March 13 - Second Sunday in Lent
The above image features redbuds in bloom during spring at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center near Saint Louis, Missouri. Learn more about their ministry here.
Our Lenten journey through the Laudato Si Action Platform (www.laudatosiactionplatform.org) continues as we strive to contemplate our role in caring for all of God’s creation. From now through Easter, a different Platform goal will be highlighted each week. Let’s continue our journey this week through the desert.
Goal: Cultivating An Ecological Spirituality
Ecological Spirituality springs from a profound ecological conversion and helps us to “discover God in all things”, both in the beauty of creation and in the sighs of the sick and the groans of the afflicted, aware that the life of the spirit is not dissociated from worldly realities. Actions could include promoting creation-based liturgical celebrations, developing ecological catechesis, retreats and formation programmes, etc.
Today we hear the story of the transfiguration of Jesus. The glory of God is revealed to Peter, James and John on the mountain and all are changed by the encounter. Ecological spirituality invites us to recognize the revelation of God’s glory in all of creation around us. Have you taken time to slow down and appreciate nature? Have you taken a walk in a park, or in a native plant garden or stopped to look at life in your own backyard? Encountering nature with an open heart and mind transfigures us and we cannot experience these “wow” moments unchanged. Just like he does in the mountaintop story with his disciples, Jesus continues to reveal his glory in creation all around us every day. He invites us to be transformed in our perspectives and actions. In Laudato si, Pope Francis invites us into a process of ecological conversion, to allow God to change our hearts so we can express communion with Creation through our actions.
Take a moment to marvel at the extraordinary in the “ordinariness” of Creation around you, on your church grounds, at a Marianist facility, in a park, or in your own yard. Take time to remember the special outdoor places where you have had transformative experiences and have experienced God. Offer prayers of gratitude for these in word or song.
A Prayer For Ecological Conversion
God of the sun and the moon, of the mountains, deserts and plains,
God of the mighty oceans, of rivers, lakes and streams
God of all creatures that live in seas and fly in the air
of every living thing that grows and moves on this sacred Earth.
We are formed by Christ into Your People,
called to bring the world into Your marvelous light.
As the Body of Christ, we are messengers of ecological vocation.
We are entrusted with caring for this Earth which You have created.
Help us to love and respect it; to repair what we have damaged;
to care for what You have made good and holy.
Give us the wisdom and the passion to change our minds, our hearts and our ways.
Let us be mustard seeds in our world bringing about ecological conversion which grows
and spreads to every corner of the Earth.
For our sake now and for every generation which is to come.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
~Catholic Earthcare Australia, 2002
Explore the ecological examen at http://www.ecologicalexamen.org/