A five-day online group retreat will help people connect with God in nature during Laudato Si’ Week this month.
While we live in a time of self-isolation and social distancing because of COVID-19, the retreat will help people find ways to continue to seek God’s presence in our natural world.
Peter Saunders, from the Walking with God in Nature program, developed the online retreat, which runs from Monday 18 to Friday 22 May, 2020.
Participants will meet online using Zoom from 9.30am to 10.30am each morning to listen, reflect, pray and share. The retreat will be led by Peter Saunders, Fr Iain Radvan SJ, and Sr Marg Moore RSM.
Peter says that the conversion that Pope Francis calls for in Laudato Si’ has its basis in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
‘In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius invites you into a conversion through an intimate encounter with Jesus of Nazareth. This loving encounter with Jesus transforms your heart, bringing forth great desires to want to serve Christ in the world in your own unique way.
‘In the encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis is inviting you into an ecological conversion. This is not just being concerned about the environment. This is a call to have your heart transformed again, this time drawn into the deeper relationship with the Presence that is God in all Creation.’
‘This is a living Presence, a mystical Presence of Love, that makes you aware of how everything is connected in our Earth, in our Solar System, in our Milky Way Galaxy, in our Universe. We are made of the stardust of a supernova. We are evolving just as the universe and life on Earth has been evolving. God is present in all of this calling us into deep connection with everything. It is this interior ecological conversion that fills you a new appreciation of our Mother Earth. It brings forth a deep desire to care for our common and to seek reconciliation with Creation.’