First: Thank you to TheOriginalPhoenix. She inspires me to keep reaching out in order to try and help others.
Lately I’ve become aware of the concept of “Mother Earth” — seeing the Earth as one’s mother: A loving guardian deserving of respect.
That got me thinking: What does it mean to be a child of Mother Earth? i.e., What does it mean to live in harmony with Earth?
Note: As a Catholic, my answer to this question will be influenced by my faith.
I understand why people see Earth as their mother. I can think of two aspects of life on Earth that go hand-in-hand with motherhood:
1. Fruit on a tree is like milk from a woman’s breast: Natural, life-giving nourishment.
2. We come to Earth naked from inside our mother, and we feel more like our purest, deepest self when naked in nature — naked inside our other mother.
Do I see Earth as my mother?
Yes and no.
On the one hand: No. The reason why is my because Catholicism does not view Earth as a mother. If there is a mother that I, as a Catholic, am to cultivate a relationship with — other than the mother who gave birth to me (Exodus 20:12) — it is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, the son of God, and the queen of the angels.
On the other hand: Yes. As a Catholic, I believe that all things have a soul — an essence. The soul of a cat isn’t the same as a human soul, but they are both souls nonetheless. The soul being the spiritual aspect of a creature’s being, gifted by God.
God formed man from the dust of ground and breathed into the man’s nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
~ Genesis 2:7
So: If everything has an essence, is it far-fetched to believe that God gave Earth a maternal essence? After all: For the two reasons that I put above, aspects of life on Earth go hand-in-hand with motherhood. And there could be many more reasons. I just haven’t discovered them yet.
The purpose of this post isn’t to say “You should see Earth as your mother.”
The purpose of this post was for me to do what I could to reconcile my Catholic faith with a worldview where one sees Earth as their mother — to say “Hey! People who see the world one way and people who the world another way have more in common than they might think.”
The purpose of this post was to tear down walls and build bridges.
Building bridges, I believe, is part of what it means to be a “light.” (Matthew 5:14 — 16)
Ways that I thought of off the top of my head to live in harmony with Earth:
1. Respect others.
Do to others what you would want others to do to you.
~ Matthew 7:12
2. Respect the environment.
In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race.
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2402
3. Do not be ashamed of being as you naturally are.
Nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness. Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person, when its aim is to arouse concupiscence [i.e., lust], as a result of which the person is put in the position of an object for enjoyment.
~ Pope John Paul II
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
~ Genesis 1:31
If other ways come to mind, feel free to share them in the comment section. 🙂
Thank you for reading.