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Walking with Creation

by admin last modified Mar 13, 2018 10:09 AM

The day before September 1 I found myself with some volunteers installing tents in Burnham Green, Luneta Park, Ermita, Manila for an event that would take place the following day at the crack of dawn. The weather forecast was not promising. Because we were near the coast, the wind was very strong and we had to find sacks of sand to support the four corners of the tents as well as a piece of knot to tie the tents to the ground to withstand the force of the wind. The sky was clear and one could see stars, as good enough signs that promised a dry day after days of torrential rain.

By John Din

The day before September 1 I found myself with some volunteers installing tents in Burnham Green, Luneta Park, Ermita, Manila for an event that would take place the following day at the crack of dawn. The weather forecast was not promising.  Because we were near the coast, the wind was very strong and we had to find sacks of sand to support the four corners of the tents as well as a piece of knot to tie the tents to the ground to withstand the force of the wind. The sky was clear and one could see stars, as good enough signs that promised a dry day after days of torrential rain.

Before three o’clock in the morning of September 1, rain started to pour and showed no sign of stopping. It was a heavy rain and all of us were wondering what would happen to the event, would it be postponed since there was no alternative on sight. And just before the Mass, the rain stopped so everybody rushed to prepare the altar, including the sound system which was installed the day before. The rain had disorganized ourselves and yet everybody seemed to be working so we could start. People started gathering in the middle of the uneven and grassy field, walking through waters and mud, including the anthill.

Lo and behold we celebrated the Eucharist, with Cardinal Tagle’s meaningful message of the culture of care present in every generation that we need to nurture. It was celebrated in the altar of the open field. It was the word of the scripture meeting the word revealed through all the created elements already there present with us. The Eucharist took place at a time of the passing from the darkness of night with the clouds of rain to the rising of the sun.

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Eucharistic Celebration during the “Walk for Creation”

Burnham Green, Luneta Park, Manila on September 1, 2017

After the Eucharist was a reflective walk that meditated on the different moments of creation informed by the current scientific understanding of our evolutionary universe – from the birth of the atom to the call to live the “Ecozoic era”, a term coined by the eco-geologian, Thomas Berry, to describe a mutually enhancing relationship between humans and the natural world. We walked along the fields, some through the mud and others trying to escape the unescapable heavily soaked field. But we had the sun accompanying us in the walk for the different moments of creation.

The Walk for Creation was indeed a time of experiencing creation at its full manifestation from the blows of the wind, the blessing of the rain, the stability and support of the earth, to the fire of the rising sun. What was thought to be a “walk for creation” became a “walk with creation” that is ever present. Crisscrossing the fields and walking through the water and mud, memories of my childhood came back. It was a memory of being at home with the natural world. What happened before and during the event might as well have brought good memories to the thousands of people who participated the walk – that memory of being at home with the natural world, though creation at this time has become a more endangered memory in our time of uncontrolled commercialism, strained relationship with the earth, separating ourselves from our real identity that is related and interconnected with all.

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Columbans participating in the “Walk for Creation”

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