The practice of reflecting on God using the natural world as a sort of “icon” for the divine has been neglected by many Christians who are put off by the secular practice of treating nature as the only way of encountering God, along with the tendency of New Age spirituality to divinize nature. But ignoring the ways that we can encounter the presence of God in the natural world cuts us off from an important part of our tradition, not to mention a way of experiencing God’s presence with a sense of awe, wonder, and joy. Dive deeper to find five ways of praying with nature.
The Church preached respect and care for the natural world long before it was cool. This Earth Day, share some of that tradition with your kids. On Teaching Catholic Kids, you’ll find six ways to put a Catholic spin on Earth Day, including a blessing for God and his creation, a poetry suggestion, stories of saints, activities and the St. Francis Pledge.
Catholic dad Ryan Langr writes: What to give up for Lent is one of the hardest decisions I have to make all year (yes, I’m spoiled). One of the reasons I fret so much about it is that I wonder how meaningful or how difficult the penance would actually be. While a Lenten penance is really only required to change your heart, having something that can affect others or the world is a definite bonus (and often much harder). One of my biggest concerns lately has been global warming and the state of our environment, and indeed Pope Francis thinks this is a huge issue as well. So we recycle, drive fuel-efficient cars, and try not to use so much heat or AC. So this Lent, if you want some extreme fasting and penance with an eco-friendly bonus, check out the following five suggestions about what to give up for Lent. They may be hard, but they’re to change your heart . . . and model care for God’s creation for your kids! You’ll find ideas online.