Deepening in our awareness of our evolving universe

Deepening in our awareness of our evolving universe

Deepening in our awareness of our evolving universe

Deepening in our awareness of our evolving universe

Deepening in our awareness of our evolving universe

Deepening in our awareness of our evolving universe

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During these six weeks leading up to Aguchita’s birthday, we continue to share reflections on how her life and ministry echoed each of the six areas of intervention for the Congregation – long before they were defined in our Position Papers. In this, our fourth sharing, we reflect on Aguchita’s approach to integral ecology.

Aguchita was baptized in the parish church of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves in the town of Coracora in Peru. The name of this town – where she grew up and spent her childhood – comes from the Quechua word qura which refers to a marsh where herbaceous plants grow wild. These natural surroundings undoubtedly shaped Aguchita’s love for the environment. The following excerpt, adapted from the book Aguchita: Mercy and Justice, demonstrates how Aguchita acknowledged the presence of God in every aspect of Creation.

Like any other girl of that time, Aguchita worked in the fields and looked after the animals, which she enjoyed doing. Her niece, Teresa Esther Chuquizuta, recalled how Aguchita’s parents “owned land and made cheese” and that Aguchita’s “love for plants and animals stemmed from this.” Angela recalled how “she always thought of herself as someone from the countryside, in that she greatly loved nature; she said that each plant was the manifestation of God.” In fact, Aguchita often said to the women: “a house with no plants is lifeless.”

Between 1970 and 1975, Aguchita was asked to offer support to the contemplative sisters of the Congregation in Salamanca, Peru. Sometimes, she would go to the gardens with one of the sisters who had rheumatism, telling her that it would do her body and soul good. She believed that the earth was capable of “taking hold of the disease.”

The Congregation’s position on integral ecology embraces the interconnectedness of science and theology. It states that they offer reliable global insights… [and] enrich our understanding of the world as a source of deep contemplation and sacred activity”.

The theme of this year’s Laudato Si’ Week – which came to an end on May 26 – is “Seeds of Hope”. The theme is accompanied by a guiding quote from Laudate Deum: “There are no lasting changes without cultural changes… and there are no cultural changes without personal changes” (LD 70).

From Aguchita’s actions and words, we can see how she embraced nature as a sign of hope and recognized the interconnectedness of all of Creation. Her personal actions sought to bring about cultural and long-lasting change.

Are you open to embrace a new consciousness, a new identity, and new personal behaviors to reconcile your relationship with Mother Earth. As deepen in your awareness of God’s presence in all dimensions of Creation what personal changes will you make to bring about cultural and long-lasting change?

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