- Today’s creation message, audio, text and image resources are available on catholicbishops.ie
- Follow #creationtime on Twitter
Today, 1 September, marks the beginning of Creation Time and this will continue until 4 October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi who is the patron saint of the environment. Bishop John McAreavey has welcomed today’s message by Pope Francis Show Mercy to our Common Home, marking the second World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Creation Time celebrates the joy of creation and encourages awareness-raising initiatives to protect the natural environment.
Bishop McAreavey said, “Pope Francis is today renewing his dialogue with every person living on the planet about the sufferings of the poor and the devastation of the environment. Many local Church communities in Ireland and around the world are responding to this invitation to celebrate a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by special liturgies celebrating the joy of creation, alongside awareness-raising activities to protect the natural environment. As we mark this special day we are called to think of those who are most acutely feeling the consequences of environmental degradation and destruction. These are some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the developing world. The injustice is all the greater since those affected have contributed least to the exploitation of our earth’s natural resources.”
Pope Francis announced the World Day of Prayer for the Care of all Creation last year following the publication of his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ (Praise Be) in June 2015. In Show Mercy to our Common Home Pope Francis says that the World Day of Prayer offers “individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” See the full text of the message on www.catholicbishops.ie.
Bishop McAreavey continued, “I am very struck by the Holy Father’s comments and challenge to all of us to engage in ‘profound interior conversion’ and to ‘ask God’s mercy for our sins against creation’. Today’s World Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for repentance for the ways in which our lifestyles may be contributing to the suffering of others. We need to have the courage to hear the cry of the poor and see how this is connected to the cry of the earth. I also welcome the inclusion by Pope Francis of care for our common home as a spiritual work of mercy, especially as we come towards the end of this Jubilee Year of Mercy for the universal Catholic Church.”
Bishop McAreavey concluded, “I encourage all people of goodwill to read today’s message which complements Laudato Si’. As well as by prayer, Pope Francis reminds us that we need a conversation which includes everyone since the environmental challenge – and its human roots – concerns and affects all of us. Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat these challenges and their human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is a time for listening and for action.”
Notes for Editors
- Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, is chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
- See also the special World Day of Creation web feature on catholicbishops.ie. A number of resources have been made available for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and for Creation Time 2016. These are available on catholicbishops.ie and include:
- prayers for creation
- recommended reading for the faithful on creation and the environment
- links to Laudato Si’ and to today’s new message from Pope Francis
- related resources for parishes from Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church.
- Prayers for Creation Time:
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.
A Christian prayer in union with creation
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
You guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444