Ecological spirituality at CHTI

Ecological spirituality at CHTI
May 22, 2023 Susan Oxley

The Catholic Health Training Institute (CHTI) is a privileged place where we tangibly touch the mystery and beauty of God’s creation. CHTI is a “paradise,” as some visitors say. In our campus, we are surrounded by trees, flowers and rich vegetation, which impresses with its vastness and delights all with its beauty, especially in the rainy season. The chapel is located in the center of the campus, surrounded by big windows on all sides. Worshiping God during our liturgies, automatically we include the surrounding nature in our worship.

Liturgy is an important space where we articulate our beliefs and fundamental values. Because of this our faith in God the Creator, our love for God’s creation and our commitment to care for God’s creation are an integral part of our liturgical life and experience. We humbly recognize that we are not the masters of creation, but that the created world has been entrusted to us by God and we are responsible for it. Nature is a result of the creative action of God and is the home in which we live: we have the task of promoting the harmony and development of creation with love and concern. Care of creation is an integral part of our collaboration with God to ensure that humanity and all creation has life in abundance.

During our liturgical celebration, we ask God for grace to be aware of the intimate connectivity between the humans and the nature and to exercise wise stewardship of this earth and cherish its resources for the future generations. Spiritual awareness helps us to see the immense radiance and the boundless beauty and kindness of God in all creatures and breeds new attitudes and behaviors in us.

Students not only want to enjoy the beauty of nature and use its fruits, but they translate this awareness into concrete ways of acting that are more respectful of creation. They consciously take action to care for Our Common Home, to make the earth clean and green. In their free time, students engage in activities promoting environmental protection, such as cleaning, planting flowers and vegetables, and watering them. The goal of such exercises is not only to inculcate love for the environment, but to acquire a Laudato Sì lifestyle born from the conversion of heart.

We thank God for the wonders of creation and ask him to lead us to understand ever more deeply the gift of creation and to make us instruments of life wherever we are.

Sister Brygida Teresa Maniurka, FMM

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