The Season of Creation 2022: Listen to the Voice of Creation
Note: We are preparing to celebrate the Season of Creation (Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation through Oct. 4, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). The Sisters of Providence Climate Change Task Force will share 10 blogs, this being the second. We hope you enjoy the series!
Call to our Providence Community
During the Season of Creation 2022, our Providence Community is invited to participate as together we educate, reflect, advocate, act and celebrate. Each Sunday and Wednesday, the Climate Change Task Force will provide opportunities to journey to care for all of creation. We invite each sister, associate and reader to respond as we move forward in our Laudato Si’ Action Platform commitment to climate justice.
The logo for Season of Creation 2022, the burning bush, will appear on all Season of Creation 2022 communications. The bush contrasts the fire of so many unnatural fires that aggravate the climate crisis, with the sign of fire as the light of the Holy Spirit that unites Christians.
Burning Bush music video
“I have heard their cry … I know their sufferings … Come, now! I will send you … I will be with you!” (Exodus 3:1-12)
Today, the prevalence of unnatural fires are a sign of the devastating effects climate change has on our planet’s most vulnerable. Creation cries out as forests crackle, animals flee and people are forced to migrate. All due to the fires of injustice that we have caused. On the contrary, the fire that called to Moses as he tended the flock on Mount Horeb did not consume or destroy the bush. This flame of the Spirit revealed God’s presence. This holy fire affirmed that God heard the cries of all who suffered. And it promised to be with us as we followed in faith to our deliverance from injustice.
Listen to the Voice of Creation
In this Season of Creation, this symbol of God’s Spirit calls us to listen to the voice of creation. To listen and faithfully respond through worship, repentance and action. As you celebrate this Season of Creation, light candles (safely, of course), adorn a bush in our place of worship, gather with others around an outdoor fire to reflect on the power of fire. And may this symbol remind us to take off our sandals, contemplate our connection to holy ground, listen for the voice of creation and be filled with hope to quench the fires of injustice with the light of God’s healing love that sustains our common home.
As we contemplate our connection to Earth and listen for the voice of creation during the months of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have become aware of those whose voices have been silenced or muted by the deadly virus, isolation and loss of in-person possibilities. During this pandemic, many have become familiar with the concept of being muted in conversations. Many voices are muted in public discourse around climate change and the ethics of Earth-keeping. These are voices of those who suffer the impacts of climate changes.
These are voices of people who hold generational wisdom about how to live gratefully within the limits of the land. These are voices of a diminishing diversity of more-than-human species. It is the voice of Earth. The 2022 Season of Creation theme raises awareness of our need to listen to the voice of creation.
The Psalmist declares, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge … their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the Earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (19:1-4) Creation never ceases to proclaim, it is the contemplative who strives to listen.
Contemplation opens us to many modes of listening to the book of creation. Psalm 19 says that creatures speak to us of the Creator. The harmonious balance of biodiverse ecologies and the suffering cries of creation are both echoes of the Divine. Because all creatures have the same origin and ending in God. Listening to the voices of our co-creatures is like perceiving truth, goodness or beauty through the lives of a human friend and family member. Learning to listen to these voices helps us become aware of the Trinity, in which creation lives, moves and has its being. Jurgen Moltmann calls for “a discernment of the God who is present in creation, who through his Holy Spirit can bring men and women in reconciliation and peace with nature.”
During the Season of Creation, our common prayer and action can help us listen for the voices of those who are silenced. In prayer, we lament the individuals, communities, species and ecosystems that are lost. We lament those whose livelihoods are threatened by habitat loss and climate change. In prayer, we center the cry of Earth and the cry of the poor.
Listening to the voice of creation offers members of the Christian family a rich entry point for interfaith and interdisciplinary dialogue and practice. By listening to the voice of all creation, humans from all cultures and sectors of life can be joined in our vocation to care for our common home (oikos).
May this 2022 Season of Creation renew our ecumenical unity! And may this season of prayer and action be a time to listen to the Voice of Creation, so that our lives in words and deeds proclaim good news for all Earth!
Pray, reflect, act:
Invite the Holy Spirit to inflame our hearts with extraordinary love for all creation. Pray that love, mercy and justice will overflow into the lives of all who seek shelter from climate disaster, wildfires, and gun fire. Reflect how the power of fire can generate warmth, cook food and call forth contemplation as well as destroy life. Act to lobby for restoration of forests and wild life habitats. Share your experience of that with the Climate Change Task Force. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.