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A time for every season

A time for every season

Today, Tuesday October 4th the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi marks the end of the ‘Season of Creation’ which opened on 1st September, the ‘World Day of Prayer for Care of the Earth’. It has offered us a vital opportunity to stop, look, hear and pray with the beauty of the Earth and Life around us that radiates the presence of God. In this prayer we also carry with us the wounded Earth and all its suffering.  A time to review, repent and recognise our hand in the destruction of this, our Common Home. There is a time for every season.

In the introduction to this year’s Celebration Guide 2022 prepared by the Season of Creation Steering Committee and Advisory Committee wrote:

“During the Season of Creation, our common prayer and action can help us listen for the voices of those who are silenced. In prayer we lament the individuals, communities, species, and ecosystems who are lost, and those whose livelihoods are threatened by habitat loss and climate change.

In prayer we centre the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.

Communities of worship can amplify the voices of young people, Indigenous people, women and affected communities who are not heard in society. Through liturgies, public prayers, symbolic acts and advocacy, we can remember those who are displaced or have disappeared from public spaces and political processes.

Listening to the voice of creation offers members of the Christian family a rich entry point for interfaith and interdisciplinary dialogue and practice. Christians walk a shared path as those who hold different kinds of knowledge and wisdom in all cultures and sectors of life.

By listening to the voice of all creation, humans joined in our vocation to care for our common home (oikos)”.

A time for every season

However, just as we move in and out of the rhythm of Nature’s Seasons in ‘gifted periods’  that move us through the life cycle of ‘all living things’ (from death to life and life to death) we also realise that somehow this ‘Season Of Creation’ lived simply and profoundly together, has moved us into a cycle of compassionate and proactive care for our planet and its peoples. This ‘life-sustaining’ season does not end, but rather, gently unfolds into the next phase of the realisation of our vocation to care for our common home with a faithfulness and commitment sustained by prayer-filled hope and discerned action, as a local and global people inspired by what we have lived and experienced in this past month.

“ … we need to grasp the variety of things in their multiple relationships. We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan. As the Catechism teaches: ‘God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient.

Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other’”.

(From Laudato Sí Encyclical: Section IV: The Message of Each Creature in the Harmony of Creation,#86).

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 recognise 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.


Note:  the Encyclical Letter:  Laudato Si   – On Care of Our Common Home  was Given in Rome at Saint Peter’s on 24 May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in 2015,.  This unique, accessible and very powerful landmark document continues to speak to our lives and the needs of our world today when we are experiencing daily, just how intimately human and planetary health are interconnected.

See https://presentationsistersne.ie/laudato-si-solidarity-with-creation/  and

https://presentationsistersne.ie/listen-to-the-voice-of-creation/ also, https://presentationsistersne.ie/hearing-creations-call/


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