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The rush toward summer


This is excerpted from the writings of Hal Borland, who penned a nature column in the New York Times for years.

The urgency is upon all of us and every growing thing around us. Daylight now approaches fifteen hours, but still there isn't enough time to [img_assist|nid=24780||desc=|link=none|align=left|width=131|height=147]do, to see, to participate as we would. The farmer hurries her planting to be ready for the hay crop swiftly maturing. The suburbanite mows his lawn and wages war with the dandelions and the crabgrass, hoping for an idle weekend or a free evening. The gardener is caught between spring bulbs and summer annuals, between peas and corn and beans and the annual crop of weeds.

Meanwhile, the trees spread their green canopy, hurry their blossoms to maturity and seedling, and the chlorophyll works overtime, feeding new shoots and old stems. Brooksides, purple with violets last week, begin to flush with wild geraniums. Meadows where bluets were like frost two weeks ago are freckled with buttercups. Cool woodland margins that have had their succession of hepatica, bloodroot, anemones, wild ginger and trilliums, now are peopled with Jack-in-the-pulpits.

Global climate change and religion


An article on the Huffington Post Green blog explores the connection between global warming denialism and religion. Evidence exists that many who deny the dangers of global warming do so out of religious conviction. A Pew survey asked the following question: "Is there solid evidence the Earth is warming?"

Physicist and author Victor Stenger breaks down the responses according to religious affiliation or non-affiliation, then lays out further details of a connection between evangelicals in particular and opposition to the consensus of climate scientists.

He gives the Catholic church credit for becoming increasingly green.

Prayers for the floods to recede


Good and gracious God,
all the elements of nature obey your command.
Calm the waters that threaten us
and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

God, our provider, we acknowledge you
as the only source of growth and abundance.
With your help we will plant our crops again,
and by your power they will produce our harvest.
In your kindness and love,
make up for what is lacking in our efforts.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
-- from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference

A good word about New Age


I’ve gone to a psychic fair, used colored stones to help balance my chakras, applied flower essences to improve my mood, participated in a sweat lodge, listened to a channeled message, had my astrology chart done, read a book on past lives, and done a lot more things labeled “new age.” And no lightning bolt from heaven has struck me down for daring to stray into what some would think is dangerous territory, inconsistent with being a good Catholic.

Here is the simple premise of this blog. We don’t have to be afraid of all these varied methods and paths to finding self-realization, spirituality, and wholeness. We are not betraying our Christian heritage or consorting with the devil by exploring them. Yes, there are some things we need to be careful and discerning about but on the whole we can benefit from new age (whatever that means) experiences if these things appeal to us. And even if they don’t we can still respect them. And it might even broaden us to learn something about them.

An amazing link: Interactive photograph of the entire night sky


The Photopic Sky Survey is a Web site with a 360-degree, interactive composite photograph of the entire night sky as seen from Earth.

In it we see tens of millions of stars, the glowing factories of newborn ones, and a rich tapestry of dust all floating on a stage of unimaginable proportions.

Assembled and photgraphed by Nick Risinger, it's a 5,000 megapixel photograph of the entire night sky stitched together from 37,440 exposures. Large in size and scope, it portrays a world far beyond the one beneath our feet and reveals our familiar Milky Way with unfamiliar clarity. When we look upon this image, we are in fact peering back in time, as much of the light—having traveled such vast distances—predates civilization itself.

Out of chaos, something quiet and still, pure and deep


There was something formed out of chaos, that was born before Heaven and Earth. Quiet and still! Pure and Deep! -- Tao Te Ching, Robert G. Henricks translation. (From "Word for the Day")

I heard once that gratefulness is the highest of prayer forms. That stuck with me. It's one of the reasons I find inspiration at and subscribe to its "Word for the Day." describes its mission as follows: "A Network for Grateful Living (ANG*L) provides education and support for the practice of grateful living as a global ethic, based on the teachings of Br. David Steindl-Rast and colleagues."

How to wage war on food waste


Laura Wright Treadway writes on the Sierra Club's On Earth blog: "As kids, we were all admonished to finish what's on our plate for the sake of those starving children in faraway countries. Among environmental issues, however, food waste barely registers as a concern. Yet when we do the math, tallying all the resources required to grow the food that is lost as it journeys from farm to processor to plate and beyond, the consequences of our wastefulness are staggering: 25 percent of all fresh water and 4 percent of all oil consumed in this country are used to produce food that is never eaten.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that Americans waste 30 percent of all edible food produced, bought, and sold in this country, although it acknowledges that this figure is probably low."

Read the full article here.

Climate triage and 'the new normal'


Water and climate scientist Peter Gleick writes on the Huffington Post Green blog about "climate triage," choices about who and what is going to be protected and saved, versus abandoned and lost. It's relevant to the present dilemmas in dealing with the flooding along the Mississippi.

"The delay in acting to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases means that more and more anthropogenic climate changes are now unavoidable. Climate impacts are already evident and they are going to get worse and worse. It's the 'new normal.' In coming years, we are going to be faced with increasingly difficult decisions in what must now be called climate triage..."


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In This Issue

May 22-June 4, 2015


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