by Sister Mary Rita Rohde
"And God saw how good it was." You recognize these words from one of the accounts of creation in Genesis. All that God made - that is, all of creation - is good and it is holy because God made it. Along with the believers, I believe that all of creation is also interconnected. For example, when rain forests in Brazil are cut down it affects the weather pattern on other continents.
It is easy to forget that all of creation is good with all of the violence and disasters that we hear about on TV and in newspapers. It is also easy for us to block out bad news, like 8 million people a year die from malnutrition or like 25 percent of the people of Africa are HIV positive. What difference does it make to us in Sunnyside, Wa.? What can we do about either the hunger in the world or the AIDS epidemic in Africa? Maybe you have a favorite international charity that you give to which runs food and medical programs. That is good. Maybe you lobby senators and congress people to give more money to AIDS prevention and the elimination of hunger. That is good.
In addition to these types of actions I would like to suggest that there is something we can do everyday to help make our world, including Sunnyside, a better place to live. We can participate in helping God's creation be "good." Since we are interconnected I believe that my thoughts and my prayers can make a difference. My positive thoughts and prayers sent to God from me for Africa or for my neighbor can have a positive effect. It doesn't take long, maybe 10 seconds, to send a positive prayer or thought. Here is one suggestion. Whenever you have a few moments when you are driving or working or caring for your children, slowly breathe in God's love, hold that loving breath a moment, then exhale gratitude. Your thoughts of gratitude can be for God's creation, for your neighbors, for the people of Africa, for whatever you wish to pray for.
You might want to repeat this breathing prayer two or three times, then continue with your work or driving or whatever. Because this does not take long, try it several times a day.
Yes, God's creation is good. And yes, my positive prayers and thoughts can make a difference for that creation.
- Sister Mary Rita Rohde of Sunnyside's Nuestra Casa