Creation Time is an opportunity for all Christians to reflect on the wonder and mystery of Creation, to choose better ways to relate to Creation, ways that reflect God’s ways of Justice and Peace. Here, Sr Clare Bryne reports on how Creation Time was celebrated in her parish in Cabra West, Dublin.
On Sunday 2nd September we celebrated the beginning of “Creation Time” by having Claire Carey speak at all Masses. Claire works with the Columbans in Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath.
This year the parish decided to highlight the Creation Mandala, a creative work of art which is produced by the artisans of the Subanen people of the northwest of Mindanao in the Philippines. Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle. In the Hindu and Budhist traditions, Mandalas are circles symbolically designed to represent cosmic order. The Creation Mandala honours the Creator and the eight circular images within symbolise the crucial events in the unfolding story of the birth of the universe.
The Creation Mandala contains eight circular images that symbolize crucial events in the unfolding of the Universe. These events are:
1. The Birth of the Universe
2. The Birth of the Galaxies
3. The Birth of the Solar System
4. The Birth of the Earth
5. The Birth of Life
6. The Birth of Humans
7. The Birth of the Ecological Age
Each circle is highlighted and explained on individual banners that will remain on display in the church until the end of the season of Creation Time, which is on 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi.
The Subanen people of the Philippines finely crafted The Creation Mandala and it is on display at the Mission Centre, Malate Catholic Church, Manila. Mandalas can be purchased through the Columbans at Dalgan Park, Co. Meath.
The subsequent Sundays developed the Creation Theme further – culminating with the Feast of St. Francis and a blessing for all pets of the parish.
During this ‘Creation Season’ the Parish Newsletter printed prayers, poems etc. reminding parishioners of the Cycle of Life – illustrated on the beautiful ‘Creation Mandala’. Below are just two examples of what was in the newsletter.
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
and heaven in a wildflower,
hold infinity in your hand,
and eternity in an hour.” (William Blake)
Harvest Time – Thanksgiving
Traditionally, Harvest Thanksgiving in Ireland is associated with the fruits of the earth. We can also acknowledge the INTERNAL fruits of our own lives as individuals and as a community.
Across the land, fruits, vegetables and grains have been harvested, gardens and fields give of their gifts. Sometimes, it is only when produce is gathered and the grain is harvested that the fruits of the earth are seen in all their bounty. Perhaps each day we can write down five things for which we are grateful for. The magic word “THANK YOU” is all important.
Creation – Autumn
Eternal One who circles the seasons with ease, teach me about Earth’s natural cycle of turning from one season to another. Remind me often of how she opens herself to the dying and rising rotations, the coming and going of each of the four seasons. Open me today to the teachings of the seasons of Autumn.
When I accept only the beautiful and reject the tattered, torn parts of who I am, when I treat things that are falling apart as my enemies, walk me among the dying leaves, let them tell me about their power to energize Earth’s soil by their decomposition and their formation of enriching humus.
When I fear the loss of my youthfulness and refuse to accept the reality of aging,
Turn my face to the brilliant colours of autumn trees, open my spirit to the mellow resonance of Autumn sunsets and the beauty of the changing land.
Maker of the seasons, thank you for all that Autumn teaches me. Change my focus so that I see not only what I am leaving behind, but also the harvest and the plenitude that my life holds. May my heart grow freer and my life more peaceful as I resonate with, and respond to, the many teachings this season offers me.
Earth is shedding the abundance of Summer. Leaves fall from the trees. Sunlight lessens. Everywhere there is a move toward letting go. Join with me as we enter into the spirit of Autumn. I am the sun setting in the West. I am the tree letting go of the leaves. I am the harvest taken from the land. I am the bird winging swiftly southward.