What defiles a man? Never another Man.
In this large cave some native Americans lived
A friar quotes a Native American Indian Chief
First ask yourself: What defiles you. Then ask what defiles God. And then ask, Do I defile? The answer is probably not. I was reading this morning about Marks’ account of Jesus telling us that it is not what goes into the body that defiles us but rather what comes out of our heart that defiles us. At the end of the reading this quote was provided: “The earth is precious to the Creator and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator....We are part of the earth and it is part of us”. ---- Chief Seattle.
It seems to me that the writer was trying to get across a very deep concept. Nowadays it is not what we personally do to our earth that counts so much as what we consume that may have disastrous effects. If we truly value the beauty and bounty of our earth we shall respect it by what we consume. Some products are first tier and obviously are wrong to consume, such as endangered species of anything. But the more subtle should be examined, like products of clear cutting, child labor produced goods, wasteful energy usage, and failure to consume locally produced items when we can. It is not the ingestion or other consumption that we should focus on. It is the cost of production and getting it to us that we should concern ourselves with. Not the cost in dollars but the cost to our earth.
This pictograph predates White man, and Christianity, to this region.
Genocide was once a ritual meant to cleanse. Now sometimes we clean and wast much.
So when we are talking about rituals and wasting fresh water to clean our hands a special way, our consumption of the food does not defile us. But the waste and near idolatry of pompous rituals does in the sense that it is performed from out of our heart. So be the contemporary ritual of buying things to consume so we can be one step ahead of the Jones or brag that we get what we want. Buying for flash regardless of the cash. And not consuming with a heart that is caring for our societal and environmental realities. Show you care, not replace but repair. Give a Hoot, don’t pollute. Teach others by your example.
In these complicated times it is not enough that we are loving and joyful and free. We must not let our earth and our fellow humans suffer because of what we consume. It still is not so much what goes into our bodies that defiles us, but rather what we choose to put into our bodies that defiles us.