Saturday, April 4, 2009

Suffer the beautiful creatures

TIME magazine's issue of April 13, 2009 lists the following as " 10 species on the brink " of extinction:

1. Javan Rhinoceros - Indonesia and Vietnam
2. Vaquita - Gulf of California
3. Cross River Gorilla - Nigeria and Cameroon
4. Sumatran Tiger - Sumatra, Indonesia
5. Golden-Headed Langur - Vietnam
6. Black-Footed Ferret - North American Great Plains
7. Borneo Pygmy Elephant - Northern Borneo, Malaysia
8. Giant Panda - China, Burma, Vietnam
9. Polar Bear - The circumpolar Arctic
10 Mekong Giant Catfish - Mekong Region of Southeast Asia

Perhaps we can start with something so apparently far removed from these beautiful co-inhabitants of the one home we fail to generously share with them, as well as the millions of suffering humanity around the world - what the Broadway musical MAMA MIA! glorifies in one of its songs- Money, Money, Money!

The same magazine issue quotes Mayor Laszlo Varnai of Kiskunhalas, Hungary ( after his town's Levi Strauss & Co. plant was closed ) as saying: " The inhuman nature in the cold numbers of capitalism, that's what stuns you. "

In its April 6, 2009 issue, TIME also quoted Sr. Christine Schenk of Cleveland, to wit: " Too many bishops are treating parishes as if they were Starbucks franchises. It's about more than money. " She might as well have said it about the Archdioceses of New York, and Brooklyn and Queens in the Metro New York Area. Think about it if it were Jesus' strategy when he formed his band of 12 roving disciples. Have the bishops grown comfortable in their fine dining rooms with silverware, wines and the whole works? And is it the bottom line ( the red or the black numbers on the profit and loss statement ) that only matter nowadays? How about the souls they were supposed to nurture? There is no price tag on that, is there?

If churches get closed - never mind the " sheep " without thee shepherds, milk get tainted by baby- killing melamine, livelihood-sustaining forests get logged clean, life-giving rivers get polluted by mine tailings overflow, and entire neighborhoods get ash fall-outs from dirty coal-fired power plants--- all in the NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY PROFIT ( pronounced G-O-D ) --- what are the chances that a Panda gets its day in the court of life? Then, who would care about Madagascars' Moon Moth, Ploughshare Turtle, Fossa, Pink Bug, Leaf-Tailed Gecko, Aye-Aye, and the Panther Chameleon?

Imagine what the world would look like without these and other beautiful creatures... just the ubiquitous green bucks, or euro, or yuan, yen.....

Imagine further if you were responsible for making these beautiful creatures disappear... and visualize yourself on your death bed.....pufff.... your paper ( mickey mouse? ) money crumbling down faster than a house of cards. Bernie Madoff has a trial run on this exercise inside the Fed prison. In a way, he is lucky. He has been given another chance to get it right, if he is smart enough. You, too, friend can practice this visualization technique, before materialism takes away your humanity from you.... because at death's turnstile, none of those currencies is legal tender... the only token that matters is love of God... and love of neighbor. And that includes these little creatures.

" Whatever you do to the least of these, you do it unto me.... " - The Carpenter from Nazareth

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