The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province has responded to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform by creating the Dorothy Stang Initiative for Laudato Si’ Action. While in the process of gathering data from sisters, associates, staff, donors and others in our circle, we were reminded that all steps we take are important - both big and small. We therefore introduce Your Little Bit of Good, a short weekly one-pager that focuses on some aspect of the environment. It is an attempt to bring forward small things we can do.
Director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation
Come, O Holy Breath of God, poured out ‘in the beginning’ be with us at this time of a climate emergency and an ever-increasing loss of biodiversity. Over the eons the Spirit of God empowered the universe to emerge, enabled biological evolution to take place, and inspired the unique advent of the human endowed with the gift of reflective selfconsciousness.
The same Spirit of God authored the Incarnation of the eternal Word of God in Jesus of Nazareth, animated His disciples to go forth, and established a new ecclesial community on the day of Pentecost. Be with us once again, as You were in the past, to heal our broken universe so that we can see the face of the Creator God in the wonders of creation.
Dermot A. Lane, Laudato Si’ International Scholars Tertiary Education Network’ (LISTEN).
This week’s subject is one about which I have been reluctant to write. But, that darn Holy Spirit keeps nudging.
Spirituality is not a subject I am overly confident in discussing. Many days my prayers consist only of “Good Lord, give me strength.” Often on repeat. There is one place, though that I feel much closer to our creator, and that’s in creation. There is a spirituality to be found in nature, and it is wondrous to behold.
Our Little Bit of Good today is a little bit of good for ourselves as well as the earth. Staying informed of what is happening globally these days can be depressing. The knowledge that people suffer due to our (in general and specifically) ways of being in the world is difficult. Watching the fires, floods, and droughts affecting so many breaks our hearts. Knowing that the effects of climate change force people to migrate to places they are not welcome is uncomfortable.
How do we stay engaged? Why do we continue to fight for the health of our planet? Walking the dog the other day, I suddenly realized (or was graced, you decide) that we are surrounded in beauty. Even with all the damage that has already been done, the beauty remains. I “realized” there is still so much left for which to fight.
Experiencing these smaller spiritual moments is, so far, my extent of a more formal eco-spiritualty. It has encouraged me to explore further the opportunities to engage more fully
with creation as a guide. Eco-spiritualty can lead all of us into a fuller appreciation of our good God’s gift of creation and that can lead us to a call to better care for that gift.
One of the seven focuses of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform is ecospirituality. You can go to the LSAP website to read more on what the Holy Father says about this topic.
There are many resources to help. The Laudato Si’ Movement (formerly Catholic Climate Covenant) has recently published a prayer booklet. It is free to download.
Recently I found the Marianist Environmental Education Center in Dayton Ohio. Not sure how I’ve missed this gem for so long. Check out Earth Connection in Cincinnati too. Both have great resources.
These resources are just a start. Many more are out there.