Graced Encounters in the Community of Creation

Graced Encounters in the Community of Creation

Ann-Maree O’Beirne RSM draws on Karl Rahner’s theology of grace and the mysticism of Ignatius’ religious experience to demonstrate how relatedness between human beings and the natural environment resonates deeply with the text of the Spiritual Exercises. She states that a response to the ecological crisis depends upon the contemplative awareness which is accomplished through prayer.

Ignatius’ wisdom of a search for and “finding God in all things” has been the golden thread in Ann-Maree O’Beirne’s theological research into the dialogue between theology and ecology. Her PhD, entitled “Graced Encounters in the Community of Creation: An Ignatian Motif for Twenty-First-Century Theology” explores the motif of “finding God in all things” in Ignatius’ life and work, Karl Rahner’s theology of grace, Australian theologian Denis Edwards’ theology of the natural world and Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. The conclusions of her thesis draw out a theme of grace and hope for the community of creation.

Ann-Maree’s PhD is still under examination, but she can share this article she wrote in 2020, initially planned for the St Beuno’s Conference in Wales whilst she was visiting the Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion College in Oxford for her study. This article holds some of the elements that shaped her PhD but was written before she began her final section on Pope Francis and Laudato Si’, so it does not reflect the fullness of her final work.

Ann-Maree is very happy to share this work with our Being with God in Nature community. With thanks to The Way where this article was originally featured in October 2022 www.theway.org.uk.