I was born and raised in the Catholic tradition, but as I grow as a person I have ventured away from the Church and its outward ways. I have tried to seek other teachings, and continue to seek, not intending to leave what I grew up in, but to grow in what I learn from outside. I have also been a self-confessed environmentalist for most of my life and I don’t find anything in both that contradict each other. Rather, I find what is common, and try to understand that. Needless to say, I don”t find myself bound by age-old traditions, rituals or otherwise.
This Holy Week, my meditation would be through the Netflix documentary series “Our Planet”. I am only in the second episode but I have already teared up in some parts. It reveals so much to me of how we must act to take care our Mother Planet and her creatures who have nurtured humanity for thousands of years.
Animals are so very much like humans. Their need for survival, a home, their drive to keep their kind flourishing despite the odds, their evident intelligence, their struggles, their connections to their own family, their specie, their habitat, the unmistakable moments of care, which when we see in humans we call love, and probably there is a little difference except how we view and call it.
A lot of us know, at least in jist, what the Holy Books of the Christian tradition are trying to say. they are summed up in a number of commandments. But we often mistake those to apply only to humans, and rarely to other creatures, and the very planet that provides these creatures, including us, a home.
This Holy Week, I recommend three different ways to meditate about the suffering of Christ. First, I encourage you all to watch the series and meditate on it. try to understand what is needed of us to make a difference in this lifetime, and think for minute, that Mother Earth is the Christ that we have crucified. This, in fact, is not a new concept. In the Philippines at least, the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was performed by well-known musicians, depicting Christ as nature. I managed to only find a terrible video of it, but it critically well received, if I was not mistaken, in the year 2000. Here is a video of rock star Jet Pangan as Pontious Pilate, with progressive musician Noel Cabangon as Christ.
Second, I encourage you to try and not take a life. a leg of lamb to for dinner to commemorate the rebirth of Christ is hardly a celebration of life. Please do not eat sentient beings nor take anything from them to celebrate Easter, whether it be any kind of animal body, milk and its products, eggs, or honey. They are not food but taken as such they represent death and not life. It is a story of death, and no major religion, as far as my limited knowledge allows, upholds death over life. I encourage you to be vegan.
Third, I encourage you all to reflect on our mundane life, individually and collectively, and find ways by which the little and big things we do impact the fragile blue planet we are in. whether it be our personal consumption, our use of energy, our support of politicians who do or do not uphold the welfare of the planet. There are just so many ways by which we can contribute in easing suffering in the world, whether by extreme weather events caused by climate change, fishing off the oceans, and using tons and tons of disposable plastics every day. I encourage you to be mindfully green.
I am definitely not the best person to take advise from during such a sacred time as the Lenten Season. In fact, I’m farthest from it. I have no moral ascendance over anyone to be offering this advice. Many people would mock me here online, within their circles, or in their minds for having the gall to offer an advise beyond the traditional fasting, prayer, and visits to a number of churches. I encourage you to take heed because this is not about me. This is not even about you. This is in fact about something greater than any of us, a planetary challenge to all humanity in the greatest crisis of our time.
I believe we live in a most auspicious time to do something of impact for our world, whether good or bad. Lastly, do not take my word for it. Please look into yourself and find out.