Season of Caring for Creation

A message from our National Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Chair: Carolyn Townes, OFS,
Season of Caring for Creation

Pope Francis recently proclaimed September1, as a day of prayer for creation, as the Orthodox Church has done since 1986, to “draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation.”

As our Seraphic Founder, St. Francis gave us a model to imitate, celebrate and reflect on as the Patron of Ecology and author of the Canticle of the Creatures.

Pope Francis uses the phrase 'integral ecology' and warns against a narrow scientific focus on the modern environmental crisis. It might best be seen as a type of package to guide our daily living. Focused first on Christian worship of the Creator of all, Integral Ecology has implications for choices in the human journey, our life style and values to confront the impact of 'dictatorial economics' on the world's poor and the earth itself. The Pope invites us to revisit the integral connection between Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

The Season of Prayer for Creation starts on September 1 and will end on October 4, Solemnity of St Francis of Assisi.

Week One: September 1-6.

Francis and Brother Sun

Most High and powerful. Good Lord, You are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing.
To you alone, Most high, do they belong, and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Be praise, my Lord through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun,

Who brings the day: and you give light through him
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!

Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Call to Prayer:
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Encourage  us in our struggle for justice, love and peace. We thank you for being with us each day. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Reading: (Laudato Sí #48)

Moment of Contemplation: (Take some time in silence).
“Our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.” (Pope Francis).

Reflection Question:
What is the violence I do towards the environment – in what I do and what I fail to do?

“Cultivating and caring for creation means nurturing the world with responsibility and transforming it into a garden, a habitable place for everyone.” (Pope Francis, World Environmental Day Homily, 2013)

Prayer for the Week:
All-powerful God, Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming not one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.