Monday, 15 October 2007

Honour our Earth with Julian Tenison Woods

It’s October 15, which means it’s Blog Action Day! The one day of the year when bloggers around the globe write about one issue, to join together and promote a worthy cause across a multitude of communities. And this year is Environment Blog Action Day.

As part of this global event Mary MacKillop Melbourne is bringing you a reflection on Father Julian Tenison Woods, co-founder of the Josephites and importantly, for Blog Action Day; a naturalist, a past-day ecologist.

Julian Tenison Woods was interested in geology and natural science from a young age. After studying for the priesthood and being posted to Australia he was able to combine his love for their earth and all its wonders with his love for God’s children. A fated encounter with a young Mary MacKillop in Penola started a journey of discovery, adventure and service for them both. After helping form the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart his first love became his life’s work as he studied the many geological features of Australia and its neighboring countries. He brought to Australia an awareness and love for God’s natural wonders, an appreciation, which given today’s pressing environmental issues is a love worthy of adopting. Through his admiration for the earth we can see how important it is to value and respect that which we are lucky to inhabit.

In honour of Julian, and the natural world he served we dedicate Mary MacKillop Melbourne’s Blog Action Day to loving and respecting the playground we have been given.

Contemplation with Julian Tenison Woods.

“Every rock, every leaf, every insect has something beautiful, nay wonderful to tell … a perfect fairy-land of beauty will open to the gaze at every step. The flowers will unveil the hidden secrets of beauty: the stones reveal their crystalline structure, and the tiniest insects display wonders of mechanism … All new, all varied, all instructive, and all tending to raise the mind to higher and nobler conceptions of what creation does to declare the glory of its author.”

- Julian Tenison Woods, July 1880.

A time for reflection …

Julian’s awareness of the sacred at the heart of all creation says a great deal to us in our time.

He reminds us that:
* We have a responsibility to cherish the sacredness of all creation
* We do not merely live on Earth as if we had come to it from the outside. We are part of this planet, creations of Earth.
* We need to be nurturers and healers of creation, not destroyers of earth.
* We can find God in every aspect of life and creation
* We all need time and space if we are to find our God in creation

Personal pondering …

* What particular aspects of creation arouse in me a joy and delight in the work of our creating God?
* Where, today, was I touched by any aspect of God’s creation?
* What has been the extent of my ‘carbon imprint’ on earth today?
* How, today, have I been a nurturer or healer of creation?
* What is my biggest challenge as I strive to nourish and care for Earth?

Reflection inspired by "Symphony of Life: Julian Tenison Woods," adapted for Mary MacKillop Melbourne by Mary Ryan rsj.

Photograph of Father Julian Tenison Woods.+