Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

Serving Life When Everything Collapses
The current ecological crisis causes a large number of our contemporaries to suffer from eco-anxiety. One way to acknowledge and overcome it, rooted in the experience of the cross and resurrection, is Christian hope. Attention given to our “common home” therefore should be a work of consolation and peacemaking, guided by the Holy Spirit, to build true “oases of resurrection.”

In mid-July 2023, Le Châtelard, near Lyon, hosted its first Christian eco-spiritual retreat, as part of the Jesuits’ new spiritual ecocenter, which had opened a month earlier. On the program that week was a session called “Spiritual Exercises and Work that Reconnects,” a world-first seeking to forge links between Ignatian practice and “Work that Reconnects,” a method adopted from ecopsychology developed since the 1980s by American environmentalist and anti-nuclear activist, Joanna Macy.

On the morning of the second day of the retreat, after establishing foundations in gratitude, participants were invited to “honor their sorrow for the world,” that is, to embrace the unpleasant emotions that arise when they recall a place in creation or in their personal history devastated by ecological or social crisis. In a circle, at the foot of a centuries-old oak tree in a park, around a large cross that manifests the presence of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes on the sins of the world, each person laid down their suffering and anguish.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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