Reconciling God, Creation, and Humanity: An Ecological Examen

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October 2017

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The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US developed a new ecological examen Reconciling God, Creation, and Humanity with the Ignatian Solidarity Network as a reflection tool to help individuals and institutions to engage more deeply in caring for creation and promoting ecological justice.

The examen heeds Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for creation and to reconcile our relationship with God, creation, and one another as expressed in the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus.  It asks us to reflect on our personal relationship with creation, to acknowledge and amend our ways, and to promote ecological justice by standing in solidarity with those most affected by environmental harm.

The five sections of the examen – gratitude, awareness, understanding, conversion, and reconciliation – and the final prayer are briefly put together in a one-page summary:

  1. I give thanks to God for creation and for being wonderfully made. Where did I feel God’s presence in creation today?
  2. I ask for the grace to see creation as God does – in all its splendor and suffering.Do I see the beauty of creation and hear the cries of the earth and the poor?
  3. I ask for the grace to look closely to see how my life choices impact creation and the poor and vulnerable.What challenges or joys do I experience as I recall my care for creation?  How can I turn away from a throwaway culture and instead stand in solidarity with creation and the poor?
  4. I ask for the grace of conversion towards ecological justice and reconciliation.Where have I fallen short in caring for creation and my brothers and sisters?  How do I ask for a conversion of heart?
  5. I ask for the grace to reconcile my relationship with God, creation and humanity, and to stand in solidarity through my actions.How can I repair my relationship with creation and make choices consistent with my desire for reconciliation with creation?
  6. I offer a closing prayer for the earth and the vulnerable in our society.

Fr Timothy Kesicki, SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the US, provides a video introduction  to the ecological examen and shares that “the beauty of the examen is that it takes repetition.  Our relationship with God takes time, and in that relationship, we’re called to conversion.”

This Ecological Examen is a tool for prayer, reflection and action as individuals in their home, parish, school, university or community deepen our call to care for creation and the most vulnerable.  Those interested are invited to join the Ignatian family in seeking a conversion of heart to embrace ecological justice and Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home.