Theological Imaginings: Presence to Earth
Mary Tinney rsm (ISMAPNG)

Welcome to this theological reflection on the theme Presence to Earth. 

I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which each one of us meets, in my case the Tuurbal people north of the Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia. 

This ancient land was here
In the silences and its sounds of life
Long before history was written
Held carefully in its dreaming.
We acknowledge the traditional owners
and custodians of the land and water
of our various areas.
We pay our respects to them
and honour their links with all creation.
May we walk gently on this land.

I would also like us to become present to Earth.  With St Francis we can embrace Mother Earth, Brother Sun/Fire, Sister Water and Brother Wind/Air as our kin[1], biologically related through our common origins from stardust and suffused with the same Spirit.  We, too, are made from the elements of earth, fire, wind, water and spirit.

You may have a stronger sense of identification with one of these elements over another.  For us in the southern hemisphere it is currently Spring which is associated with air or breath or wind.  For those in the northern hemisphere Autumn is associated with Earth and harvests and fruitfulness.  Some places have four seasons which are markedly different from each other.  Others around the Equator experience fairly constant temperatures with fluctuations between the dry and the wet. When I am present to Earth, I am tuned in to it with all my senses.  I feel it, smell it, and can often touch and taste its distinctiveness...

[1] See the Canticle of Creation of St Francis for his use of these titles: https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=3188

Download the complete article here (A4) Download the complete article here (US Letter) Descargar el artículo completo (Tamaño de papel A4) Descargar el artículo completo (Tamaño carta, EE. UU.

Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator

Dr Mary Tinney rsm is a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG).  In 2000 she founded Earth Link as a Mercy ministry.  It continues but has downsized.  Mary has recently published a book entitled When Heaven and Earth Embrace: How Do We Engage Spiritually in an Emerging Universe  It outlines a framework for ecospirituality which is informed by contemporary ecotheology.  It is available here

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