As we reflect on recent events - wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods – it is difficult to ignore the fragility of creation and the desperate need to take action to mitigate climate change. We are being called upon, as members of the human family, to accept responsibility for the care of creation.
October 4 is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecology. St. Francis believed in the relatedness of all things and that each creature praises God by its very being. All of life then is sacred and should be treated as such.
As a Franciscan community, the Felician Sisters follow the Rule and Life of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis, which states: “With all creation the brothers and sisters should praise God, Ruler of heaven and earth, and give thanks because by the holy will and through the only Son with the Holy Spirit, God created all things spiritual and material, and created us in God’s image and likeness.”
Like his namesake, Pope Francis also calls on us to care for creation. He has joined other religious leaders in releasing A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation, calling upon all Christians and people of all beliefs to “endeavor to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.”
They are calling us to make a commitment - to look beyond short-term gain and instead turn an eye toward the future, toward preserving our world for our children and generations to follow. It is time to ask ourselves what role we will play as we work together to achieve a world in which everyone can flourish.
Near the end of his life, St. Francis highlighted the relationship of all creation with the Creator through his writing of The Canticle of the Creatures. Take a moment to read the Canticle and join creation in praising the Creator!