Christian Discipleship in an Ecological Age: Ecology Retreat

Prepared by Eleanor Lincoln, CSJ, and Catherine Litecky, CSJ
Women at the Well Ministry, St. Paul, Minnesota  Copyright 2008

Introduction

“I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10.10)

Followers of Jesus throughout the ages have been persons of prayer and compassion. They have taken on the mission of sharing Jesus’ good news with the peoples of the whole world. In our time, we are called to be good news to the Earth itself. How aware are we of the ecological dangers that threaten our world today?

This retreat calls you to deepen your discipleship and to become more conscious of your relationship to the whole earth, and to the entire cosmos.

Open yourself to all that is around and within you. Sit quietly and feel the energy surrounding you. Be conscious of your breathing. Feel energy coming in with each inhalation. Be aware of tension leaving you with each exhalation. Let yourself be rooted in Mother Earth; at the same time feel lifted upward to the Creator of all. Breathe deeply for five minutes. Practice this same kind of breathing whenever you feel you are losing touch with yourself, with the world around you, or with God.

Before beginning the retreat, take some time to pray about how you have lived during the past 24 hours.

  • Did I experience the presence of God? How?
  • Was I aware of the marvels of creation?
  • Did I look carefully at a tree or flower and really see it?
  • Am I conscious of the air I breathe in and out, minute by minute?
  • Am I building up awareness of the need to live simply and sustainably?

The five parts of this retreat feature wisdom figures of the past and present who can help us reflect on the challenge of being a Christian today.

Part 1: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God (Psalm 19.2)
Part 2: Greening in a Polluted World
Part 3: Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth
Part 4: A Vision of the Cosmic Christ
Part 5: Christian Discipleship and the Earth Charter

May this retreat encourage and strengthen you to live to the full your call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in our world.

Please turn now to Part 1 – The Heavens Declare the Glory of God