a Jesuit Priest, a member of that very same Society of Jesus
founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola. More than a priest in any other
order, our man must have had many
years of education He has tested his vocation in a two year novitiate,
taken years of philosophy, years of theology. Most likely he taught for a
few years in a Jesuit school. He probably speaks a number of foreign
So what is he doing, kneeling on a bale of hay, elevating
what appears to be some brown bread on a board, and a cup with a narrow base
just waiting to fall over when placed on the bale? We are informed by this
June 6 AD 2008 article
in the Catholic Register that he is offering Mass! Perhaps I should
explain, for most of the readers of the rosarychurch.net
site are no doubt
traditional Catholics. What you are seeing is not the extraordinary form
that we use for Mass, but, rather. Father Profit is using the Ordinary Form of
the Roman Rite. Michael Swan, the Register's Associate Editor tells us:
On the cold first day of June three dozen
people — couples with their children, old friends, students working
internships on the Jesuit farm — gathered in Guelph [Ontario] for a Sunday
Mass that wandered all over 250 hectares of the Jesuit’s
organic farm, woodlots, streams, hermitages and gardens.
This Sunday liturgy looked unlike the average
parish Mass. But Mass is not a McDonald’s franchise, with the same bland,
predictable outcome enforced by a faceless corporate head office. Mass is an
encounter with Christ, whether at the parish or on the farm or around a rock
on a hill near Jerusalem. It’s the same Christ everywhere and for all time,
but each encounter is new so long as we bring to it new eyes and ears.
And here we were, worried that that German fellow in the
Vatican was going to turn the Church into McDonald's franchise by imposing the
“bland predictable” extraordinary rite on everyone!
You can’t be grateful — and Eucharist means
thanksgiving — if you can’t name what it is you are
grateful for. If we aren’t grateful for the land it is hard
to know how we could be described as grateful at all.
Gratitude that’s rooted in the land can teach us who Jesus
Christ was incarnate as the new Adam. He descended to the
Earth in order to rise again, and become what He truly is.
That means, He truly is of the Earth.
And you always thought that “The Word was made flesh”
in order to offer His death on the Cross for the redemption of mankind;
and that He was “not of this world”
Using holy water and a cedar branch, the congregation blessed
oats, potatoes, garlic, coyotes, trees, the future ecology
centre of the Wellington
Catholic District School Board, fields and streams. The
congregation sang “Salvador mundi, Salva nos.”
The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Jim Profit who prayed for
our resurrection in God’s new creation. He offered up the
fruit of the Earth and the work of human hands. The
congregation sang “How Great Thou Art.”
“Salvador mundi, Salva nos,” indeed!
Sounds like that dull predictable extraordinary form from MCDonalds. But
the congregation redeemed themselves with a Protestant tune. And what do
you do with a blessed coyote?
That phrase from the New Oxford Review will be our last words too, with just
a tiny addition: “Green sisters [and Jesuit priests] are
propagating their errors as fast and as far as they can by books, lectures,
retreats, icons, and workshops. One can only wonder: Where are our shepherds?”
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