RESOURCES FOR THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
FOR THE CARE OF CREATION
The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation takes place on September 1 of every year. Resources that can be used to help prepare a prayer service are as follows:
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Global Catholic Climate Movement
Jesuits – English Province of Canada
Franciscan Action Network
Canadian Religious Conference
CAFOD – Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, United Kingdom
Prayers to Care for Creation: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in his exhortation The Sacrament of Charity, states, “Christian people when giving thanks to God through the Eucharist, should be conscious that they do so in the name of all creation, aspiring to the sanctification of the world and working intensely to that end.” In following a Eucharistic way of life we experience the blessings of our sacred earth and our responsibilities to it.
In silent prayer or together at Mass, we may pray to our Lord in thanksgiving for the gifts of creation. We may also include the following in the Prayer of the Faithful:
- We pray to our Lord for the wisdom and strength needed to overcome environmental degradation;
- We pray for those most affected by the ravages of environmental degradation and climate change, forced into a way of life that is unacceptable and unworthy of their human condition;
- We pray for our elected representatives and world leaders charged with the responsibility of making laws, establishing policies, and enforcing international agreements that support stewardship of our sacred earth;
- We pray for our children, grandchildren, and future generations, whose lives are subject to the manner in which we live our lives today;
- We pray for all of us who are called to full stewardship of God’s Creation, for genuine conversion to help us mend the ruptures and to re-establish our relationship with nature, our sisters and brothers, and the Creator of Life.
A reflection on our lifestyles
Today, we live in a culture of consumerism where having more is promoted as a means of achieving happiness. And yet we see the destructive impact of rampant consumerism on our sacred earth. We also see the positive impact of our environmentally friendly actions that protect our air, water and earth. As stated by our Canadian Bishops, "responsibility for restoring a healthy relationship with nature falls on each individual, who must re-examine his or her perceptions about possessions and personal comfort." During Lent let us take stock of our behaviour and lifestyles, fostering an authentic and loving relationship with our Creator God and neighbour.
Some questions that we may ask ourselves during our time of Lenten reflection…
Lent – What matters most in life?
Fasting and abstinence
- Do I stop to experience the awesome beauty of creation, allowing me to connect with God?
- Do I conserve energy by ensuring that lights and electronic equipment are turned off when not in use?
- Do I travel in ways that minimize pollution and carbon emissions associated with climate change?
- Do I use reusable dinnerware, cups, and containers at social events to minimize waste?
- Do I use reusable bags to carry newly purchased items?
- Do I repair items that can be repaired rather than buying more?
- Do I separate my waste thoughtfully using available programs that protect the earth from harm?
- Do I reduce my use of paper and use paper from recycled sources to help protect forests?
- Do I purchase products, such as fair trade products, that help ensure fair wages and ecological justice in other parts of our world?
- Do I share what I have with the poor, such as donating food to local food banks or contributing to charitable organizations such as the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace?
during Lent can take many forms. In our consumer society, we are encouraged to have more "stuff", without considering the impact of consumerism on all life within God’s creation, especially the poor. The Eastern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative provides questions and a prayer for us to consider in Lent: During Lent we often plan to give up something - how do our actions or sacrifices help others? How are our acts of charity connected to justice? Are we taking the time to allow silence to speak in our hearts? Let us pray, “Lord our God, in our fasting, help us to avoid the temptations of earthly pleasures so that we can see more clearly the treasures of Your Kingdom”.