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Reflections on the Season of Creation

Sep 29, 2021

Reflections on the Season of Creation
Fr. Enrico C. Eusebio SJ

Good morning to everyone. Everyday, I tend a small flower garden on the 4th floor of Loyola House of Studies. With a mixture of garden soil and compost from the compost pit of Loyola House, I started with few flower pots in 2019 and now I have around 110 of them, big, medium and small.

I already forgot where, but before the pandemic I happened to see, behold, and admire the beauty of a flower, one flower – its color, symmetry, its life. I said to myself I wanted to grow many of these beautiful living things and so I started collecting different kinds and colors of flowering plants – red, pink, yellow, orange, yellow-orange, violet, white, cream. Some of them I grew from seeds; others I bought at the Quezon Memorial Circle, in Silang, Cavite, and in Calauan, Laguna. Some are perennial and so they last for years. Some live only to around 3 months, and then they wither and die, but they leave behind seeds and they grow again into beautiful flowers.

I have seen Fr. Wally Ysaac SJ, one of our senior Jesuits in Loyola House, actually kissing some of the flowers, and leaving what seemed to me a soft whisper to them. Once he told me, “These flowers are created to show us the beauty of God! Created grace revealing Uncreated Grace to us!”

We have been celebrating the Season of Creation in LST since 2017 to remind us about the Love of the One who creates and sustains us and the beautiful world around us. Each year we commit ourselves to loving the Creator in return by beholding the beauty of His creation and by committing to take care of it in our own simple ways.

We experience God laboring with us and giving Himself to us as we live here in our common home. St. Ignatius of Loyola in the final meditation on the Spiritual Exercises – The Contemplation to Attain the Love of God – invites us “to bring to memory the benefits received, of  Creation, Redemption pondering with much feeling how much God our Lord has done for me … how God dwells in creatures, in the elements, giving them being, in the plants vegetating, in the animals, and so in me, giving me being, animating me, giving me sensation … how God works and labors for me in all things created on the face of the earth, in the heavens, elements, plants, fruits, cattle, and how all the good things and gifts descend from above, justice, goodness, pity, mercy, as from the sun descend the rays, from the fountain the waters, etc.”

In response to the immense love of God for us in nature, in our 2019 Season of Creation, some of you might recall that as a Community, we committed ourselves to certain concrete courses of action, in particular, the phase out from our premises of single-use plastics, beginning with mineral water plastic bottles and plastic bags. We agreed that these items may not be brought to, and utilized in, LST anymore; that LST will no longer replenish our supply of water in PET bottles; that the LST Canteen will shift from plastic bags to paper bags. During LST events, administration and faculty meetings and thesis defenses, reusable glasses and water dispensers will be made available.

While the pandemic has forced us to use soft copies of class notes and paper requirements, we will continue to minimize – though not totally eliminate – the use of papers when we come back to physical classes next Academic Year. In LST, we contemplate the love of God in creation in action. We are contemplatives-in-action.

Let me end with a prayer I found online that glorifies God even in the humble act of preparing a new compost pile.

Prayer for a New Compost Pile

King of Heaven and Earth, we thank You for this icon, for the reminder that even the dirt beneath our feet shows the sign of Your resurrection, and that even the smallest creature is loved by You. Father, bless these worms that proclaim Your glory, the bacteria, fungus, and insects that do Your work.

Bless the soil they create, that it may nourish Your people and restore Your earth that we have degraded by our sin. Teach our hearts also to be fertile soil for Your Word and bless us with the abundance of Your love, with fruit of the earth, seasonable weather, and great love for each other. Amen.

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