How much is on your plate?

Few readers of Vincentian Mindwalk have plates with any room on them. There are so many cries of the poor. Responding to all these cries can be quite overwhelming.

Whose plate is big enough to address yet another need? Not even Jesus cured everyone. I have come to realize that we only hear of the needs Jesus actually addressed. I suspect there were many who were not as fortunate as those he cured.

A new and unheard cry of the poor today

Leonardo DiCaprio, Pope Francis, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur have this in common. They’ve all used their platforms to highlight the link between poverty and climate change—and said we can’t solve one without addressing the other.

  • Pope Francis – the global failure to act on climate change  is “a brutal act of injustice toward the poor,” 
  • DiCaprio –  “the environment and the fight for the world’s poor are inherently linked.” 
  • United Nations  – “climate apartheid” is right around the corner.

People living in poverty are the most severely impacted. Since climate change affects everything from where a person can live to their access to health care, millions of people could be plunged further into poverty as environmental conditions worsen. They are often politically, socially, and economically marginalized, making them especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Yet Pope Francis reminds us of a new cry of the poor

“When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.” Laudato Si #117

A plea for just one minute of prayer today

As the UN celebrates World Environment Da please consider making room on your plate for this one-minute excerpt from two prayers of Pope Francis.

246. At the conclusion of this lengthy reflection [Laudato Si] which has been both joyful and troubling, I propose that we offer two prayers. The first we can share with all who believe in a God who is the all-powerful Creator, while in the other we Christians ask for inspiration to take up the commitment to creation set before us by the Gospel of Jesus…

A prayer for our earth

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. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. 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. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

Sisters and brothers, can we spare a minute of our time each day to pray for the growing number of cries from the poor already impacted by the acceleration of Climate change.

Click below for an audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk