Listening to the Heartbeat of God
We join with the Earth and with each other.
We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life. Amen.
From the earliest centuries of Christianity, it was believed and taught that God is revealed in both the Book of the Scriptures and the Book of Nature.
In his book Listening to the Heartbeat of God, John Newell, a Celtic writer, says that most people have childhood experiences of nature that could be equated with hearing the beat of God's heart.
He likens the babbling music of a rushing stream, the magic of green shoots announcing the arrival of spring, the magnificent colours of autumn and the silence of snow to encountering the presence, the heartbeat of God. Who has not felt the Mystery of Life and known the presence of the Divine in the beauty of nature?
This Celtic vision has been inspired by devotion to the Beloved disciple John, who leaned his head on the “heart of Jesus;” and this spirituality easily has lent itself to a “listening for God at the heart of all life”.
In our present time of ecological crisis, this speaks to a deep sense of incarnation and of a spirituality that perceives elements of the Earth as expressions of God’s grace.
We have the teaching of Pope Francis, in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, that “in the heart of the world, the Lord of Life who loves us so much is always present.”
Let us listen deeply to the song of the earth and know the Sacred Presence in the living gift of nature.
At this time of prayer we ask:
May the deep blessings of earth be with us.
May the fathomless soundings of seas surge in our soul.
May boundless stretches of the universe echo in our depths
To open us to wonder
To strengthen us for love
To humble us with gratitude
That we may lose ourselves in gladness
That we give ourselves to peace.
- JP Newell, Praying with the Earth
By Sisters Betty Lou Knox, Mary Mettler and Janet Speth, CSJ
JP Newell, Praying with the Earth, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011, page 20, reprinted with permission.