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Holy Sprit Eternal Teacher
Friday, 28 August 2020

Naming a grace to celebrate

Jesus promised to send his Spirit to be with us to the end of time. In that spirit our faith communities are called to listen to opinions and discern ways forward. In God given wisdom we are to proclaim hope to the nations, especially in times of confusion and despair. Let us name the wonders of Earth and puzzle out how to care for them as praise of God (pause).


God, you take on our griefs and anxieties, our joys and hopes. Grow within us your spirit of wisdom so that we can find you present in all the workings of Earth, in every living creature and culture. Guide us to love Earth and our earthly kin as a mysterious web of life, working for the harmony of this world so that in its very existence praises you. We ask ...

PROVERBS 3:13-14; 6:6-9 - LEARN WISDOM

Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold.
Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief or officer or ruler, it prepares its food in summer, and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O lazybones? When will you rise from your sleep?


God's glory is above earth and heaven

3 Praise God, sun and moon; praise God, all you shining stars!

7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,

8 fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling God's command!

9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!

10 Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds.


The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, 'My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us.'


Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."


Good story telling always involves personal experiences. People are interested to hear what other people have done and how they feel. Many personal stories involve encounters with the natural environment - amazement seeing a sunset or horror at seeing clear felling of trees. Catholics and Nature: two hundred years of environmental attitudes in Australia explores local Catholic history. The booklet contains memories and short stories told by believers taken from their personal experience - family backyard, big western sky, notion of evolution, dirt encrusted faces, obsessed with animals (ACSJC Social Justice Series No.57, 2006, Charles Rue).


Pope Francis teaches that in these times, dialogue is the way to do mission. He challenges us to face the ecological challenge, loving Earth as mother and sister, caring for our common home. Dialogue means listening/speaking, moving in partnership to new ways of thinking and acting.The followers of Jesus in early church communities give us an example of dialogue in practice. When faced with Gentile groups forming new Christian communities, the apostles had to broaden their ideas of what was demanded of them as leaders in Christ. The apostles learnt that the Spirit blows where it wills. God plays the tune for the dance of life.

As Christians engage with the insights of ecological scientists they are challenged by the Holy Spirit to listen to the voice of Earth, even to rethink their faith expression. Through dialogue believers make decisions to act, new commitments and new partnerships, finding new and unexpected friends for the human journey. The Christian spiritual journey grows and evolves so that even prayer itself takes on new language


1.Just as Vatican II led church communities to look to people's griefs and anxieties, joys and hopes, may we shun a tyranny of economics and false lifestyle dreams that deny hope to the young. Father of Jesus, hear ...

2.Remembering that believers in the Acts of the Apostles learnt to negotiate with each other in spreading Good News, may we listen to others on church and world issues.. Father of Jesus, hear ...

3.Since God has made us co-creators, may we strive to grow rural and urban communities, with jobs for all in a land not looking like a garbage heap. Father of Jesus, hear ...

4.As God has set us on Earth as in a vineyard, may we know and respect the locality where we live, loving it into producing good fruit appropriate to its place and time. Father of Jesus, hear ...

5.Forgiven when we repent, may we forgive ourselves, and others, for misuse of earth's gifts and personal faults, so living a new life. Father of Jesus, hear ...

6.Called to know God, may we respect the scientific method of knowledge, and humbly integrate it with our faith knowledge, deepening the mystery of God's presence. Father of Jesus, hear ...



Creative and nurturing God, may our hearts and minds grow to appreciate the deep mystery of life to the full you give us in your Son. You forgive our arrogance and sinful pride. May we guide one another to search for what is good, traveling together as we point to the signs of Your reign on earth. We ask ...

"It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church's social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face ."

-Laudato Si #15

Designing a refection-retreat in the 21st century must learn from modern movements. It is necessary to choose Scriptural texts and compose prayers that use inclusive language (The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation Priests for Equality S/ Ward 2007/9). Carolyn Merchant wrote Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution (1980/1990) about the twin suppression of the voices of Earth and women. The Adelaide Earth Bible group from 2000 onwards used the 'hermeneutic of suspicion' developed by feminist scholars to retrieve the suppressed voice of Earth.
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11 June 2021

\"Your mustard seed is what the Reign of God is about. Your little faith, your little effort is enough. Give your little bit and stand by amazed as you see what God will do with it. Your mustard seed will flourish.\"

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