by Sr. Jeanette Gaudet, mfic
In this Season of Creation Pope Francis calls us to focus on what really matters. It is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all Creation through repairing and restoring our lives together. Amidst the worsening climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken our world, our sisters and brothers everywhere are clamoring for hope and restoration. Now is the time for Christians to come together, take action, and show the world what love for creation and each other looks like.
Last week we looked at the planet’s first governing principle of DIFFERENTIATION flowing from our Creator God’s fascination with diversity. Before we move on from our universe’s outrageous bias for what is different, we need to realize that despite that reality, we humans like sameness. We are creatures of habit. Difference can be problematic if we see only right/wrong, rich/poor, black /white, Christian/Muslim, male/female. Nothing denies the value of difference as much as imposing a single way of doing, seeing, praying or thinking!!! Francis of Assisi was once asked what made a perfect community of friars. He named a group which included the innocence of Br. Leo, the patience of Br. Juniper, the wisdom of Br. Masseo, the purity of Br. Angelo, the mystic mind of Br. Giles, the prayerfulness of Br. Rufino, and the poverty of Br. Bernard. No one had it all! Saint Francis saw only the image of God multiplied but never monotonous. Living for others is a rule of nature. We were all born to help each other.
Do I recognize diversity as a blessing? Does it ever become a stumbling block? How?
Let us now take a look at the second governing principle of the universe which is COMMUNION, springing from God’s Holy Spirit of LOVE. Despite our diversity, the entire earth is bound together in a web of relationships, a seamless whole. We live in an interconnected, interdependent web of life. An invisible sea of energy connects everything. This energy, named gravity, brings all into Communion. Some call this energy magnetism or attraction, allurement, sexuality or generativity. All this energy is the life and love of God within all creation, within each of us drawing us together as ONE.
When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. Science tells us we share the same basic DNA, the same energy and original basic chemicals with all of creation. We and all other species depend on the sun, soil, water and air for our very existence in the web of life. Take any one of those away and we cannot survive. We are truly OF the earth, not just ON it. Francis of Assisi sensed this relationship when he wrote about Brothers Sun, Wind, and Fire with Sisters Moon, Water and our Mother, Sister Earth. Despite this communion it is so easy to live in an illusion of separateness, to feel isolated and apart. But is not God trying to awaken us to this reality during the pandemic and our planet’s crises? We sense the need to heal our relationships with creation and each other. We are on the edge of restoration.
Have you ever felt One with something in nature: a tree, the ocean, a flower, an animal.…
How have you felt this same Communion or interconnection with a person or group?
Suffering or pain may lead you to a sense of communion? Can you relate to that? Gently reflect!