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Blog 9/1/2016

Blog  September 1, 2016

 

As we enter into the Meteorologists’ autumn (September, October and November) and head into Labor Day weekend, students and teachers have started back to school, and eyes on are approaching tropical storms coming up the east coast.  Summer is just about over, but the beauty of another season is beginning to unfold.  Even with the possible storms, soon there will be glorious colored leaves falling from the trees and a panorama of God’s creation will begin to unfold.   Families will go apple picking and cranberries will be harvested here in New England, and there will be many a child going off to the pumpkin patch to see if they can find a big pumpkin that may be carved into the perfect jack-o-lantern and a few smaller ones that may make it into pies and breads and scones.

 

grains.400

 

September 1st also marks another observance.  Pope Francis reminded us today that in 2007, the Third Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu proposed celebrating a “Time for Creation” or a five week period starting today, September 1st (the Orthodox commemoration of the beginning of God’s creation) to October 4th, the feast of St. Francis Assisi, a feast in the Catholic Church and some Western traditions.   The World Council of Churches also supports this initiative.  It is a call to work together for environmental justice, or to roll up our sleeves and start taking better care of our planet.  In lieu of that, Pope Francis has directed today that care for our planet now be ranked among the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, especially in this Year of Mercy. 

 

leaf prayer.375

 

 

Last year, Pope Francis penned his encyclical, Laudato Si, on caring for our common home, and while encyclicals are usually addressed to Catholics, this one went a bit beyond that readership.  He implored not only all faiths, or all men and women of good will, but everyone living on this planet.  Such is the dire need to address the plight of our living space and our Common Home.  His entire message on this "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation" is found at this link: 

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/09/01/pope_francis_message_on_world_day_of_prayer_for_creation/1255035 

  

At Mystical Ventures, a site dedicated to sustainable living and caring for the earth, alongside our Catholic principles, we decided that this year would be a good year to unpack the teachings of Laudato Si, and see how they might apply to us living in rural New England.  The Pope in his message approaches the problem in true Ignatian format with an examen of sorts.  Caring for the planet first of all calls for prayers of gratitude and contemplation.  Our planet is a gift.  But we have sinned against it.  We have not cared for it as we should.  We need to examine our consciences to see what we have done not only to harm the various biosystems, but the poor and future generations who also depend on this earth. 

christians-praying

 

Acknowledging our sins should lead us to repentance, Confession and a firm purpose of amendment to do better, to try harder.  The pope gives us concrete examples of what we can do from not consuming more than we need, to turning off light bulbs, or curtailing our use of plastics.  In our area of the country, especially since it is semi-rural and many use the land in various ways, we should be able to come up with multiple ways in which we can care for the earth as an old Indian proverb has said:

 

"to the seventh generation . . . In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation . . . even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."

 

This is an often repeated saying, and most who use it claim that it comes from “The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations," or the The Great Binding Law.

 

Each week at MV, we will unpack one paragraph of Laudato Si, and make some practical suggestions for care of our planet.  We invite you to do likewise and send in your comments so we may make this a community effort.  Our comments box seems to be having a few difficulties at the moment, so please send those comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for now.  I’ll report them each week.

 

God bless!