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Read the creation stories in the Links for Readings page in Week 2. Read, reflect, and respond to the stories in 3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman, MLA format. 

The Creation Stories section

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The Great Hymn to the Aten 

Enuma Elish, the Babylonian Creation Epic 

Works and Days by Hesiod 

On the Nature of Things by Lucretius 

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/50742/50742-h/50742-h.htm Beowulf

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7700/7700-h/7700-h.htm Lysistrata, by Aristophanes

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/228/228-h/228-h.htm The Aeneid, by Virgil

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/6130/6130-h/6130-h.htm The Iliad, by Homer

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/23700/23700-h/23700-h.htm The Decameron, by Bocaccio

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/22120/22120-h/22120-h.htm Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/8300/8300-h/8300-h.htm The Complete Bible

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/31/31-h/31-h.htm Oedipus Rex, Sophocles

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/34206/34206-h/34206-h.htm The Thousand and One Nights

https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2800/pg2800.html The Koran

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14568/14568-h/14568-h.htm “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”

Reflecting on Service through Charity

Introducing the Pastoral Cycle.

Adapted from © Sandie Cornish, Australian Jesuits, January 2007, revised October 2009.


Christian Charity in the World

Since our service is linked to our course work (Altruism and Christian Charity) we reflect through these lenses as we consider the work we will do in our volunteer service this semester.

You are already immersed in Altruism so you have a lens to focus your service though.

Charity…our topic for the second half then is important to define for the moment in a general way. (We will consider it in detail later in the course)


What is Christian Charity … Listen to the words of this song, it captures what Christians are called to in the name of Charity. Charity is a Divine Virtue, it is learning to love others as God loves.


The Pastoral Cycle

A way to genuinely reflect on how our service, attitudes and actions fit in the context of altruism and Christian charity, we use a guide called the pastoral cycle.

Four easy steps to keep us focused on our purposes and the outcomes of our service to others.


What is the Pastoral Spiral?

A flexible framework that can be been used for pastoral, academic or community action purposes.

Known variously as the pastoral circle, pastoral cycle or pastoral spiral.

The moments are known as:

experience or contact;

social analysis or simply analysis;

theological reflection or reflection;

and pastoral planning or response.


Why is it Important?

Christian life centers on Jesus…model and mentor, God and Savior of the Universe.

Christian discipleship demands that Christians, “go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37) That is…be Christ in the world…to all people.

Christians are called to communal and individual ministry of service and charity.

Praxis is a term used to describe the thoughtful undertaking of being Christ in the world. It demands that Christians live the story of Jesus.

Love who Jesus loved.

Embrace the marginalized.

Serve one another.

Proclaim God’s mercy and unconditional love.



For our reflective service, we attempt to immerse ourselves in the Christian model.

We will use the pastoral spiral to assist in digging deep into our own hearts and think and reflect on what is means to be charitable?

We ask important questions of ourselves.

Who am I serving?

Am I taking time to know those I am helping?

Am I doing this just to make myself feel better?

How do I advocate for those I see in need?

How can I know someone’s pain or struggle?

How can I make things different?


We utilize the rubric to assist our reflection.



What is happening?


Why is it happening?

Theological Reflection

What does it mean?


How shall we respond?

Connecting our Hands and Hearts and Heads!

This method is holistic, engaging our heads, hearts and hands . It touches on the cognitive or intellect, as well as affectivity and the effective or deliberative.

Experience and analysis help us to achieve better understanding – using our heads

Immersion or contact in the experience moment can also help us get in touch with feelings – using our hearts

Theological reflection helps us to get in touch with deeper values – aligning our heads and our hearts with the will of God

Planning for improved responses to issues and situations – using our hands


The Pastoral Spiral …

We start with EXPERIENCING….

We encounter those who are part of our service experience.

What is the mission of our volunteer organization?

Who are the volunteers we work with?

Who are we serving?

What do we see as supportive to those we serve?

How are we assisting?

Are we listening?



Investigate the reality of our experience in a systematic and analytical way:

What are the causes of the issue or situation? (These may be historical; political; economic; social or cultural)

What are the consequences?

How are these elements linked?

Who are the key actors?


Theological Reflection

Reflect on the situation or issue in the light of the Gospel and Church teaching:

Are Gospel values being upheld or denied?

How do the Scriptures speak to this issue or situation?

How do the principles of Catholic Social Teaching speak to this issue or situation?

What does Church teaching have to say about it?

Can the experience of the Christian community through time help us to discern this situation or issue?



Draw on reason, human knowledge and tradition:

What should individuals, parishes, groups & agencies, the diocese/broader Church do?

Does our action include:

Service of the poor or marginalized

Education or awareness raising

Advocacy & transformation of causes

Faith formation?


The Spiral Continues…

We are never finished!

The Spiral continues as we evaluate our ministry and grow in our experience of loving.

We take what we learn and continue our journey…

Christians become closer to God as they come to love those who God loves.

You will come to encounter some of these theological aspects as we continue to journey through the lecture part of our course.

Agape, unconditional love, equal regard, “neighbor love” are some of the theological aspects to Praxis…serving in the light of Christ.


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