The season givesus an opportunity to unite around the theme ‘Listen to the Voice of Creation’.
For many, you may be pondering how you can continue to act on this call. In the busyness of life, it can be hard to prioritise time to listen, to reflect and to just be. However, making this time is an important and meaningful step in our journey towards ecological conversion.
The late ecological theologian Denis Edwards described ecological conversion as: ‘The radical change of mind and heart that leads to a deeper love and respect for all creatures as having their own integrity before God: it involves change to a sustainable lifestyle, to sustainable patterns of production and consumption and to sustainable economic and political choices.’
The first step in this journey is providing the space and opportunity to spend time in dialogue with God and reflect on our connection with nature, with each other and with the earth. At the heart of our humanity is the call to connect. When we are connected we feel whole, we feel loved, and we feel human. Through this deep reflection and listening, we come to know that all creation is interconnected and held in the loving embrace of God the Father.
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis shares the important message that everything is interconnected. The encyclical holds that ‘our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God’ (No. 119). Through finding time to spend time in nature and listening to the voice of creation we can acknowledge ‘a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures but joined in a splendid universal communion’ (No. 220).
So, how can we promote this connection to support the change in our heart and mind? We do this through living in harmony with our fellow creatures, with creation and with God. We accept that we are genetically and biologically bound to the Earth. We view ourselves and the world through a cosmic lens. We note our responsibility as defined in the Book of Wisdom (9:3) – to govern ‘the world in holiness and justice’ and we raise our awareness of the crisis the Earth is facing.
Many people have taken on this call to action through various ecological initiatives. These include engaging in rich dialogue about how we can care for our common home, engaging in common prayer together, taking sustainable actions in their local community, praying outdoors through Christian meditation and Lectio Divina and engaging in creative listening in nature. It is through these various actions that people have the opportunity to ‘listen to the voice of creation’ and make their continued steps towards ecological conversion. What will be your next step on this journey?
Alice Dunlop is an educator and founder of Little Earthies www.littleearthies.com.au
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