Examen For Earth Justice
“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.”
-Elizabeth Barret Browning
- Take a moment to pause in gratitude. Consider: What does your life depend on? What is the source of blessing in your life? Consider the ways that your life is inextricably connected to the earth. As you begin your time of prayer, pondering your inherent belonging to creation, be aware of each deep breath as sacred, symbol of this connection.
- Consider the ways that you live in separation from God, others, and creation. Pause in awareness for the times you seek your own well-being first and don’t consider the welfare of others. How do you participate in destructive attitudes, behaviors, and systems that diminish the worth of others and don’t honor the sacredness of creation?
- Reflect back on the previous day. Try to remember each detail, each hour. When did you act in dissonance with God’s vision for creation? When did you act in harmony with God’s vision for creation?
- Pray for forgiveness for the times you act as though you are separate from others and creation, for the moments you choose convenience over justice, personal well-being over compassion, busyness over presence, ignorance over awareness, apathy over action.
- Give thanks for God’s presence in and through creation. Contemplate the beauty of the earth around you. (If possible, go outside!) Breathe deeply and sense how you are a part of this. You belong simply by being alive. How does God invite you to live this belonging? Discover peace and renewal in the natural rhythms of the earth that surrounds you. Dwell in God’s presence.
- Consider how you will live in the days ahead. Pray that you will live from a space of deeper connectivity and compassion with God, others, and creation. Pray that you may become more aware, in all the details of your life, of how God’s shalom yearns to come to expression through you for the sake of the world.
written by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin