How can I listen?

We are in the final days of the Season of Creation, where without a doubt the events of COVID 19 has enabled us to have a heighted consciousness of our surroundings and a deeper connection with one another and all of creation.

During lockdown I experienced for the first-time total silence in London – not every day I note but especially on a Sunday morning. Each Sunday, I had the privilege of about twenty minutes of complete silence, coming to a close with the sound of a jogger or a parent offering words of encouragement to a child. In the silence I found myself clearly seeing the growth of the tree outside my window, the birds that perched on the branches and the cloud formation. One of my favourite scripture passages is 1Kings 19:11-12 where the Prophet Elijah meets God, not in the great wind, or an earthquake, or a fire, but in the sound of sheer silence. Over these past months have you experienced moments of silence?

A few weeks ago, I came across this quote from the Jewish Sabbath Prayer Book “Days pass and the years vanish, and we walk sightless among miracles. Fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing. Let there be moments when your Presence, like lightening, illumines the darkness in which we walk. Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns, unconsumed. And we clay touched by God, will reach out in holiness, and exclaim in wonder “How filled with awe is this place”” I was stopped in my tracks to check out with myself how my seeing may have altered as the restrictions eased and we embark on “a new normal” It is so easy to get caught up again in the rush of each day. We have glimpsed the life that is possible, we are called to ensure that all of creation is treated with dignity and respect.

In 2015 when Laudato Si was published, Pope Francis challenged us to change. Five years on and the pandemic has forced us to change in ways we never imagined. I offer you two extracts which I feel offer encouragement on our journey of conversion and empower us to recognise that each one of us has a part to play by including our concern for our common home in our conversations with others.

…a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift, … It also entails a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures but joined in a splendid universal communion. #220

A balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life. Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to them amid constant noise #225

My hope for you as you read this article is that you can easily identify one way in which you can respond to care more for our common home beyond this Season of Creation.

Sr. Catherine Lavery (Unit Leader)