Creation spirituality is rooted, first of all, in nature, in experience, and in the world as it is. This rich Hebrew spirituality formed the mind, heart, and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. —Richard Rohr
For all the great thoughts I have read / For all the deep books I have studied / None has brought me nearer to Spirit / Than a walk beneath shimmering leaves. —Steven Charleston
The creation narratives in Genesis, like many Indigenous creation narratives, encourage humans to see the wider created order as part of the same “family tree of the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 2:4). —Randy Woodley
If we truly believe that God surrounds us, we believe that prayer is an everyday experience of being alive…. When you step outside and engage with the world in quiet listening, prayer will happen, and it will take on its own way of being for you. —Kaitlin Curtice
For humans to make sense to ourselves, I think we’re going to have to rediscover our kinship with the reptiles—and the fish, insects, birds, mammals, and palo santo trees—with which we share the world. —Brian McLaren
Daily cosmic events in the sky and on the earth are the Reality above our heads and beneath our feet every minute of our lives: a continuous sacrament. —Richard Rohr
Franciscan Sister José Hobday (1929–2009) was a Seneca elder, and a friend of the CAC in its earliest days. She writes of a way of praying she learned from her mother:
A very special [way to pray] was the Sacrifice Flower prayer, which [my mother] adapted from the heritage of her people, the Seneca Iroquois. She taught me to say this prayer when I was feeling low or had a burden I wanted lifted. Later, I learned to use it for happy occasions and when I had a special request I wanted to make of God. Like all mothers, she could always tell when something was bothering me. She’d say to me, “All right, Jo. I think it’s time you went outside and found yourself a Sacrifice Flower.”…
That flower was supposed to be special, one that meant a lot to me…. In addition, Mother said I was to be very careful with the flower because it had been selected for a holy purpose. I lovingly cupped it in my hands so nothing would happen to it. When I got home, I did as my mother instructed and told the flower what burden I wanted lifted and taken to God. How was the flower to do this? Remember, this was a Sacrifice Flower, one that was going to die. The idea was that as life went out of the flower, it would carry my prayer to God….
Every time I saw the flower, I could see it giving its life for me and I could imagine my prayer being carried to God…. When the flower finally died, I would take it outside, say good-bye to it, and thank it for giving its life for me and for delivering my prayer. Then I would bury it so it would have a chance at a new life….
In this simple, graphic way my mother taught me how uplifting prayer can be. And, in the process, she taught me about life, too—how basic both dying and rising are to living and how important it is that we become Sacrifice Flowers for each other.
José Hobday, Stories of Awe and Abundance (Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1995), 17, 18.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Loïs Mailou Jones, Jeune Fille Français (detail), 1951, oil on canvas, Smithsonian; Textile Design for Cretonne (detail), 1928, watercolor on paper, Smithsonian; Eglise Saint Joseph (detail), 1954, oil on canvas, Smithsonian. Click here to enlarge image.
Creation teaches us to love God in all Her death, decay, fallow times, insemination, growth, blooming and life and death and life.