Reflection on Composting by Catherine Brennan SSL

Catherine Brennan SSL, Catholic representative on the ECI committee, shared this reflection on composting:

I look at compost and marvel at its mystery.  Organic materials are gathered and heaped together.  Heat is generated from within, steam rises and gradually the contents break down.  Eventually everything is unrecognizable and we have rich, dark soil.  In dying to its own life, the organic waste births a new material, which is life-giving for plants and for us humans who enjoy the fruits of the earth.  Compost tells me that the reality of life, death and resurrection is at the heart of creation’s mystery.

Something always dies as new life comes forth.  Whenever dark times come our way “We must be still, and still moving into another intensity for a deeper communion” (T.S. Eliot).

It is inevitable that experience of disintegration happens.  The breakdown of the compost tells us that if we are to realize the more of life and if our lives are to be life giving for others we must accept life’s changes.

The life, death and resurrection cycle is the deepest myth of all of reality.

The death and resurrection of Jesus, therefore, is not something new to the created universe, but a uniquely divine manifestation of what already is, and of what is all around us.  The mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus holds before us the truth of God’s abiding presence and transforming activity in all of Creation.

compostPrayer for Composters

God, we thank you for the composters

The blind workers underground.

The bacteria, the worms, the fungi, the insects,

the earth’s diligent workers, those upon whom we walk.

Spirit of Life, you who know their silent language,

convey our thanks.  Give greetings from the humans

who for a  short time live above the earth.

Say that we depend on their work and that we also are

related to them, as humanity is born from earth and to earth returns.

Say that every day we enjoy the fruit of their work.

May God bless you, little sisters and brothers, in the compost.

May health and appetite be with you, always.