Harm Not The Earth is a wake-up call which tells us that it is time to start bearing fruit, not for personal sanctification or salvation, but for the good of all.
The author, Megan McKenna, tells us that if we are to be the followers of Jesus who is the fullness of life and sanctuary for all, who loved gardens and mountains and the sea and prayed that we might all be one in God as God is in us, then it is time for us to shift our attitudes towards who we think God is, what we think we are on this earth for and what it means to live and be responsible for creation in the image and likeness of God.
Megan McKenna, a native of New York City has lived, visited and gypsied through North and South America (especially Bolivia/Peru), Europe and a collection of islands: Celtic, Japanese, the Philippines, Singapore, Haiti and the Hawaiian Islands and through Malaysia, India, Marshall Islands, Thailand, Australia and China.
She works with Indigenous groups, in base Christian Communities and with justice and peace groups as well as parishes, dioceses and religious communities. She has been on the United States National Board of Pax Christi and in 2002 was appointed an Ambassador of Peace for Pax Christi.An internationally known author, theologian, storyteller and lecturer, she teaches at several colleges and universities and does retreats, workshops and parish missions.
She has graduate degrees in Scripture, Adult Education and Literacy from the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Systematic Theology from Catholic University, Washington, DC But foremost she is a lover of words: the Scriptures, stories and tales, poetry, images and phrases spoken aloud, written down and spun to make meaning and how these both convert and transform us and bring meaning and hope to the world.
She has authored more than thirty books, including And Morning Came: Scriptures of the Resurrection, Praying the Rosary, Send My Roots Rain, The New Stations of the Cross, On Your Mark: Reading Mark in the Shadow of the Cross, and the recently released, Harm Not The Earth. She resides in Albuquerq.
Meister Eckhart once observed: "What does God do all day long? God gives birth. From eternity, God lies on a maternity bed giving birth." And we humans are co-creators with the Holy One, called to take care of the good Earth, to reverence and cherish all living beings on the planet. In this challenging work, the internationally known author, lecturer, retreat leader, spiritual director, and peace activist Megan McKenna laments the destruction of the earth by human selfishness, power, greed, and short-sightedness. The environmental destruction that is underway, including the extinction of many species, is staggering in its implications. It is up to spiritual people around the globe to harm not the earth and to lead the way in ecology projects. To refresh our appreciation of the scriptural back to these two challenges, McKenna presents her interpretations of biblical accounts and stories the Creation, the Serpent and the Question, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Ark, Amos and Isaiah, Trees in the Bible, Jesus Geography as Told by Water, New Heaven and New Earth, and The Eighth Day. The author, as always, includes a series of illuminating spiritual stories from many different traditions to shed light on taking care of the trees, rocks, animals, seas, and the whole creation. We commend McKenna for her poem about reverencing a snake, for her call to build new arks in these times for mistreated creatures and critters, and for her plea to begin with "the globalization of compassion and an ecology of the heart." We love her concluding prayer and the exuberance she brings to this substantive plea that we love and cherish the good Earth. Review appeared on www.spiritualityandpractice.com, March 2007
The introduction to this book includes a wonderful inventory of the wickedness of humanity: Our world and its inhabitants are suffering the lethal effects of our behaviour and choices sins of injustice, greed, violence, sloth, war, murder and rape, revenge, thievery, covetousness, and the invention and use of weapons that have half-lives of millions of years. The positive side of this book lies in the message of its title, that we should strive to protect our planet. The acknowledgements begin with a statement of gratitude to the Indigenous Peoples of the World, their wisdom and enduring grace in their struggle to survive and to honour the earth, the skies, the waters and all creation.
- the Irish Catholic, April 2007