The latest reflection from Bella Harding:

Dear all, I hope you are all well and keeping safe. I miss meeting as a community so much. However I am trying to use the time productively and have become one of the Diocese's handful of Laudato Si animators, doing a training course to help spread the ideas of Laudato Si and the Dicastery for Integral Human Development ( a mouthful I know).
This is starting a seven year rolling programme to enlist parishes into the celebration of Jubilee and the implementation of the insight of Laudato Si, to make our world a more just and sustainable environment. I know we as a parish, have done lots over the last year, but this is the time for even more transformation, especially at this time when so much is changing and being renewed. And the Season of Creation is coming up for us to really get moving!
The course is truly inspiring, with zoom webinars with so many people internationally, it broke the 'break out' facility, with presentations from people all over the world, but a particularly good one from Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam from the Dicastery. We have been invited to read Laudato Si, and rereading it I was struck forcibly by how prophetic it was five years ago, and how urgent it is that we act, so I am so glad that the church is really moving on this.
As part of our 'homeworks' (no rest for the wicked!) we were asked to take some quotes from Laudato Si, and since I know that many people don't have time or inclination to read vatican documents, I picked out some of what I think are really important points from the first four chapters. The course runs for another two weeks. See also attached if you would like to glance over it and think about what it might mean for our 'new normal', even though we have not yet got rid of the virus to 'get back' to anything!
Above all I ask you to pray, and there were two new insights on the course for prayer.
The first was applying Lectio Divina to the natural world: the process, as you know is
Lectio - to contemplate something in the natural world,
meditatio to observe it closely and what occurs to you,
oratio to listen to what God is saying and
contemplatio to rest in that thankful awareness. See an attachment that explains it much better than that.

There is also the Laudato Si chaplet, which involves praying as with Rosary beads, each prayer ten times, followed by the Glory Be.
So;
Praised be you, my Lord through Brother Air - when we can contemplate the importance of air for life, symbol of God
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water - its importance for life and to signify God's action ie baptism
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire - often an image of God's presence
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Earth - which is the creation on which we depend.
You can alternate each one with a phrase like the Canticle of Daniel, 'To you glory and praise for evermore'.
I hope this is really lifegiving for you in your prayer and in all the struggles we face at the moment.
Incidentally this year has been dedicated to Laudato Si from May 2020 to May 2021, so apparently, we are specially privileged Laudato Si animators who will get a special award. All this just means I think the Church is really moving on this and I have great hopes...
Best wishes, Bella



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