Resources for:
Pilgrimage of discovery into God revealed in the Cosmos

Readings and Quotations

Book: Field of Compassion by Judy Cannato
Contributed by Maureen Merlo fcJ

Marureen offers this book which she has found very helpful in exploring this phrase. In 2013, she and a small group of religious met monthly to discuss the book, finding much food for prayer, reflection and action.

Quote from Christ in a grain of sand: An Ecological Journey with the Spiritual Exercises
Contributed by Clare fcJ

This quotation is taken from this book by Neil Vaney SM (2004, Ave Maria Press, Inc.,P.O. Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556, 79)

The DNA that every human being inherits from his or her mother is only about a tenth of 1 percent different from what comes from their father.  And each person differs by about the same amount from every other human on this planet.  Biologically speaking, it is very small but very significant.  It makes each person utterly unique.  Yet more significantly, the huge differences that exist between diverse ethnic and racial groups are much more the result of environment and culture than genetics.  Each human being is an exquisite mosaic, made up of innumerable tiny tiles, both biological and cultural, that define this individual’s uniqueness.  There is no way of knowing in advance which of these inherited gifts is going to be most important for the future wellbeing and happiness of a person’s life and offspring.  Here in the South Pacific, study of the mitochondria of Polynesian women has shown that all now living are descendants of just five women from the island of Samoa.  At the time, these women could not have had the least suspicion of just how important their lives of hard struggle were to be.  The interplay of biology and history is just one of the instruments that the God of surprises uses to draw peoples toward the outworking of his plans for the universe.

Clare adds a further quote from the same source, an expression of the Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises, extensively adapted from the words of Joseph Tetlow SJ by Neil Vaney, SM.

Every part of the universe is shaped so as to achieve God’s ultimate plan by praising, revering, and living according to God’s will.  Human beings have a unique role in this cosmic vision.
All things on the face of and under the earth come within the companionship and stewardship of humankind as part of God’s intention to harmonize God’s creation in Christ.
In using the goods of creation, therefore, divine harmony comes about when humans use these gifts to fulfill their deepest call in Christ and resolutely turn away from anything that could deflect them from that calling.
Concretely, unless we have some higher moral duty, such as to our children, we should avoid getting tied down to any particular created object.  We should strive to remain totally in balance before all the good gifts of creation.  Before making any decision, we should avoid getting locked into categories such as “I will do only things that safeguard my health and avoid anything that could make me ill,” or “I will always strive to be wealthy rather than poor,” or “to live a longer rather than a shorter life.”  By opting for such a strategy, we can live in harmony when we need to make choices about our use of God’s creatures.

We commit ourselves to live in total harmony, choosing solely on the basis of what will help us to achieve the sort of destiny for which God originally brought forth all of creation.   

Psalm of the Cosmos
Contributed by Lois Anne Bordowitz fcJ

This psalm is of unknown origin, but you can find it on the Web of Creation website. It was sent to FCJs and CiMs of the Province of the Americas along with the May 2014 JPIC Province flyer. You can access it and print it here.

Short excerpt: Loving God, loving God, all creation calls you blessed, and so do we, and so do we.

Francis of Assisi “Canticle of the Sun”
Contributed by Patricia Fitzgerald CiM

You can find information about the Canticle of the Sun on Wikipedia. There is a lovely video on YouTube (mostly in Italian with English subtitles with some English singing). You can find a good English translation here.


RS Thomas poem “The Bright Field.”
Contributed by Patricia Fitzgerald CiM

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

You can find information about the The Bright Field on Wikipedia. There is a video on YouTube where Nicola Davies reads the Poem against a background of Welsh landscape.


Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Contributed by Patricia Fitzgerald CiM

Patricia suggests three poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Pied Beauty, God's Grandeur and Hurrahing in Harvest. You can find the words of all Hopkins poems here.


Article "The Cosmic Christ" by Margaret Pirkl OSF
Contributed by Patricia Fitzgerald CiM

The Cosmic Christ can be defined as that aspect of God which pervades all of creation, the Christ who "fills the universe in all its parts" (Ephesians 1:23). The Franciscan teaching of this is based firmly in the theology of Bonaventure and Scotus that flows from the spirituality of Francis and Clare and their early followers. It is basically Trinity-centered and Christ-centered. You can read or print the whole article here.


Short reading from the book "The Emergent Christ" by Ilea Delio OSF
Contributed by Marion Dooley fcJ

We are called to love this created world as God loves it. We are to help transform this universe from within by seeing Christ in the heart of matter – in all peoples, creatures, elements, stars and galaxies. Such vision requires openness to new relationships, new ideas, abandoning messianic expectations, accepting incompleteness as part of life, recovering the capacity of wonder, and living in the primacy of love.
You can read or print the whole extract here.

Marion says: This short extract from Delio's 'The Emergent Christ' calls us to reimagine who Christ is for us and how this will invite us to transform how we look at all aspects of life and the entire cosmos.