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Readings for Today

prowseIn a wonderful film series on U.S. national park, a ranger in Yosemite described the light, peace and beauty in a forest glen as a sacred cathedral.

Today’s reading from 2nd Chronicles talks of God’s temple being polluted and destroyed, its palaces afire, its precious objects destroyed. Can we see Earth today as God’s temple? …recent forest fires in Australia and California as her palaces afire? …species extinction as her precious objects being destroyed?

In today’s gospel we are reminded that the world will be saved through Christ – not just humans, but all God’s creation. Just as Jesus’ resurrection is a great sign of hope, so too we can find many signs of hope in Earth itself. Consider a compost heap, where refuse –vegetable, eggshells, leaves— are transformed into rich nutrients that feed and build top soil. Consider the great life force in tree roots that crack parking lots. Or dandelions: the richest in nutrients of all greens we can eat, each part of the plant has medicinal properties, and their long tap roots feed nutrient-poor soil. Despite great human feats to destroy them they continue to thrive even in tiny cracks. Such signs of God’s grace.

Nature is God’s first and primary revelation to us – constantly telling us of God, and inviting us into relationship with God.

Reflection Questions:

  • Where is nature offering you hope today? Spend time with it.
  • What is Earth asking of you –it may be very small and simple – to help it thrive and give it hope?
  • Take some time, even if only 10-20 minutes though longer may be richer for you, to walk in nature and find a tree (or rock or stream or…) that draws you in some way. Stay with it awhile. Notice details about it; read on it some of its story of how it came to be as it is now. “Befriend “ it. Notice how you feel in its presence. Notice how God feels to you there.

Yvonne Prowse is a spiritual director who leads the eco-spirituality ministries of Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. She ministered for many years with people in poverty and served as director of Jesuit Volunteer Corps Southwest. Her earliest recollections of encountering God are in nature, and she can often be found cross country skiing, hiking, or picking dandelions with her niece.

1 reply
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    Frank O'Brien says:

    Strong feelings and emotions everywhere in this Eco-movement. We need to balance these emotions with our own practical knowledge, and not be blinded by metaphors, and by creating pretty pictures of “God is Nature”.

    Reply

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