Perhaps one of the best-known passages from the Old Testament is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
It begins, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven….”
When January comes, it is time for the earth and all creation in our part of the world to rest.
A new year, a new season, begins.
Little is planted, little is harvested.
It is our opportunity, in a very quiet and peaceful way, to consider God’s gift of creation.
With our long evenings, we have time to contemplate.
In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis asked us to care for creation and to reconcile our relationship with God, creation and one another. Borrowing from the great Ignatian tradition of examens, this Ecological Examen asks you to reflect on your personal relationship with creation, to acknowledge and amend your ways and to promote ecological justice by standing in solidarity with those most impacted by environmental harm.
Begin the Examen by placing yourself in a posture that allows you to be open to the ways the Spirit is working in you. There are six steps in the Examen:
- I give thanks to God for creation and for being wonderfully made.
- I ask for the grace to see creation as God does – in all its splendor and suffering.
- I ask for the grace to look closely to see how my life choices impact creation and the poor and vulnerable.
- I ask for the grace of conversion towards ecological justice and reconciliation.
- I ask for the grace to reconcile my relationship with God, creation and humanity, and to stand in solidarity through my actions.
- I offer a closing prayer for the earth and the vulnerable in our society.
Please take a look at www.ecologicalexamen.org, and ask yourself how you care for creation.
May God’s blessings reign in your hearts and bring you peace.