COMBONI THAT DAY

A prayer for concluding the season of creation: October 4, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Last week of the Season of Creation. Vincent Anes, CFM has prepared a prayer for concluding the season of creation in English and Spanish. Watch the video The Beatitudes inspired by Meditation on Laudato si’ published by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). You can also join the GCCM for an online prayer service on the feast of St. Francis and the final day of the season of creation. Register on https://l.facebook.com.StFrancisFeast-Oct4. Thanks for all that you are doing to make this world a better place!

A Prayer for
Concluding the season of Creation
October 4,2017

1. Introduction: (We can assemble in garden / open space with a cross)

“We are not consumers. For most of humanity’s existence, we were makers, not consumers: we made our clothes, shelter, and education, we hunted and gathered our food. We are not addicts. I propose that most addictions come from our surrendering our real powers, that is, our powers of creativity”. (Mathew Fox, Original Blessing). But our problem today is that we are in mad race to consume. We have almost exploited the planet earth. We have eaten up its bone marrow, liver, lungs, kidneys... We are endangering our existence and we are on our self destruction.

St. Francis of Assisi, on whose feast day, the season of creation is concluded, says: “If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men”. Our corporate selfishnesshas affected the land and people. So we face natural disasters like hurricane Irma, Maria ... Natural disasters can not be stopped by science. Only possible way is to reduce the carbon emission by regularising our consumption. CO2 reduction is crucial for survival of human. The season of Creation (Sept 1 - October 4)  is to make us aware of our addictive consumeristic behaviours; and to initiate change in our life style.

Let us look at Jesus suspended on the cross. In his woundedness he loves infinitely the broken earth and humanity. His merciful eyes are focused on the exploited, dying creation.

2. Reciting Psalm 8 in chorus:

(From this psalm we learn that the nature was fresh and beautiful during the time of David (1000 BC). The shepherds, while the sheep is  on pasture, while away the time looking at the heaven and earth. Most of the time,  the familiar surroundings do not impress them. One day, David, the shepherd,was struck by the awe, wonder, grandeur and beauty of the universe. His bursting into joy is Psalm no 8. We shall join him in praying the psalm).

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants, thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. 

Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,  the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea. 

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

3. Reciting Akathist of Thanksgiving:

(Akathist  means  a hymn dedicated to a saint or God.  Akathist of Thanksgiving, was composed by Protopresbyter Gregory Petrov, shortly before his death in 1940, in a prison camp in Russia.  It is a song of praise and hope from amidst the most terrible sufferings.We shall recite with hope amidst the threatening natural calamities.)

Incorruptible Lord, your right hand controls the whole course of human life, according to the decrees of your Providence for our salvation.

We give you thanks for all your blessings, known and unknown: for our earthly life and for the heavenly joys of your kingdom which is to come. Henceforth extend your mercies towards us as we sing: Glory to you, O God, from age to age!

O Lord, how lovely it is to be your guest:
Breeze full of scent; mountains reaching to the skies; Waters like a boundless mirror,
Reflecting the sun's golden rays and the scudding clouds.

All nature murmurs mysteriously, breathing depths of tenderness, Birds and beasts bear the imprint of your love,
Blessed are you, mother earth, in your fleeting loveliness, Which wakens our yearning for happiness that will last for ever in the land where, amid beauty that grows not old,
Rings out the cry: Alleluia!

In the strength of the Holy Spirit,  each flower gives out its scent - sweet perfume, delicate colour, beauty of the whole universe revealed in the tiniest thing. Glory and honour to God the Giver of life, who covers the fields with their carpet of flowers, crowns the plains with harvest of gold and the blue of corn-flowers, and our souls with the joy of contemplating him. O be joyful and sing to him: Alleluia!
(Akathist of Thanksgiving can be accessed in: http://orthochristian.com/50045.html).

4. For personal reflection: (we can take time for personal reflection. We can assemble back for sharing)

  • “No plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up – for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground” (Gen 2:5). How much I appreciate this connectedness?
  •  “The human environment and the natural environment are deteriorating together, and this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people” (Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, The world day of creation, Sept 1, 2017). In what ways the environments deteriorate? Are vulnerable people the worst victims?
  • “The goal of our promise is to be courageous in embracing greater simplicity and solidarity in our lives” (Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, The world day of creation, Sept 1, 2017).What are some ordinary means for greater simplicity and greater solidarity in our lives?

5. Sharing

6. Intercessions:

  • Lord, allow my eyes to see the beauty of creation, in flowers, creatures, forests, and cities.  R/ Lord,  May I serve you and the created world.
  • Lord, allow my nostrils to inhale the air of fragrance and freshness. R/
  • Lord, allow my ears to listen to the cry of the wounded earth, and people. R/
  • Lord, allow my mouth to speak of the injustice done to the endangered earth and people.   R/
  • Lord, allow my tongue to desist from gluttony and greed. R/
  • Lord, allow my hands to care for the earth, to toil, to reap, to celebrate. R/
  • Lord, allow my heart to love the earth and the people. R/
  • Lord, allow my feet to take your message of Justice, peace and integrity of creation to far and wide. R/

7. Conclusion: (we recite together one part of the Canticle of Brother Son by St. Francis Assisi):

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially with Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.
Amen.

(S. Vincent Anesthasiar,CMF)
Secretariat for JPIC,
Curia Generalizia di Claretiani,
Via Sacro Cuore di Maria, 5
00197 Roma.


Bro. Stöferle Erich, Comboni missionary.