How central is God's message of ecology for God's people ?
How central should environmental issues be in our lives ?
What can animals, birds, plants of the earth teach us ?
I made a garden for God.
No, do not misunderstand me
It was not on some lovely estate
or even in a pretty suburb.
I made a garden for God
in the slum of my heart:
a sunless space between grimy walls.
the reek of cabbage water in the air
refuse strewn on the cracked asphalt -
the ground of my garden!
This was where I laboured
night and day
over the long years
in dismal smog and cold -
there was nothing to show for my toil.
Like a child I could have pretended:
my slum transformed...
an oasis of flowers and graceful trees
how pleasant to work in such a garden!
I could have lost heart
and neglected my garden
to do something else for God.
But I was making a garden for God
not for myself
for his delight not mine
and so I worked on in the slum of my heart.
Was he concerned with my garden?
Did he see my labour and tears?
I never saw him looking
never felt him there
Yet I knew (though it felt as if I did not know)
that he was there with me
He has come into his garden
Is it beautiful at last?
Are there flowers and perfumes?
I do not know
the garden is not mine but his -
God asked only for my little space
to be prepared and given.
This is 'garden' for him
and my joy is full.
-from "To Believe in Jesus" by Ruth Burrows
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spáre, strange;
Whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
With swíft, slów; sweet, sóur; adázzle, dím;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is pást change: Praise hím.
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made.
And first , my Lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendour. Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars; In the heavens you have made them, bright, and precious and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water, so useful, lowly, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten up the night. How beautiful he is, how gay! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother, who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death, from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they whom she finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, And serve Him with great humility.
The ecological examen fosters an ecological sensitivity in one's interior life.
God reveals Himself in our feelings, at the core of our being, as much as He does in our clear and distinct ideas, inviting us to come closer, to be more like Him in such a way that a Christian environmental response is part and parcel of everything we do.
The five movements in the Ecological Examen are:
1. Give thanks for the covenant God offers of Himself in all creation:
2. Request to have your eyes opened by the Spirit as to how we might care for creation:
3. Review the challenges and joy experienced in this care.
4. Ask for a true and clear awareness of our sinfulness
5. Hope. Ask for greater sensitivity to trust in God's living presence in all creation.
- hold a silent walk with others, to reflect together on walking humbly and lightly in God's world.
- Join the St Francis Ramblers for one of their regular jaunts.
- re-discover the pleasure of doing things for yourself: make a treehouse, a bird-box, write a poem, knit, sew, sing. Dig the earth, get wet. Be individual.
- grow your own: patio grow bags or on window-sills if you don't have access to a garden
- take time:
for regular reflection on the Scripture.
- use your phone: bookmark the Universalis site to get daily mass readings and the Divine Office on your internet enabled phone, or by email. Get the Laudate app for android/ iPphone or bookmark Evangelizo for daily mass readings and commentary
- give thanks, for your blessings, for the people, experiences, anything you feel appreciation for.
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