Pope Francis designated September 1 as World Day of Prayer for Creation and so I encourage your prayers today for all of creation. We have much for which to be grateful and much to be done to heal this great mother of ours. I’m sitting here eating a peach as I write this. I received it this morning at our prayer service for creation. The prayer was focused on Pope Francis’ Prayer from the conclusion of his encyclical entitled Laudato Si: On Care of Our Common Home. We all received a free peach because Sr. Nora Nash, shopping at Rosie’s Farm Market in Mullica Hill NJ, asked “how much does a bushel of peaches cost?” When she told her what she wanted the peaches for, she was given the bushel for free. So, as you can see, earth keeps giving to us over and over again and those who tend the land are also giving with a generous heart. Thank You Rosie!
Perhaps to open our hearts to “Prayer for Creation” we can reflect on five simple quotes from Pope Francis’ encyclical and then listen to a You Tube Clip with Pope Francis’ closing prayer.
- “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (14)
- As Christians, we are also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbors on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet” (14)
- “Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” (84)
- When human beings fail to find their true place in this world, they misunderstand themselves and end up acting against themselves: “Not only has God given the earth to man, who must use it with respect for the original good purpose for which it was given, but, man too is God’s gift to man. He must therefore respect the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed (115)
- “The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things.” (233)
In this YouTube clip, the text is by Pope Francis, from the encyclical, Laudato Si, and the music is by Hazzan Steve Klaper & Br. Al Mascia, OFM, Song and Spirit Institute for Peace, Berkley, MI, SongandSpirit.org.