Humankind is derived from a piece of earth. Its bond with the earth belongs to its essential being. The earth is its mother; it comes out of her womb . . . The ground and the animals over which I am lord [i.e. God’s authority entrusted to us] constitute the world in which I live, without which I cease to be . . . I am not free from it in any sense of my essential being, my spirit, having no need of nature, as though nature were something alien to the spirit. On the contrary, in my whole being, in my creatureliness, I belong wholly to this world; it bears me, nurtures me, holds me.[i]
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a radio broadcast 1932-3 after Hitler came to power.
Whether we adopt a religion or not, we are innately spiritual and will remain so throughout our entire lifespan. For contemporary adults, this awareness is quite widespread and is raising formidable challenges for the meaning and place of formal religion in human living.
- Diarmuid O'Murchu, 2010.