Environmental Spirituality - 28 septembre 2010

fr - Enhancing Factors of Environmental Spirituality

Silence and contemplation are the two main factors enhancing environmental spirituality. Contemplation requires silence of body and mind. Drawn by the divine, Ravindranath Tagore said. “ I ask for a moment’s indulgence to sit by thy side. The work that I have in hand I will finish after wards” (Gitanjali,5) This is the most effective moment of spiritual life.

Some people are naturally awoke to the presence of God in creation and at the heart of every being and enter quite naturally in to recollection with thoughts and feelings and they are constantly attentive to the spirit and are available to God’s call. They remain in silence and God plunges them into his deep mystery. Some others, while gazing on the rising sun or looking at a beautiful mountain or at a starry firmament, become overwhelmed by the beauty of creation and proclaim the greatness of the creator. “

That morning light which we see proceeding from the primal seed ; which shines beyond the firmament ; which pierces the darkness ; by contemplating the highest light, we attain to the light supreme.” (Sumaveda, 20).

Silence helps to establish a personal relationship between God and us. This relationship often culminates in a deep experience of God and opens up and grows in total interiority. All these take place in the silence of the mind and in the depth of our beings.
Spiritual reading is another factor, which enriches the environmental spirituality. Matter read enters in to our minds and brings us closer to God. Spiritual reading gives us knowledge about God and allows us to listen to God speaking to us here and now. If it is done attentively with reflection it will give meaning to our lives. For example, the Holy scriptures help us experience God.
Spirituality is lived in the present moment, in the here and now. God speaks to us in the moment. He is present to us in every moment be it joyful or painful, hard or easy. “I am with you always” Jesus said. Certain time of the day and night is very conducive to prayer and contemplation.

Space is also an enhancing factor. God is discovered in the inner room of our being. If we create a space for God within our hearts, He will dwell there.” I will stand at the door and knock. If any one opens, my father and I will enter and will dine with him.” It is there that one is spiritually fed. In short, space provides intimacy with God.
Sacred places help to encounter God. Jesus used to go up to the hill inorder to commune with God alone. Churches, temples, mosques and others holy places are familiar to us. This, in turn, brings deep spiritual joy and contentedness.

 Group gatherings of spirituality- minded people influence each other to live God-experience. The ‘vibrations’ generated through group prayer and contemplation has beneficial effect on those who are exposed to these vibrations.

 Everything in the natural surroundings helps highly spiritual persons to discover the Kingdom of heaven hidden in the ordinary objects, persons and all living and non-living things. St Fancies of Assisi and St. Antony of Padua are the saints who communicated to God through their ordinary surroundings. For the former, the sun and moon, stars and trees, birds and animals, fellow men and women- all were members of his ‘family’ and he would talk to them lovingly. St. Antony preached a sermon to fish. Rabindranath Tagore sought to build up an outlook based on truth, beauty and goodness. He was deeply rooted in his surroundings and his poems are composed in touch with nature, in the open air, under the trees. He loved nature-walks, birds, plants, music, dance etc. St. Marie Eugenie Milleret believed that the earth is a place of God’s glory. She wrote “ It pains me to hear that the earth is a place of exile…The earth is a place of God’s glory”.

Awareness of surroundings also helps to experience God within. Listening to the air is breath, sense of God in the air, the sounds awareness of God in our brothers and sisters and those who are nearest to us.