Let Justice and Peace Flow is the theme of this year’s ecumenical Season of Creation. It starts on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and ends on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, 4 October.
Pope Francis’ message for September 1 offers us so much on which to contemplate during the Season of Creation. One way you can make the Season of Creation a special time to enrich your spiritual life is to devote regular time over the five weeks of the Season to reading and reflecting on the Pope’s message. You can read it in full at:
Last year, the Pope went on pilgrimage to Canada. He visited the shores of Lac Ste. Anne in Alberta, a place where many generations of Indigenous people have come for spiritual sustenance. His experience of that sacred place prompted the Holy Father to ponder on our relationship with the earth:
….Surrounded by the beating of drums, I thought: “How many hearts have come here with anxious longing, weighed down by life’s burdens, and found by these waters consolation and strength to carry on! Here, immersed in creation, we can also sense another beating: the maternal heartbeat of the earth. Just as the hearts of babies in the womb beat in harmony with those of their mothers, so in order to grow as people, we need to harmonize our own rhythms of life with those of creation, which gives us life”.
How often do we immerse ourselves in creation? Do we take the time to listen to the maternal heartbeat of the earth? Do we take the time to harmonise the rhythms of our own lives with the rhythms of creation?
The Holy Father paints a stark picture of the disharmony which plagues our earth. He points to many examples of ecological crises and calls for an end to what amounts to war on creation:
…Let us heed our call to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to the senseless war against creation.
Pope Francis raises many major ecological concerns including the continued burning of fossil fuels, the depletion and pollution of water supplies, deforestation, the impact on the environment of large mining projects, intensive animal farming and the effect of fracking for oil and gas.
The Pope gives particular attention to the growing challenges of climate change:
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that acting now with greater urgency means that we will not miss our chance to create a more sustainable and just world. We can and we must prevent the worst from happening. “Truly, much can be done” provided we come together like so many streams, brooks and rivulets, merging finally in a mighty river to irrigate the life of our marvellous planet and our human family for generations to come. So let us join hands and take bold steps to “Let Justice and Peace Flow” throughout our world.
Next month, we will provide more information and ideas for you as we approach the Season of Creation, but, for now, here are two opportunities to help you to harmonise your heartbeat with God’s heartbeat and the heartbeat of the earth:
- This Saturday 22 July, 9:00 – 10:30 AM AEST, Earthkin will present a talk by noted sound recordist, Andrew Sketch. Hearing Our Place will be an opportunity for you to listen more attentively to the heartbeat of the earth. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zoom details for this session are:
Meeting ID: 847 7115 8705
- Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) will host an online session to assist Catholic dioceses seeking help to divest from fossil fuels. It will be held on Thursday 31 August, 3:30 – 5:00 PM AEST. For more details, please contact Thea Ormerod, ARRCC Chair, at email@example.com.