Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


 

This week’s Welcoming the Holy invites you to reflect on the Season of Creation and how it touches your life and the lives of all people around the globe. Pope Francis invited all Catholics to participate in the Season of Creation, an annual celebration of prayer and action for creation that is observed by people of faith around the globe. It began on September 1st and concluded on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis.

 

 

Opening Prayer

We pray in thanksgiving for Mother Earth in whom all life is rooted, Brother Sun whose energy radiates life, Sister Water who nurtures and revives us, and co-creatures with whom we live, and for whom we are called to till and keep this garden. “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.

Reflection 

Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si, (“On Care for Our Common Home”) is all about relationships. In the introductory section, Pope Francis, following his thirteenth-century namesake, calls the earth our “common home”, which is like our sister and our mother. But we are damaging this familial relationship as we harm the environment. In so doing, we are damaging our relationship with other humans, particularly those least equipped to defend themselves: those who are poor and our future generations. We are forgetting our interconnectedness with the earth and with those around and ahead of us who depend on our good stewardship of the gift of creation.

Given the universal nature of our common home, Pope Francis makes it clear that the encyclical is addressed to not only members of the Church but is a vehicle to “enter into dialogue” with all people who are “united by the same concern” [3, 7].

Ecological Examen by: Joseph Carver, SJ 

  • All creation reflects the beauty and blessing of God’s image. Where was I most aware of this today?
  • Can I identify and pin-point how I made a conscious effort to care for God’s creation during this day?
  • What challenges or joys do I experience as I recall my care for creation?
  • How can I repair breaks in my relationship with creation?
  • As I imagine tomorrow, I ask for the grace to see the Incarnate Christ in the dynamic interconnections of all Creation.
 

Closing Prayer: A Prayer for Our Earth by Pope Francis

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.

 

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