The Season of Creation began on Sept. 1 and continues through Oct. 4 (the feast of St. Francis of Assisi). Christians around the world are encouraged to pray for the care of Creation and to consider ways to act.
This is an issue that affects nearly every aspect of our lives. The increasing threats to Creation and the natural world are well documented, as are the impacts of these changes on human life and society. Moreover, we know that it is the poor and marginalized around the world, who are enduring, and will continue to suffer, the effects most acutely.
We must also see this for the spiritual and moral crisis that it is — the product of a "throwaway culture" that views Creation as a disposable resource to be used without limitation. We must encourage our governments, work-places, communities, and families to act decisively. And we must seek the continuing conversion of our own hearts. What in our lives do we take for granted? Do we approach all of Creation in gratitude to God — even down to the little things like a tasty meal or a gallon of gas?
We call ourselves "contemplatives in action," because we understand that we are on a journey toward God, and until we meet Jesus face to face we always have more to do.
So, let us pray...
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
who are so precious in your eyes...
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
God of mercy, may we receive your forgiveness
and convey your mercy throughout our common home.
Praise be to you!
(from Pope Francis' message on the 2016 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.)
In his message at the beginning of the Season of Creation, Pope Francis encourages each of us to see Creation as the gift of God that it is. He warns that our relationship to the natural world is often marked by selfishness and greed.
"This is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew by closeness to nature, which spontaneously leads us to give thanks to God the Creator."
"It is also a season to reflect on our lifestyles, and how our daily decisions about food, consumption, transportation, use of water, energy and many other material goods, can often be thoughtless and harmful. Too many of us act like tyrants with regard to creation. Let us make an effort to change and to adopt more simple and respectful lifestyles!"
|ENCYCLICAL||Laudato Si', Pope Francis|
|VIDEO||Food, Farming, and Faith, Norman Wirzba|
|ARTICLE||Sr. Dorothy Stang, Martyr of the Amazon, John Dear (National Catholic Reporter)|
Pope Francis ends his message for the Season of Creation with this prayer: "May God, “the lover of life” (Wis. 11:26), grant us the courage to do good without waiting for someone else to begin, or until it is too late."
So let's jump right in!
|MAKE A CHANGE | Catholic Climate Covenant|
Resist the Throw-Away Culture: 9 Tips for Living with Less Plastic
The Church encourages us to resist our "throw-away" culture that treats everything, including people, as items to be used and discarded. Here are nine simple ways you can begin.
|TAKE THE CHALLENGE | Ignatian Solidarity Network|
Fast from meat or palm oil on Fridays or throughout the Season of Creation.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline meant to draw our attention to God. First, learn how fasting from meat and palm oil can draw you closer to God. Then, decide how you are going to fast. Click here to start.
|TAKE A WALK | The Great Outdoors|
Find God in the natural world.
Here's one example of someone who found God in a unique way in nature. Slow down, listen, notice the beauty of God's Creation, and express gratitude to God.
How to Be Kinder to Yourself, Bob Burnham, OFS (Busted Halo)
We conclude by giving thanks to God, reflecting on how God was present to us and what God was inviting us to do.