Nurturing a healthy relationship with Creation takes time and intention. This week, schedule a few “dates” with Creation, finding a favorite spot in nature to return to each day. Nurture your relationship with Creation by offering thanks, being present, listening, protecting, and praying in this spot.
Br. David Vyrhof introduces the final week’s activity, a “Date with Creation,” which invites us to visit a beautiful spot in creation and to be fully present in our senses and our gratitude to God for the gift that this place represents.
Transcript: In this final week of our program, we’re asking you to consider the Fifth Mark of Love, which is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain, and renew the life of the earth.”
This week we’ve offered you an activity called A Date with Creation. And we’re inviting you to go to a beautiful place in nature, perhaps a park, or the seashore, or a mountain, or even in your backyard. Some place that is peaceful, in which you’re surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. And in that place, we’re asking you to do this meditative exercise. There are five parts to this exercise and we’d like you to just set aside some time, maybe not just one visit but maybe a couple of visits to this place and exploring these different ways of praying in this space.
The first is just to listen, to become still, and to listen carefully to the noises that surround you and to the presence that you’re in. The second is to offer thanks. How would you express your gratitude for creation? What might you do or what might you say that would give expression to the gratitude you feel for being surrounded by the beauty of the natural world? The third is an exercise in being more present to the creation and it involves employing all of our senses. Not just our auditory sense or our sight, but touching, feeling, smelling — really engaging with the environment. Paying close attention to the things that are around us. You might study the bark on a tree or the petals of a flower. Look carefully at it and appreciate its beauty, touch it, smell it, experience it. The fourth step is to offer a prayer, to join your voice with the voice of all creation, that is constantly giving thanks and praise to God. Write out a short prayer in this section. And the fifth is to consider how you’re being invited to participate in safeguarding the integrity of creation, of protecting the environment and renewing the environment. What is God calling you to do that would help the earth?
– Br. David Vryhof