Prayers for the Season of Creation4 Sep 2019
Hymns, readings and reflections for the Season of Creation, which runs from 1 September to 4 October (the Feast of St Francis of Assisi).
Hymns: A New Heart for a New World (Trisha Watts/Monica O’Brien); Morning Has Broken (Eleanor Farjeon); For the Beauty of the Earth (John Rutter); Come Down, O Love Divine (Ralph Vaughan Williams).
Readings: Gn 1:1-28; Psalm 8; Rom 8:18-25; John 1:1-5 or Matt 6:25-34.
The earth cries out, groaning for us to attend to its needs. When Pope Francis wrote Laudato si’ he invited us to hear this cry alongside ‘the cry of the poor’. With renewed vision, we see all creation with the mystical gaze of the Trinity looking on the earth with love.
But we have neglected God’s gift, and our earth has been hurt by neglect. We have turned away from its care, and a beautiful world risks ruin. So as the climate changes, as our planet warms, we wonder: to whom do we turn to? What cause is there for hope in such a challenging earth situation?
As Christians we find hope in Jesus’ life, message and presence. We call upon his name as we discern the movement of the Spirit in our time. We seek his encouragement as we work alongside all those who labour for a renewed care for our common home.
Jesus is the Word made Flesh and as such God’s very being is entwined in one act of solidarity with all creation. In becoming human, in taking skin, God showed his ultimate, definitive, final commitment to all that exists. This great act of fidelity to us and all creation can inspire within us a new spirit of care for all that is and will be. Our actions now will impact on all the generations to come.
Prayers of petition
Creator God, we ask for the grace to hear ‘the cry of the earth’ and in so doing to care for creation. In giving us a new spirit of listening, transform our hearts with a desire to respond. Lord, hear us.
Father of all, you have formed the entire human family over many generations. Give us a new familial care for each of the creatures you have made, indeed for all life on our planet. Lord, hear us.
Spirit of life, bless all of creation, and within it each and every creature. Give us an awareness of your outpouring of love in all things, and a willingness to be changed by this love. Lord, hear us.
Spirit of freedom, inspire us to enter into solidarity with all creation in our deeds, not just in our words. Call us to enter into new commitments which put ourselves at the service of our ‘common home’. Lord, hear us.
Christ our brother, grant us the holy desire to call upon your name as we seek to sustain the gift of creation. Help us to act decisively to keep safe our endangered planet. Lord, hear us.
Jesus, friend of the earth, nourish our efforts to bring reconciliation to the earth. Be with us in this mission of rekindling the bonds between you, human beings and all that exists. Lord, hear us.
Spirit of life, bless all of creation, and within it each and every creature. Give us an awareness of your outpouring of love in all things, and a willingness to be changed by this love. Lord, hear us.James O'Brien is an Editorial Assistant with Jesuit Communications.