About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Humus Spirituality

On June 21st this year I received a very special gift. It was Sunday and I preached about caterpillars and worms. A thoughtful parishioner brought me a bin full of composting earthworms (Eisenia Fetida). Ever since I have been keeping them, feeding them and observing them on our balcony. It has been for me a real and highly rewarding spiritual exercise. 
     Earthworms are amazing creatures; very quickly they turn any food leftovers (but especially fruit and vegetable scraps) into amazing dark rich humus. Our compost bin has almost no smell, we have only a few little fruit flies and only an occasional minor flair-up of mold. But all of those “unpleasantnesses” are actually parts of a natural process of soil making. Worms are amazing, but the very humus and soil making is even more amazing. It might look like a bin of dirt, but in reality it is like a small city, a small microcosm of diverse organisms living together and transforming our refuse into a life-giving substance - the soil. It is pocket-size ecology in action.
    Pope Francis in his recent encyclical letter “Laudato Si” wrote: It may well disturb us to learn of the extinction of mammals or birds, since they are more visible. But the good functioning of ecosystems also requires fungi, algae, worms, insects, reptiles and an innumerable variety of microorganisms.
     Francis is absolutely correct, well informed and oriented not only in spiritual but also ecological matters. We usually don’t pay much attention to what we call earth, ground or even dirt. But soil is not inert; it is very much alive and our lives depend on it! Without soil teeming with well-balanced life, all other life of plants and animals would be impossible. 
   Interestingly our faith tradition shares this deep appreciation of earth. These aspects of our faith have been long neglected, but our faith tradition respectfully and consistently ascribes to earth personality and even an independent agency. 
     Join us this Sunday for a celebration of earth - ground, dirt, dust, soil teaming with life. God in the Hebrew Bible and Jesus of the New Testament called her partner and collaborator in bringing forth and nurturing life.
Now imagine what industrial agriculture does to this fine-tuned equilibrium of living creatures in the soil. Blasts of industrial fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides are poisoning microorganisms. Antibiotics leaking and leaching from gigantic animal farms are exterminating the whole spectrum of soil bacteria leaving behind impoverished biodiversity and often virtual deserts. Some fields are so degraded that without artificial fertilizers they would not be able to support any crop. True soil is not inert, it teems with micro-life and our lives depend on it!

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