Dimitrios I of Constantinople proclaimed the World Day of Prayer in the Orthodox Church in 1989, and Pope Francis named the day for Catholics in 2015. It is an opportunity for us to stop and consider our relationship to all things and to say a prayer for the health of our Earth.
The theme of this year’s Season of Creation is A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God. “Oikos” is the Greek equivalent of a household, house or family. It is also the root word for “ecology”, the science of the relationships of organisms (including us) to each other and to their surroundings.
St. Francis believed that all creation is in relationship. We depend on each other to survive; we also depend on the Earth’s entire ecosystem for the air we breathe, the food we eat and the very Earth beneath our feet.
Consider celebrating the Season of Creation by taking action to care for our common home. You could:
- Read Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si to learn what the Catholic Church is teaching about care for creation.
- Eliminate the use of single-use plastic products, like water bottles. Add native plants to your property for pollinators.
- Pick up litter when you see it and be sure not to leave trash around yourself.
- Have an energy audit completed at your home to see how you can save energy.
- Consider car-pooling, walking or biking when you can. Consider purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle.
- Take a walk in nature to appreciate all the beauty that is around you. Have your children or grandchildren join you and teach them about the wonders of our natural world and how important it is to protect them.
- Complete the Carbon Footprint Calculator to learn how you can cut back on your own emissions. Use cleaning products that are more environmentally friendly and eliminate bleach.
- Use reusable plates, cups and silverware and lessen the amount of trash you produce. Say “NO” to Styrofoam!
A Prayer for Our Earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.