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This coming Lent I want to introduce to the Diocese two books that have caused significant reflection.  The first is Bowing Toward Babylon by Craig M. Watts.  The second selection is Care for Creation (a Franciscan spirituality of the earth) by Ilia Delio, O.S.F., Keith Douglass Warner, O.S.F., and Pamela Wood.

“Bowing Toward Babylon is not simply another book about civil religion…Watts powerfully argues that Christian nationalism undermines the identity of the church by emphasizing our bonds to other Americans rather than our intimate connections to Christians, of whatever nation, in the one body of Christ.”

As scripture points out, we cannot serve two masters.  Watts challenges us to be honest in identifying whom we follow.  The answers may not be that easy.

The second book also speaks to matters at hand.  Drive south to Cocodrie and beyond the natural beauty of the area, you will notice that erosion is threatening properties held by families for generations.  Because of our thirst for natural resources and our lack of interest in conservation, we have thwarted the care of the earth’s soul.  We are paying the price now for the sins of our fathers and this will continue until we re-enter a relationship with the Creator.  This book focuses on ecology, theology and reflective action and the authors give us tangible insights that encourage conversation and action.

Each week I will send out a reflection meant to give our Diocese something to ponder.  It is my hope that small groups will gather to explore how thoughts are being provoked and questioned.  I encourage you to ask: where is God in the midst of our discovery?

The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana

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