Thought for the Day – 1 September – The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Excerpt – Message of His Holiness, Pope Francis, 1 SEPTEMBER 2016
Show Mercy to our Common Home
Examining our consciences, repentance and confession to our Father who is rich in mercy lead to a firm purpose of amendment. This in turn must translate into concrete ways of thinking and acting that are more respectful of creation. For example: “avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices” (Laudato Si’, 211). We must not think that these efforts are too small to improve our world. They “call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread” and encourage “a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption” (ibid., 212, 222).
In the same way, the resolve to live differently should affect our various contributions to shaping the culture and society in which we live. Indeed, “care for nature is part of a lifestyle which includes the capacity for living together and communion” (Laudato Si’, 228). Economics and politics, society and culture cannot be dominated by thinking only of the short-term and immediate financial or electoral gains. Instead, they urgently need to be redirected to the common good, which includes sustainability and care for creation.
Despite our sins and the daunting challenges before us, we never lose heart. “The Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes His loving plan or repents of having created us… for He has united himself definitively to our earth and His love constantly impels us to find new ways forward” (Laudato Si’, 13; 245). In a particular way, let us pray on 1 September and indeed throughout the year:
“O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
who are so precious in your eyes…
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of Your love
for all the creatures of this earth
God of mercy, may we receive Your forgiveness
and convey Your mercy throughout our common home.
Praise be to you!
(Pope Francis 2016)