Friday, February 12, 2016

Lent: Meaningful Connections

When you connect with nature, what makes it meaningful?  That's the focus of today's video, but you're going to have to reach for the answer - it's not spoon fed to you through Br. John's words.

In answering that question, consider the definitions of "Nature" (as per
1.  the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
2.  the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization
3.  the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers.
4.  natural scenery
5.  the universe, with all its phenomena
6.  the sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe.
7.  reality, as distinguished from any effect of art.
So we're not just talking about connecting to elements outside of humanity, but also including humanity.  We're talking about how we connect with reality itself.  So what makes the connection to any of it meaningful?

If you become so inspired, you could go to The Center for Humans & Nature to write an essay on the topic.  Much of what they discuss concerns ethics, and as such, it fits in well with our study here.  The discussion of creating a rule, and why we would want to do such a thing is an important step in understanding why we choose to worship in the way we do.  Some feel drawn to it; some want the structure that rules provide; some want to help others when they seem lost - to give them a code by which to live. And we often realize that Christ gave us that code, reiterating commands given by God so long ago - in broad strokes:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  (Deuteronomy 6:5)  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)"  (Matthew 22:37-39)

Some of us know and love the concept, but even as the Jews had difficulty accomplishing it still by the time Christ came, we have difficulty in actually carrying them out today, and so we create additional or "sub-rules" that help us to fulfill those two great Commandments.

So, what makes your connections meaningful to you?  

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