Pope Francis recently proclaimed September 1 as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989, to “draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation.”
This opens the Season of Caring for Creation which ends on October 4, the Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi.
As our Seraphic Founder, St. Francis gives us a model to imitate, celebrate and reflect on as the Patron of Ecology and author of the Canticle of the Creatures. Each week there will be specific prayers, readings and reflections.
These materials were created by Carolyn Townes, OFS, National Animator, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us and who produces varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love, and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Call to Prayer: All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your 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: One day Francis was filled with joy because he was beginning to enjoy God in all creatures. He went through the streets singing and inviting everyone to sing along with him. Then he came upon an almond tree, and he said, ‘Brother Almond, speak to me of God,’ And the almond tree blossomed. (From a legend of St. Francis)
Moment of Contemplation (Take some time in silence)
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5: 5, 9)
Reflection Question: How can I demonstrate being meek towards God’s created Earth?
Action for the Week: Embrace the silence this week. Turn off everything unnecessary. Reflect on God’s glory in Creation: The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.”
Prayer for the Week: All-powerful God, Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.