“Let’s Fall In Love Again”: Remembering a Beautiful Life

Thoma Berry and MS, La Grange 200_ (3)

During this month of Thanksgiving, I have experienced soaring gratitude for the teaching, the presence, and especially the person of Thomas Berry in my life. This November, the world has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, November 9, 1914.

Thinkers the world over came to discover and know Thomas Berry’s Great Work, and found it inspiring, comprehensive, challenging, hopeful. Those who were blessed to meet and interact with Thomas the man, experienced his presence and his message as a powerful invitation . . . “Let’s fall In love again!”

His wise, humble, gracious, other-centered presence invited us all into a Love story.  He LIVED that story, for he had come to see our troubled human relationship with Earth not only through science and a lifetime of scholarship reflecting on human cultures, but he saw with the eyes of the heart.

Thomas invited us deeply into the Story of Creation as a Sacred Story, a Love Story, within which which we are awakening in our time through renewed faith, through science and through evolving consciousness.

I first “met” Thomas In 1980 when I read a paper he had written on “The Spirituality of the Earth” which affirmed every intuition and felt experience I’d ever had of the Sacred Presence within Creation—the felt Oneness with and within it all.  I looked for but did not find other of his publications. (This was before Google!)

Finally in 1988, I wanted to quote from that 1979 essay in a yearly Calendar I was about to publish, “Song of the Earth”.  I found and dialed the number of his Riverdale Center in New York. To my surprise Thomas himself answered the phone, and soon we were engaged in lively conversation, he asking about my work, and vice-versa.  “Why, I’m about to publish a book myself called Dream of the Earth!” he announced.  I asked him about the book, and we continued sharing our concerns, insights and love for our Earth.

By the time we hung up, I was stunned to have “met” this new “friend”!  Newly inspired and affirmed I felt strengthened to follow my heart, my sense of purpose.  I finally met Thomas Berry in person the following year, and with many other “good companions along the way” came together to find ways of participating in this THE GREAT WORK of our time.

Through my study, teaching, deep listening and my creative work, I have been blessed to share with others as we AWAKEN to and recognize the magnificence and beauty, the wonder and weaving  together of a Creations so intimately interdependent.  When that happens, we begin to recognize also the deadly illusion of our culture—the dark deception “separateness” which allows us to cause untold destruction and suffering to one another, to our planet, to all of life, to ourselves.

Thomas Berry died on June 1, 2009.  During his last 20 years with us how blessed we were to be “good companions” along the way with hundreds of others awakened and  engaged in this THE GREAT WORK of our time.

Thomas a (3)

Painting of Thomas by Mary Southard

 

WHERE TO START if you would like to know more:

Google  “Thomas Berry” and explore.

See and hear Thomas:

http://www.csjthewell.org/resources/read-watch-connect/   Click on Watch

To read other Thomas Berry personal stories: (Autumn 2014 Issue of SpiritEarth)

http://www.csjthewell.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SpiritEarth-color-Autumn-2014.pdf

Thomas reading his poem “Children of the Forest” to children at Timberlake Farm

.http://www.timberlakeearthsanctuary.com/thomasberry.html  (video)

http://www.csjthewell.org/thomas-berry-thomas-the-teacher-thomas-the-man

Read about Thomas:

Recovering A Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry by Carolyn W. Toben

And read his books (These three are recommended as starters):

The Great Work by Thomas Berry.

The Sacred Universe by Thomas Berry.

Dream of  the Earth by Thomas Berry