I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
- Isaiah 43:19
Contemplation & Compassion
In a 2020 address, Pope Francis emphasized contemplation and compassion as two irreplaceable ingredients for fostering integral ecology. A key value of Laudato Si’, it refers to the idea that precisely because of our interconnectedness — with each other, with all other creatures and with creation as a whole — we are tasked with working together in mutual relationship with the created order to create harmony. This Earth Day, we invite you to “discover the tenderness of God’s gaze” on yourself, and on your surroundings, and allow your contemplation to lead you to compassion and action.
In loving awareness with Creator, pause, and allow your spirit, mind and body to receive the gifts of creation. Consider a scene you have experienced, one where Earth’s goodness, truth, beauty and love have brought you to life. Is there a national park, a place in your own backyard or a destination you hope to visit? What sacred place captures your soul? Let the image unfold. Settle and breathe.
- How have you been drawn into union with Earth, God and others by perceiving creation’s sacred space?
- How might you return creation’s loving awareness to the Earth, God and others?
Prayer for Compassion
God of dust from which we come:
In the silence of contemplation, help us hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor as one cry, unified, amplified. May we hear the cry of your creation calling out to be seen from every corner; may our practice of deep listening bring us to see all those creatures whose dignity is routinely ignored. That, in our seeing, we might be moved from indifference to compassion, domination to collaboration, from ‘mastery over’ to harmonious coexistence.
Mother God of land and sea, source of all that is:
We pray for our practice to bring us deeply into a compassionate relationship with the earth, our common home and with each of the interconnected ecosystems which contribute to the delicate web of our livelihood.
Gracious giver of all life:
As our contemplation leads us to compassion, may that compassion be the breath of every action we take. Let us glorify the sacredness of both the natural world and the world’s poor, that your resplendence may radiate.
In your name we pray, AMEN.
We invite you also to incorporate the following songs into your contemplation:
VOCES8: Earth Song - Frank Ticheli
Sara Groves - For the Beauty of the Earth (Audio)
"Transformations" - Sleeping At Last (Micro Music Video)
From the Ground Up (Instrumental)