Office for Christian Unity
Thursday 19 October 2023
Creation, revelation of God
The emergence of a Christian eco-spirituality means freeing our minds from certain images of God that are widespread in monotheistic traditions. If God is the Creator of the world, this does not mean that he is an autocrat who reigns over creation, holding everything in his absolute hands. Although God is present everywhere, he is not an invasive, totalitarian presence. His omnipotence is not arbitrary, but wise and compassionate. The God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ does not reign by domination, through the exercise of heteronomous power, but by cooperation. Not as a despot, but with the sensitivity and power of an artist. Not as an authoritarian father, but as a mother bird nurturing her nest with the warmth of the Holy Spirit. He is a God of “kenosis” who “withdraws” to leave a space of freedom and autonomy for his creatures. “Thus he governs all his creation in such a way as to let the creatures themselves produce and direct their own movements. For they are nothing without him, even though they are not what he is. God allows creatures to belong to themselves, to give free rein to their driving and creative energy. With the risk of evil happening, of course, but even more so with immeasurable confidence in what he has created.
God’s creation of the world is fundamentally an act of love and faith. To create is to engender something else, something distinct from oneself, something new. Between the Creator and his creation, then, there is not only continuity […] but also a relative discontinuity […]. It is this ontological gap, this primary distinction without separation, this relative otherness that prevents the cosmos from being swallowed up and dissolved in the divine, and vice versa.
Text source: ‘La terre comme soi-même, repères pour une écospiritualité’ by Michel Maxime EGGER, published by Labor et Fides, 2012, p.155-156
Prepared by our brothers and sisters at the Dombes Abbey
To be adapted according to your location
The emergence of new armed conflicts and the persistence of existing ones are causing an increase in the number of victims around the world: Ukraine, Armenia, Palestine and Israel. These situations highlight the fragility of our society, our relationships and our priorities.
Lord, in the face of these persistent situations, do not leave us indifferent, but grant us the strength to engage in intercession and to keep hope alive. Enable us to be peacemakers where we are, so that the world may know your peace.
Every year, dozens of young people from all over the world, Christians of different denominations or not, spend 2 to 6 weeks at the Abbaye Notre Dame des Dombes. These young people, known as workaways, share a daily life of prayer and service within the Chemin Neuf Community.
Lord, renew in us the desire to welcome all those you send our way. Broaden our horizons and give us the strength to bear witness to your presence to those who do not know you.
Working the land sometimes exposes us to unforeseen situations. Climate change hustle nature’s rhythm and produces extreme weather events that prevent some farmers from living off the fruits of their labour.
Lord, inspire us with new ways to take account of these changes, to commit ourselves to preserving our common home, and to honour those who work the land.
Many populations suffer from the interference of their political leaders, suffering the consequences of corruption and totalitarian regimes.
Lord, in the face of these situations of injustice, we implore your Spirit of compassion, discernment and wisdom for all those who hold positions of responsibility in the political world. May they be inspired by your just and benevolent way of ruling over your creation.