Transformation - Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart


Transformation - Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart
Day four
Suggestions for approaching the Retreat
CC It is suggested that you allow 30 minutes each day to participate as fully as possible in the
CC Each day before reading the material allow yourself a few minutes to become still using the
following breath prayer:
Close your eyes and begin to deliberately to slow your breath down.
As you breathe in deliberately breathe in the creative love of God.
As you breathe out breathe out loving compassion to our world.
CC Do this for a few moments and when you feel you are centred open your eyes and read
the material for that day’s retreat. Take your time and use whatever part of the material
resonates with you.
Read the following passages and allow them to speak to your awareness
Julian’s Words
We, in our busy speculations among the stars, have told of wondrous things. We have
pointed out the orbs whose distance from us we have discovered, but our numbers
have an unmeaning sound, which our own mind cannot reach… All our discoveries
enlarge our small ideas of the immensity of Omnipotence. And does not Geology
do the same? Beneath the soil, carpeted by various flowers which herald forth the
beauty of the world to come, are secrets which are only known to us in part.
But these revelations, small as they are, stretch far beyond our comprehension.
© Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph,
North Sydney, 2014
We learn that the dust we tread upon was once alive, that the rock on which we
stand has lived and died – has been a thing of life, and is now a stone: and this is
a time which reaches so far back as only to be understood by the One who is from
eternity… and we, pausing in our vain endeavor to stretch our mind to the capacity
of that which has no bounds, are obliged to rest ourselves from the thought of the
Infinite, and to confess that, whether we search in earth, or sky, or sea, we are
everywhere met by the visions of the Illimitable.
JTW, Geological Observation in South Australia, 1862
The brilliant stars which strew the skies on a still clear night,
and look like so many diamonds set in ebony;
the remote clouds of nebulae, whose very distance is as much
as their nature and purpose: the universe, such as we know it,
may all have been unfolding its grand destiny in the mysterious epoch,
darkly alluded to in the Hebrew as ‘beginning.’
JTW, Modern Science and Ancient Records, Southern Cross & Catholic Herald, 20 November 1867
© Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph,
North Sydney, 2014
Other Reflections
In truth, we live in the midst of immensities, and we are intrinsically woven
into a great cosmic drama.
Brian Swimme. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996, 60
Night is a time when the presence of the stars can be more deeply felt,
when the news of the universe can be more deeply attended to.
Brian Swimme, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996, 68
There is an inner relationship between what happens in the stars and what
happens in the evolution of life on earth... Every atom of these elements
[of earth], apart from hydrogen, has been made by nuclear fusion in
stars. Every atom of every body found on Earth originates in a star. Life is
intimately related to the stars. If there were no stars there could be no trees,
flowers, kangaroos, or human beings. We are all made from stardust.
Denis Edwards, Breath of Life: a Theology of the Holy Spirit. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004, 13
Praise him, all you shining stars! - Ps. 148: 3, NRSV
The stars shone in their watches, and were glad;
God called them and they said: “Here we are!”
They shone with gladness for the One who made them.
(Baruch 3:34, NRSV)
Who is the Trinity?
You are music.
You are life.
Source of everything,
creator of everything,
angelic hosts sing your praise.
Wonderfully radiant,
You are alive in everything,
and yet you are unknown to us.
G. Uhlein, trans. Meditations with Hildegard of Bingen, Santa Fe, Bear & Co., 1983,
However insignificant we may feel with respect to the age and size of the
universe, we are, even so, beings in whom the universe shivers in wonder at
itself. By following this wonder we have discovered the ongoing story of the
universe, a story that we tell, but a story that is also telling us.
B.Swimme & M.E. Tucker, Journey of the Universe. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011, 114
© Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph,
North Sydney, 2014
Photo by Julianne Murphy rsj
Personal Reflections
How does Julian’s awareness of the night sky speak to your own awareness of light –
starlight, sunlight, moonlight, other created light forms?
Take time now to dialogue with Julian.
Choose a phrase from the above passages to use as a mantra to walk with
during the day.
Activity Suggestion
Write a psalm in praise of the gift of light.
An online retreat prepared by The Josephite Congregational Ecospirituality Team –
Nurturing Ecological Consciousness
© Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph,
North Sydney, 2014

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