Written on: March 22, 2017
In the midst of Lent, and as we look forward to EARTH DAY on April 22, the Earth Committee is providing two resources for your spiritual enrichment.
The following Examination of Consciousness, created by the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph (2009) is based on St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation: Praised Be You, My God, With All Your Creatures.
Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us and who produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to simplicity. How have I grown in simplicity and opened myself to a life of joy and peace?
How do I live my baptismal commitment to Gospel living by being counter cultural, by not participating in the “throw away” attitude of society towards people and creation?
Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
As followers of Jesus, we know water is a tremendous gift from God to all God’s creation. We also know how scarce fresh water is becoming in our world.
How did I respect the gift of Sister Water as I used it for drinking, washing, and enjoying her beauty?
Was I able to choose using tap water instead of bottled water?
How did I share the knowledge I have of the importance of respecting Sister Water with others?
Sister Moon and the Stars, in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
As followers of Jesus, we know we are called to stand in awe and wonder of God’s gift of the Universe.
How do I live in awe and wonder toward all I saw in myself, others and creation?
Do I let my mind and imagination be filled with Awe and Wonder? In what ways does this bring me to contemplation?
Brother Wind, through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather through which You give sustenance to Your creatures.
As followers of Jesus, we know the wind is often used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
How have I been aware of God’s Spirit within me?
How do I listen to the Spirit’s call to respond in love, compassion and courage to the needs of others and creation?
Brother Fire, through whom you light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
As followers of Jesus, we know that Jesus’ light overcomes the darkness.
How am I playful, letting humor reflect hope, faith and love?
How am I strong in living the Gospel, sharing the Good News of God’s unconditional love for all?
Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom You give us light. And, he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears likeness to You, Most High One.
As followers of Jesus, we know that God’s generosity is reflected in the constant generosity of the sun.
How do I generously share my thoughts and dreams for God’s world with others?
How do I share words of encouragement and hope with myself and others?
How do I generously respond to God’s awesome love by the way I care for others and creation?
As Brother Sun “bears the likeness” to God, how do I bear God’s likeness in my actions toward others and creation?
This Examen, is based on Pope Francis’ message “Show Mercy to our Common Home” (Sept. 1, 2016), titled #Mercy2Earth. The full Examen is available here.: #Mercy2Earth
Rest in the presence of God.
Give thanks for God’s creation and creatures.
Reflect on the ways you have heard both “the cry of the earth, and the cry of the poor.”
Ask forgiveness for the ways you’ve fallen short in caring for God’s creation and creatures.
Make amends by committing to concrete ways to show mercy to creation and your neighbors.
Close in prayer.