by Rev. Cindy Senarighi

Scripture ~ But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;

I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. Psalm 52:8

Spiritual Focus ~The seed of God is in us; Pear seeds grow into pear trees; Hazel seeds into hazel trees; And God seeds into God. Meister Eckhart

Breath Prayer ~ Every Living Thing 

Devotion ~ Many people from different faith or spiritual paths have identified an experience of God’s presence in nature. Trees or forests are often the first place where people make this connection. A vivid image that connects us as humans to God’s creative artistry depicted in trees is when we look at the image of our thumbprint, a symbol of our own DNA, next to a cross-cut spiral of a tree trunk, the tree’s DNA. Tracing their concentric rings, it is uncanny how alike they are. We find God’s DNA encoded in every living thing. Being human means to value and respect every living thing with a sense of likeness, mutuality, and lovingkindness.  

Fr. Bobby Karle SJ, founder of Ignatian Yoga, was recently ordained as a priest in the Jesuit order and is serving a parish in Michigan. In his ordination sermon he preached about the mutual relationship of all living things and offered various illustrations of intersections of faith and yoga. As he read from the prophet Ezekiel, he invited listeners to meditate on the image of a tree and brought guided imagery and breath to the word of God. Perhaps his most vibrant illustration was when he spoke of God as the root of the tree, Jesus as the trunk, and the Holy Spirit, Holy Breath, as the sap. 

This image invites us to embody our faith in a particular physical pose and to connect with the assurance of being rooted in the lovingkindness of God, the humanity and strength of the healing Jesus, all connected by the life-giving, free-flowing sap of the Holy Spirit. Trust in the promise of God’s lovingkindness and experience God’s sustaining presence forever. 

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