“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change… Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home)
September 1 has been designated as the Universal Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation today. This year’s day of prayer was launched last night with the first annual ecumenical prayer service in Assisi. It was a great honor for me to do two of the readings at last night’s quiet service, held in the side chapel of the Basilica of St. Clare, where the original San Damiano cross hangs. According to tradition, Christ spoke to Francis through this cross, saying, “Francis, go and repair my home. Don’t you see that it is being ruined?” We gathered to remember those words and to hear them anew, as an invitation to us and to all, to restore this earth, our common home. As we reflected together on expressions of care and commitment articulated by various churches throughout the world, we affirmed that our care for creation is a matter of great joy and hope that we would engage even if our common home were not in crisis.
In fact, the entire period from September 1 to August 4 has been designated the “season of creation” where people all over the world will be renewing their commitment to caring for our home and for one another. To connect with a network of people engaging the Season of Creation and to see or notify others of events in your area, please go to http://seasonofcreation.org.
Last night’s prayer service is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONggo3gTODg
Please join me in renewing your commitment to caring for our common home and in extending this invitation to others, so that all of us might commit ourselves more deeply to the work and the joy of making this world a home for all.