Ecospirituality: How do we allow reflection to form creative unions as we celebrate consecrated life?

Marywoodby Anita Beskar, FSPA 

“Treeness.” What is its essence? How could I know the mystery of treeness if my only experience of them was the reflection of trees in the mirror quiet of Trout Lake?

As I pondered these questions in the early morning beauty of Wisconsin’s Trout Lake, I became aware that even the quality of the reflection of treeness in the mirror of the lake was affected by the quiet of the water. Waves, even gently undulating waves, quickly distorted the mirror-perfect reflection of the shoreline trees. As a result, my perception of reflected treeness became distorted.

This early-morning experience awakened many questions for me:

  • How does the wonder and awe of even the most perfect reflection reveal the essence it reflects?
  • From this mirror image of trees, how could I ever know the miracle of photosynthesis and the intricate systems of this hidden process or the hidden beauty of colored leaves masked by chlorophyll?
  • How could I begin to articulate the interdependent complexity within treeness, much less that of a majestic woodland?

And, how could this faint glimmer ever reveal the mystery of galaxies and ocean depths that bring us to our knees in gratitude and awe?

I carry these questions with me as I grapple with the mystery of “consecrated” life. We are being invited into a year of celebration of our vowed lives of poverty, consecrated celibacy and obedience. This celebration will not be complete if it is not infused with the cosmic lens that has been opened for us. Ilia Delio, in her essay "Evolution and the Rise of the Secular God," states:

“God and creation are so united that Teilhard de Chardin does not speak of a creator but of creative union. The term ‘creation’ is not an act or event but a fundamental relatedness, a kenosis of divine love. God became ‘element’ by emptying God’s self into the other, the Word of divine self-expressiveness, drawing all things through love into the fullness of being ... God is the center of every center, the creative power of everything that exists.”

In the light of these words, might our invitation and challenge during this year of reflection and celebration be to quiet the waters of our hearts and let the reflections of the interdependent creative unions of our universe lead us into creative unions as expressed in our recent general assembly. 

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