To call these things sacred is to say that they have a value beyond their usefulness for human ends, that they themselves become the standard by which our acts, our economics, our laws, and our purposes must be judged. No one has the right to appropriate them or profit from them at the expense of others. Any government that fails to protect them forfeits its legitimacy.
All people, all living things, are part of the earth life, and so are sacred. No one of us stands higher or lower than any other. Only justice can assure balance: only ecological balance can sustain freedom. Only in freedom can that fifth sacred thing we call spirit flourish in its full diversity.
Grace has come to us in unexpected ways in the midst of life. We have known healing, courage, restored love — salvation. From these blessings of grace we see how to live in resistance to violence; we see how to live in love and in truth without denying bitter realities. We have felt a fire in the heart of things, intimated in moments of surprise, a power which guards, judges, and continually recreates life. We have sensed what Wordsworth called "a presence that disturbs me with joy ... something far more deeply interfused." This presence, felt as mystery and offered as faithfulness to one another, sustains and heals life. It calls for justice.