From 01 September until the feast of St Francis of Assisi (04 October) we were in the Season of Creation. This was a time to focus ourselves on the God of all creation. It worked particularly well in the southern hemisphere as we entered spring and the new life which it brought – flowers and birds especially. It is true that God speaks to us not only through the Book of Scriptures, but also through the Book of Nature. We can learn much about the working of God by observing how God works in nature too.
When was the last time that you prayed outside in nature? Churches are certainly good places to pray; so is a holy place set aside in our house or our prayer space in our room. But God can equally be found in the wide world around us, showing us the ‘grandeur of God’ in so many different ways.
Our readings from our Season of Creation Mass (Amos 8:4-7; 1 Tim 2:1-8; Lk 16:1-13) talk about a God who knows human nature – both the good of our care for the land and its people; but also the bad things of our dishonest dealings. The wonder of God is that he gives us, again and again, opportunities to change and learn. If we missed the opportunity last year to be inspired by St Francis or Pope Francis, we have another opportunity now to take up this call. Eventually we will need to make good on these opportunities, but they do keep coming around.
We hear and see the warnings and the consequences of our blessings and selfishness around us – once again, nature is a good teacher of God. The more that we care for creation, the more that it will respond to us and be fruitful. The more that we are selfish and take and take from nature without offering replenishment, the more it will resist us. If there is one great insight in Laudato Si’, it is about the integrity of all of nature – we are all interconnected in nature.
Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ
Photos provided by Holy Family Catholic Parish, Mt Druitt.