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Season of Creation 2022: Eco-Spirituality

Note: We are celebrating 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, with this being the sixth in the series. We hope you enjoy them.

“The ecological problem is essentially a spiritual problem.” – Pope Francis

“The awareness that each creature reflects something of God and has a message to convey to us, and the security that Christ has taken unto himself this material world and now, risen, is intimately present to each being, surrounding it with his affection and penetrating it with his light. Then too, there is the recognition that God created the world, writing into it an order and a dynamism that human beings have no right to ignore. May the power and the light of the grace we have received also be evident in our relationship to other creatures and to the world around us. In this way, we will help nurture that sublime fraternity with all creation which Saint Francis of Assisi so radiantly embodied.” (Laudato Si’ 221).

The Laudato Si’ Action Platform frames Ecological Spirituality/Eco-Spirituality as recovering a religious vision of God’s creation and encouraging greater contact with the natural world in a spirit of wonder, praise, joy and gratitude.

Eco-spirituality is a manifestation of the spiritual connection between human beings and the environment. Eco-spirituality incorporates an intuitive and embodied awareness of all life and engages a relational view of person to planet, inner to outer landscape, and soul to soil. (Eco-spirituality: A Pattern that Connects, PubMed.gov).

In the National Catholic Reporter article, “Eco-spirituality is more than ecology and theology: It calls us to reconnect” the author quotes Sister Caroljean Willie, “If we see the universe as ever-expanding, then how are we allowing our frame of reference to change? And if the universe is evolving, how am I allowing myself and my concept of God to evolve? And I think it questions our concept of God. Is it static or dynamic? And what about our prayer life? Is it static or dynamic? I think eco-spirituality calls us to recognize what Thomas Aquinas said many years ago: The first book of revelation is creation. Eco-spirituality leads to an understanding that we are part of an interrelated, interconnected, evolving web. It calls us to live in right relationship with all of creation.”

As members of one sacred Earth community, we, the Providence Community, have committed ourselves individually and communally to care for our resources and to make decisions regarding our current and future use as we seek to balance our individual and communal economic needs with the sustainability needs of Earth community. To do this, we will provide educational opportunities and share our own lived experiences, both individually and communally, in our efforts to live in right relationship within Earth community.

Videos and Documentaries

Articles

Books

  • Book List by Terri Mackenzie, RSHJM (Terri has inspiring CD’s as well).
  • A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (by Sallie McFague)
  • Meditations with Thomas Berry: With Additional Material by Brian Swimme (by Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, June Raymond, ed.)
  • Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (Eco-centric vs. Anthropomorphic world)
  • Reclaiming Spirituality by Diarmuid O’Murchu (Respect for natural world through native peoples spirituality)
  • Roots and Wings by Margaret Silf (“Science meets spirituality and mind makes room for heart – MacKenzie)
  • Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth (by Ilia Delio, O.S.F., Keith Douglass Warner, O.F.M.)
  • Eco-spirituality by Joanna Macy (Relationships between oneself and nature)
  • Field of Compassion by Judy Cannato (Cosmology and Spirituality Life)
  • Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker, J. Grim)
  • Spiritual Ecology: Ten Practices to Reawaken the Sacred in Everyday Life (by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Hart)
  • Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth (edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, essay collection)
  • Toward an Eco-Spirituality (By Leonardo Boff, ecology and the poor).

Authors: Thomas Berry, Leonardo Buff, Judy Cannato, Teilhard de Chardin, Ilia Delio, Michael Dowd, Ivone Gebara, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dan Horan, Elizabeth Johnson, Robin Kimmerer, Joanna Macy, Sallie McFague, Miriam Therese MacGillis, Diarmuid O’Murchu, Richard Rohr, Vandana Shiva, Brian Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Miriam Therese Winter

Prayer

  • Meditation on Creation
  • Earth Rising by Sister Ruth Johnson, SP
  • The book “Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World (by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon)

Prayer, Reflect, Act

Pray and reflect on how we can grow in our inclusion of all creation in our spiritual life. Watch a meditative video or film and be touched by our God’s magnificent creation. Or read one of the articles or books listed. Consider the questions posed by Sister Caroljean in the National Catholic Reporter article. Is my concept of God and my prayer life stagnant or dynamic? How do we appreciate all of creation and take action to preserve it? Choose an action based on the videos or articles or books and act upon it.

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Climate Change Task Force

The Climate Change Task Force consists of Sisters of Providence Barbara Battista, Cathy Campbell, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Marilyn Kofler, Barbara Sheehan and Mary Tomlinson in addition to Providence Associates Marilyn Antonik, Jessi Blessinger, Gene Majewski, Lynda Parker, Jan Showalter and Jeannie Smith.

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