As you begin your retreat, pause for a few moments and allow yourself to grow still. Take several slow, deep breaths. Feel God's loving gaze upon you.
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We are not the only species waiting to be set free. We are part of a larger whole. All of creation joins us in our yearning for a share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. It's no secret that the earth is under stress from the exploitation of its resources. As a result, in many places the environment is no longer safe for people to live in. When we reflect on the Seventh Commandment-You shall not steal-we realize that it includes stealing from the earth. When we steal from the earth, we're stealing from God, from one another, and from generations to come. As children of God we are called to respect and to care for the earth and all who live here.
From what do I need to be set free?
How do my attitudes toward the environment show my respect for God, self, and others?
(Speak to God, using this prayer or a prayer of your own.)
God of all Creation, we long to be set free from our slavery to sin and to live in freedom as your children. Open my eyes to see your image in all that you have made and to respect creation as the work of your hands.