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It was not on my radar. I had a vague awareness that each September 1st Pope Francis asks us to celebrate a day of prayer for creation.

With the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, he encourages the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home.

My Mindwalk to a Jubilee

I started out reflecting on an earlier Mindwalk  What If God Required a Security Deposit on Our Common Home? There I asked a tongue-in-cheek question “What if God required a security deposit against damages to our common “home”? Would we get it back after all the damage we have inflicted on it? That image made me think twice about how we would treat God’s property!

Not just a “Day”  but a “Season of Celebration”

I wanted to reflect on how to respond to the call of Pope Francis. As is my custom I traveled Google’s treasure house of information looking for insights into this day. New horizons opened for me.

I vaguely remember reading that in setting aside this day in the aftermath of his ground-breaking encyclical Laudato Si, he was joining a wider movement. Begun by the Greek Patriarch, the World Council of Churches was instrumental in making the special time a season. For the 2020 Season of Creation, the suggested theme is “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”

The season starts September 1, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations. Throughout the month-long celebration, the world’s 2.2 billion Christians come together to care for our common home.

There are wonderful resources on Season of Creation.org and the World Council of Churches

Praying for Creation, our common home

I reframed things in my own mind. Not just how will we celebrate this day and season. Rather, more specifically, how can we pray for the earth our common home?

Among the many beautiful prayer resources (CAFOD) available let me offer these two prayers

Prayer: Open our eyes, Lord

God of all, you made the earth and saw that it was good, but like robbers we have stripped it of its treasure.

Open our eyes, Lord.

Now the earth cries out and your people hunger and thirst.

Open our eyes, Lord.

Open our eyes to see the pain of your creation and move us with compassion for your world.

Open our eyes, Lord.

Lead us to act as neighbors, who do not pass by on the other side.

Open our eyes, Lord.

So that together we may care for all that you have made and with all creation sing your praise.

Open our eyes, Lord.

Catherine Gorman/CAFOD

____

Prayer for our world

Creator God,

who made our beautiful world,

appointed us as its guardians

and gifted us with everything we need,

forgive us

for the times we cause it harm;

for the times our way of life

affects our neighbors.

Inspire us

to care for the environment;

to help rebuild lives and communities;

to share in the griefs and anxieties,

joys and hopes of all your people,

so that all your creation may flourish.

Amen.

Stephen Davies/CAFOD

Click below for an audio version of this Mindwalk

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