THE SEASON OF CREATION. Much is being written about the whole issue of climate change. My topic is limited but more focused.
SEPTEMBER THEME: MARRIAGE IN THE WORLD OF FAMILIES
Overview. Many new insights have been incorporated into our way of thinking in recent years. Certainly THE WORLD OUR COMMON HOME, used by Pope Francis in his encyclical LAUDATO SI’, is a beautiful image and necessary insight into understanding, not only the wonder of the whole human family, but the family forms found in nature, i.e. all aspects of God’s creation. We, the human family, in its various forms also with the current special focus on marriage, and with different religions, political ideologies and experiences of wealth and poverty are the greatest resource but also a threat to our world’s security and stability today. Every other family in creation will suffer because of the way we have treated this common home. Is our heritage and are our cultures doomed to be a negative influence on the world of the future?
Pope Francis. The Church is a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all the domestic churches. In virtue of the sacrament of matrimony every family becomes, in effect a good for the Church. The Church is good for the family, and the family is good for the Church. The safeguarding of the Lord’s gift in the sacrament of matrimony is a concern not only of individual families but of the entire Christian community. AL87
A fragile world entrusted by God to human care, challenges us to devise intelligent ways of directing, developing and limiting our power. LS 78. Culture is more than what we have inherited from the past; it is a living, dynamic and present reality, which cannot be excluded as we rethink the relationship between human beings and the environment. LS143.
DAILY THOUGHTS. These are built on a study of the relevant writings of Pope Francis, particularly AMORIS LAETITIA and LAUDATO SI. These will be used in the form of family catechesis for these weeks on MARRIAGE and the SEASON OF CREATION. As Pope Francis frequently reminds us “Everything is connected.” A Daily Eco-tip and Prayer suggestion are included. Make Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen. your special prayer for the month.
SEASON OF CREATION, ECUMENICAL RELIGIOUS INITIATIVE , Although awareness of global warming in the world had been recognized for more than a century the world in general was late in addressing it. Religious groups were amongst the first to adopt the awareness focus. The Earth Charter signed in 2000 began to include a broad spirituality focus. September 1 was proclaimed as a Day of Prayer for Creation for the Eastern Orthodox Church by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989 later embraced by major Christian European churches and the Catholic Church in 2015. In Pope Francis’ important document, the encyclical LAUDATO SI on CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME, he refers to earlier statements by previous popes who, from the perspective of creation, warned against environmental deterioration and a need for action. Quoting from the Earth Charter Pope Francis refers to the challenge it issued “As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace and the joyful celebration of life.” LS207.
It was at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit in which organisations such as the UN and world government participated that the international community began to consider the need for action and formed COP = Conference of the Parties as a decision-making body. COP meetings take place annually. October COP15 on biodiversity meets in October and COP26 on climate change in November. A Catholic advocacy initiative to call for action is the Petition HEALTHY PLANET, HEALTHY PEOPLE. Visit www.thecatholicpetition.org for details.
Although actions in different areas have been taken much more needs to be done. Governments, the UN and its Sustainable Development Goals, the industrial, economic and scientific communities and also religious communities have all had to come on board but not all have yet taken the matter as seriously as they should have. When economic interests are at play every country, company, even every family and individual resists having to make the required changes that demand sacrifices in our lifestyle, for the sake of the earth and all its creatures.
The emergence of the coronavirus and its devastating impact on the world, undoubtedly a consequence of climate change, has taken precedence in the attention it has been given. If anything like the energy and finances devoted to fighting the pandemic had been spent on the issue of climate change over the years would the problem have been resolved by now?
Young and old play their part and the many social, environmental and spiritual initiatives that exist around the world often spur on governments and industry where the really major changes have to be made.
The 2016 encyclical Laudate Si of Pope Francis possibly became a rallying point, certainly for the Catholic community. He writes, “We hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. We require a new and universal solidarity where the most vulnerable are supported and to enable them to in dignity.” The Dicastery for Integral Global Development, local episcopal conferences, the LAUDATO SI MOVEMENT, (LSM) formerly the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is forging ahead with the LS ACTION PLAN to be launched on 4 October in addition to the Petition HEALTHY PLANET, HEALTHY PEOPLE to put pressure on the upcoming conferences.
Many Christian and Catholic organisations are partnering with this 2021 SEASON OF CREATION project. In the closing prayer in Laudato Si he invites wider religious involvement from “all who believe in a God who is the all-powerful Creator.”
A 7 week Marriage Awareness Weeks is being celebrated in the local Church. MARFAM’s focus MARRIAGE AND OUR WORLD OF FAMILIES IN THE SEASON OF CREATION makes a very specific contribution. Reflecting on God’s ongoing plan of love at the heart of creation over billions of years, we come to realise that in the emergence of life in all its forms reproduction is an essential component of the plan. Reproduction in almost every life form, human, animal and plant is sexual, through physical meeting of male and female. This wonder of creation reaches its highest expression in human beings. “The Creator made man and woman share in the work of his creation and at the same time made them instruments of his love, entrusting to them the responsibility for the future of humankind, through the transmission of human life.” AL82.
The SEASON OF CREATION allows reflection, prayer and action in all areas of life in creation. In spite of the many challenges facing us of extreme weather related events, the world is on the move. Spring is in the air in the southern hemisphere. May it put a spring in our step, a song on our lips and love in our hearts as we respond to the call. TR FAMILY WEEKLY 1 SEPTEMBER 2021
SPRING IS IN THE AIR!!!!
ECO-TIP AND PRAYER: As this is a World Day of Prayer check the media for any significant climate related events anywhere in the world, e.g. flood, drought, fire, hurricane, cold, heat, etc. Offer a prayer in union with those affected. Pray the Glory be to the Father …………… prayer