Friday, May 11, 2012

Jesus Prayer and Mountain Top Removal

This story begins with myself sitting in an automobile, nearly every day, waiting for the coal train to pass by. I felt guilt and sorrow for those trains - because I am responsible for missing mountain tops in West Virginia. The coal runs our electricity power plants in Virginia. I use that electricity.

Then, as Wendell Berry puts it, I accepted that, "We are embedded in a structure that gave rise to us. We didn't give rise to it." Catholic social justice teachings describe it as a structure of sin - we participate it in unwillingly but are aware of it nonetheless.

I am neither agrarian nor Catholic; I am an urban Orthodox catechumen. What do we do when faced with sin? Pray the Jesus prayer!

So I sit in my car now, watching the coal train pass by, and say, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

This is a very small beginning, but that is what our faith is about - making a beginning, even if a new one every day. I hope this little green shoot of martyrdom will continue to grow.


  1. I like your title, Anna. Green martyr, as opposed to red (those who suffered for the faith through bloodshed), or white (those who gave up everything for the faith and followed Christ). Maybe in turning our backs on this system we are caught up in, and trying to disengage and not participate, in some small way we become green martyrs.

  2. Thanks, Elaine! I will explain those concepts about martyrdom in future posts. Those not within liturgical Christianity may not have a healthy concept of "being a martyr".