Thomas Berry

A single sacred community

It is my hope that all the children, the children of the deer and the wolf, the whale and other marine forms of life; the children of the osprey and the bluebird and the butterfly; the children of the oak and the pine and the dogwood; the children all together with the human children will go into the future in oneness "as a single sacred community." ... The human is less a being on the earth or in the universe than a dimension of the earth and indeed of the universe itself. We cannot discover ourselves without first discovering the universe, the earth, and the imperatives of our own being. Each of these has a creative power and a vision far beyond any rational thought or cultural creation of which we are capable. Nor do we think of these as isolated from our own individual being or from the human community. We have no existence except within the earth and within the universe.

~ from CREATIVE ENERGY by Thomas Berry

Joy in the Earth

The human venture depends absolutely on a quality of awe and reverence and joy in the Earth and all that lives and grows upon the Earth.

~ Thomas Berry

A stillness, a healing quiet comes over the landscape

In the early evening we see the stars begin to appear as the sun disappears over the horizon. The light of day gives way to the darkness of night. A stillness, a healing quiet comes over the landscape. It's a moment when some other world makes itself known, a numinous presence beyond human understanding. We experience the vast realms of space overwhelming the limitations of our human minds. As the sky turns golden and the clouds reflect the blazing colors of evening, we participate for a moment in the forgiveness, the peace, the intimacy of things with each other.

~ from THE GREAT COMMUNITY OF EARTH by Thomas Berry

The imperatives of our own being

We cannot discover ourselves without first discovering the universe, the earth, and the imperatives of our own being.

~ Thomas Berry

It takes a universe to make a child

It takes a universe
to make a child both
in outer form and inner spirit.
It takes a universe
to educate a child;
a universe to fulfill a child.
For, the child awakens to a universe.

~ Thomas Berry

To discover the universe is a big step toward knowing ourselves

To discover the universe is a big step toward knowing ourselves. As humans we are born of the Earth, nourished by the Earth, healed by the Earth. The natural world tells us: I will feed you, I will clothe you, I will shelter you, I will heal you. Only do not so devour me or use me that you destroy my capacity to mediate the divine and the human. For I offer you a communication with the divine. In the vastness of the sea, in the snow-covered mountains, in the rivers flowing through the valleys, in the serenity of the landscape, and in the foreboding of the great storms that sweep over the land — I offer you inspiration for your music, your art, your dance. All these benefits the Earth gives to us: individually, communally, and throughout the entire Earth.
~ Thomas Berry in MAKING PEACE ed. by McConnell and van Gelder
Making Peace Healing a Violent World
By Sarah van Gelder, Carolyn McConnell

The place for the meeting of the divine and the human

Within the universe, the planet Earth with all its wonder is the place for the meeting of the divine and the human.
~ from Evening Thoughts by Thomas Berry
Evening Thoughts
By Thomas Berry

The forgiveness, the peace, the intimacy of things with each other

In the early evening we see the stars begin to appear as the sun disappears over the horizon. The light of day gives way to the darkness of night. A stillness, a healing quiet comes over the landscape. It's a moment when some other world makes itself known, a numinous presence beyond human understanding. We experience the vast realms of space overwhelming the limitations of our human minds. As the sky turns golden and the clouds reflect the blazing colors of evening, we participate for a moment in the forgiveness, the peace, the intimacy of things with each other.

~ from "The Great Community of Earth" by Thomas Berry in "Earth Letter" -- September 2001

The ultimate mystery of things

Spiritual disciplines are being renewed throughout the world. For some, the ultimate mystery of things is experienced in the depth of the inner self, for others in the human community, for still others in the earth process itself. Yet in each instance, the full sense of communion seems to be present.

~ by Thomas Berry
The Dream of the Earth
By Thomas Berry

What is our dream for the Earth?

What is our dream for the Earth? What is our dream for our children?

My hope is that all children will become earth literate. That they will experience no separation of spirit and matter! That they will come to know the Story of the Universe as theor story! That they will have a deep sense of being a unique expression of the universe and that they are the universe celebrating itself in their songs, dances, and rituals! Finally, I hope that they realize they have a purpose to fulfill and that they are a gift for the whole web of life!

~ Thomas Berry with thanks to Carl Ritz
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