March 9, 2022
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees.
— Genesis 3:8

I wish our ancestors were not afraid of God in the garden. Temptation led to moral failure, moral failure to shame, and shame to avoiding the sacred presence. Our shame over our failings separates us from love. I have sometimes “hidden” inside of buildings and rituals to protect me from an encounter with the sacred in the world. “Safe” religion is a form of taking cover in the trees, and it is odd that we can use even church to avoid being face-to-face with the Holy One. We reenact ancient stories in our own lives.

Let me not be afraid of encountering holiness in the garden, even when I feel temptation and shame. For love overcomes our failures and mistakes.

Somewhere in Eden, after all this time,   
does there still stand, like a city in ruins,   
forsaken, doomed to slow decay,   
the failed garden?
— Ina Rousseau, from “Eden” (you can read the entire poem HERE)

Loving God,
We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.
We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.
We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.
May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world. Amen.
(from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development)