After a long period of discernment, the Jesuits worldwide announced four Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) in Winter 2019. These Preferences will guide the global Jesuit mission for the next decade. 

All of us who are inspired by the spirituality and mission of the Jesuits are invited to join in this mission through prayer and action. Though we may not be Jesuits, we are all called to love more deeply. These Preferences identify some of the most pressing needs facing our Church and world. Chapter Six of "Works of Love" focuses on the fourth UAP: "Caring for Our Common Home."

At the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola has us reflect deeply on the fact that we and all of the world around us are created by God. We are creatures capable of recognizing and experiencing God's handiwork, from beautiful mountain vistas to mundane objects on a desk. We relate to God in a most basic way by inhabiting and interacting with Creation.

The invitation to "care for our common home" is fundamentally about our relationship to Creation. The demands of the environmental crisis are many and its effects severe. Action is urgently needed, and conversion is the first step — conversion of our hearts to encounter God in Creation.



Canticle of the Creatures – Saint Francis of Assisi






Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, all praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through all you have made, and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and through whom you give us light. How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor; Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, bright, and precious, and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and fair and stormy, all the weather's moods, by which you cherish all that you have made.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten up the night. How beautiful is he, how cheerful! Full of power and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy are those who endure in peace, by You, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death, from whose embrace no mortal can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your will! The second death can do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks and serve him with great humility.




WEBSITE
Caring for Our Common Home: Universal Apostolic Preference of the Society of Jesus

"Creation today is crying out as never before, labouring to be set free (Romans 8). Today’s environmental crisis is impacting in a particular way on the poor and vulnerable. Action is needed urgently by Christians and by all people of good will. Whole nations and peoples need an ecological conversion if we are to be honest custodians of this wonderful planet. We can still change the course of history."

Click here to read more about the Jesuits' Universal Apostolic Preference "Caring for Our Common Home."
Collaborate, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God’s Creation.


ENCYCLICAL
Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

by Pope Francis

"'Laudato SI’, mi’ Signore' – 'Praise be to you, my Lord'. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. 'Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs'.

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will."

Click here for the full text of Laudato Si'.

No time to read the full encyclical today? Here's a great overview by The Jesuit Post (5-minute read).


VIDEO
The Story of Bottled Water


"The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap."

Watch "The Story of Water."



FIND GOD IN NATURE

At the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola has us reflect deeply on the fact that we and all of the world around us are created by God. We are creatures capable of recognizing and experiencing God's handiwork, from beautiful mountain vistas to mundane objects on a desk. We relate to God in a most basic way by inhabiting and interacting with Creation.

Take some time to contemplate how you relate to the things around you. Where do you see God's beauty, perhaps in something you hadn't noticed before? Are there objects that you take for granted by using and then disposing?

Here's one person's experience of finding God in nature in the midst of a busy day: "Listening for God in Nature" by Maureen McCann Waldron.


EVALUATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH PLASTIC

"Caring for Our Common Home" is fundamentally about our relationship to Creation. The quantity of resources we consume is environmentally significant, but our relationship to consumption itself is a spiritual matter. Do we glorify God in how we use the resources of Creation? Or, do we take certain resources for granted, disposing of them without a care when they are deemed no longer useful to us?

A simple place to start is to consider your relationship to plastic. It's cheap and readily available. But as delicious as that drink was, the plastic cup it was served in could be here for the next century. Are there ways you can limit your use of plastic?


CALCULATE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

"A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions.

The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average is closer to 4 tons. To have the best chance of avoiding a 2? rise in global temperatures, the average global carbon footprint per year needs to drop under 2 tons by 2050."

Calculate your carbon footprint.
(the Nature Conservancy)



Jesus enjoyed the beauty of creation. We can do the same.
by James Martin, S.J. (America Media)

"Jesus loved creation. How about you? This week, focus the part of the daily Examen where you consider what you’re grateful for on the beauty of creation, whatever it is, wherever you are."

Grab your headphones for this examen podcast narrated by James Martin, S.J. Stream this episode below, and then subscribe to "The Examen" for free on Apple Podcasts or Google Play.




Welcome! Chapter 1: World Day of Migrants and Refugees Chapter 2: Season of Creation Chapter 3: The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice Chapter 4: Shelter the Homeless Chapter 5: Walking with the Excluded Chapter 6: Caring for Our Common Home
Chapter 7: Racism in America Chapter 8: Human Trafficking Chapter 9: The Salvadoran Martyrs Chapter 10: Blessed Are You Who Are Hungry Now


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