In 2015, Pope Francis established 1 September as an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, inspired by the example of the Orthodox Churches who have observed this day since 1989. On 1 September 2017, Christians all over the world came together to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, uniting with one purpose: to steward the Earth. This Day of prayer, for the “Season of Creation” will last from 1 September to 4 October 2017
(Feast of St. Francis of Assisi).
Pope Francis wishes to remind us that: “Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ becomes evident in their relationship with the world around them.” Thus, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” (Laudato Si’, no. 217).
The Holy Father invites all Christians to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living in today. Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God became man for us, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.”
The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live in. The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers. We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective. Therefore, this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.
Let us pray today and throughout the year for the Care of the Earth: God our Father and Creator, we give you thanks for the wonder of creation which inspires us, the fruit of the Earth which feeds us, the beauty of nature which grounds us, and the joy of life which gives us hope. Heal the places where your creation has been marred, and restore all creatures to the splendor of your glory, that all may delight once again in your goodness. Praise be to you! Amen.
Here are some suggestions: We invite every parishioner to ‘go green’. We also invite you to go meatless on Fridays and fast at least once a month. Do volunteer yourselves to save the people and the planet.
Extract from POPE FRANCIS’ LETTER ANNOUNCING THE “WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION”.
Fr. George Packiasamy