Thursday, February 26, 2015

Madonna House Movie VII: Restoring the Earth

Thursday again, and so time for another thrilling installment in the franchise of MH short films. I'm posting a bit later in the day than usual, as I had some (routine) blood work at the hospital this morning. I have found that, while I can blog when half-asleep, I cannot blog half asleep without coffee. So here we are - enjoy the show:

This is just about my favourite of all twelve of the films. For one thing, it is beautiful - tons of beauty shots of our MH farm, which is an utterly gorgeous place. Lots of shots of cows and horses, sheep and chickens, and green gardens, pastures, hills. All just lovely - we are so very blessed to be living in such a place of God's created order and grace.

But I think the film does a very good job of giving at least a sense of our whole MH approach to the question of the earth and our care for it. We were environmentalists here long before it was a fashionable stance, long before anyone had any concern about global warming or whatever they're calling it these days.

And our approach to these matters are completely unconnected, then, to the fierce debates and raging conflicts around AGW, etc. If tomorrow there is conclusive proof that the AGW is false; or if tomorrow there is conclusive proof that it is true, it will not affect in any regard how we live our life in MH.

Because here, we have always cared for the earth. Here, we have always tried to use as little as we can, and to farm in a sustainable way, to compost and recycle, reuse and make do. We live on donations--every article of clothing I am currently wearing is second-hand! We do not use herbicides, pesticides, hormones. We do use chemical fertilizer, but even the most strong advocates of organic farming have conceded to us that we need to do that to get crops off the poor marginal soil of these parts.

But beyond the specifics, the MH approach to farming and the earth is one of knowing ourselves to be in relationship with creation, to dig our hands into the soil, to pull weeds and plant vegetables. To move through the year of plowing and tilling, planting and watering, weeding and thinning, reaping and storing, and to do it all again the next year, and the one after that, and then again...

There is something that happens to you when you live close to the earth, some way of being tuned in to God and his plan for creation in the natural order that blends easily with his plans in the supernatural order. So many things fall into place, and so much of our fractured, failing humanity falls into place as well.

Well, that is enough for now - watch the video, and enjoy it. We believe in MH that we have a key here, in the way we farm and the way we live, that addresses much of the anguished questions and turmoil of our times, and is a great healing for humanity and for our poor beleaguered planet.


  1. Looks like Heaven on Earth to me! I just found out that you will be giving a seminar at Rosemary Heights and I will try to go. I have two children (14 and 9) so don't know if I can pull it off... Please pray for me that I can go! I have an M.Sc. in botany and have experience in the certified organic production of edible and medicinal plants. I'm so excited for you about your upcoming blueberries - I just love them!! A friend of mine, David Rogers, suggested that I check out MH in fall 2013 (maybe it was during our 40 Days for Life here on the Sunshine Coast of B.C.). I had mentioned wanting to live in a religious community that was close to the land. Now I better understand why he was so impressed and see the amazing scope of your work! It's so great to see! I hope that I can get involved with this type of work soon - don't know where but can't imagine anything more important or fulfilling! :)

    1. Oh, I hope you can make it! MH is a beautiful place--not quite heaven on earth, since it has all us sinful jerks living in it ;), but it is lovely.
      I remember David well from his visits to MH years ago - say hi to him from me. Anyhow, we have a house in Vancouver, so if you can't make it to the day at Rosemary Heights, you should look them up anyhow. God bless you.


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