Ceremony of Sorrow, Hope, & Action

By Matthew Fox

We are calling upon Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s teaching that addresses climate change and the extinction reality for our species and so many others in our time.  Deep Ecumenism urges all peoples of all religions to pray and act for the common good, for the good of the planet, “our common home” (Pope Francis).

He offers the following meditation suggesting lighting candles as you read it. [Theshalomcenter.org]

A Kavanah (Prayer) for Kindling Candles of Commitment

We are the generations
That stand between the fires.

Behind us

The burning crosses lit by hate
To choke our people in the smoke of terror;
Behind us the flame and smoke
That rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima.

In this 2019 image by NOAA-20, the smoke from fires in the Amazon rainforest can be clearly seen (Wikimedia Commons). Deforestation in Brazil’s rainforest broke historic records between January and June 2022, as an area five times the size of New York City was destroyed. (Reuters)

Not yet behind us,

The burning forests of the Amazon,
Torched for the sake of fast hamburger and fast wealth.
Not yet behind us, the glare of gun fire
exploding in our children.
Not yet behind us –-the hottest years of human history

That bring upon us
Melted ice fields. Flooded cities.
Scorching droughts.
Murderous wildfires

Before us we among all life-forms
face the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,
The heat and smoke that could consume all Earth.

“Here! The day is coming,”
Said the Prophet Malachi,
“That will flame like a furnace,
Says YHWH / Yahhhh

The Infinite Inter
Breath of Life —
when all the arrogant, all evil-doers,
root and branch,
will like straw be burnt to ashes
in the fires that they set.

Yet for all who revere
My Interbreathing Name, Yahhhh,
a sun of justice will arise
with healing in the beating of its wings,
its rays, its winds.”

“Here! Before the coming
of the great and awesome day
of YHWH/ the Breath of Life,
I will send you the Prophet Elijah
to turn the hearts of elders to the youth
and the hearts of youth to elders,
lest I come and smite all Earth with utter desolation.”


Here! we ourselves are coming
Before that great and terrible day
Of smiting Earth —
For we ourselves shall turn the hearts
Of youth and elders to each other.
So that this day of smiting
Does not fall upon us.

We ourselves are coming
To douse that outer all-consuming fire.
We must light again in our own hearts
the inner fire of love and liberation
that burned in the Burning Bush —
The fire that did not destroy the Bush it burned in,
For love is strong as death —
Love’s Fire must never be extinguished–
The fire in the heart of all Creation.

We light these candles to make from inner fire
Not an all-consuming blaze
But the loving light in which we see more clearly
The Rainbow Covenant glowing
in the many-colored faces of all life.

Blessed be You, Interbreathing Spirit of the world, creative energy, who makes us holy by connecting us with each other and with You, and at this moment connects us by kindling our inner light.

Rabbi Waskow proposes ideas for communities taking action to put this prayer into history and I will speak to this in the video that accompanies today’s meditation.


Originally published on Matthew Fox's website where here shares daily meditations.

Rev. Matthew Fox, PhD, author, theologian, and activist priest, has been calling people of spirit and conscience into the Creation Spirituality lineage for over 50 years. His 36 books (translated into 74 languages), as well as his lectures, retreats, and innovative education models, have ignited an international movement to awaken people to be mystics and prophets, contemplative activists, who honor and defend the earth and work for justice. To learn more, visit matthewfox.org

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