Formation - 2 December 2018

en - Interconnectedness of Environment and Spirituality

Therese Koottiyaniyil, R.A.

Environment is the natural situation around living beings which affects the existence, growth,development and activities of living beings. It includes both the living and the non-living surroundings in the world. It is the physical and biological surroundings of human species. Man is the most dynamic element in the ecosystem. Spiritually is the state of being spiritual. Spiritual is anything pertaining to God, to God’s spirit, to sacred matters etc. Environmental spirituality is an experience of awareness of God’s presence and the experience of God’s personal love and being in contact with God. This experience is accompanied by great joy, inner happiness and peace. We need a conducive, fertile, supportive milieu in order to sustain our communication with God and to lead a spiritual life for a long time. It is difficult to live a spiritual life in a milieu where no one is interested in spiritual matters. Friends, books, churches, art, music, places are part of an environment that helps us to live a spiritual life. The non-living components of environments like land, water, sunlight ; heat, pressure etc. are also supportive.

Human beings are part of the environment and are influenced by it. Certain environments are conducive to the development and enrichment of spirituality. All are, by nature, spiritual. There are hundreds of things in the surroundings, which help us to discover God. Such environments are thought of as the manifestation of God, the Creator. A gigantic river that runs by ; a vast green meadow ; a huge forest with animals roaming around ; birds that sing and fly with tiny wings ; flowers that open with variety of colors ; peaceful dawn that dispels the darkness ; light emerging gradually every morning ; brightly shining sun in the middle of the day ; radiance of the calmly descending sun in the evening spreading beauty in the horizon ; thousands of shining stars at night ; thunder that flashes across the sky ; the plants of the earth and the fishes of the sea ; cold wind in the winter and the pleasant sun in the summer ; clouds that move slowly under the sky ; the mountains, springs, trees, breeze, flood - all these enable the spiritually-minded persons to discover God in the environment. “Lord, the earth lights up as a symbol of your presence. All nature is suffused with your light and life.”

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