We live in a Common Home. We share this world with people all over the world and with animals, birds and fish of incredible colours, trees and shrubs and flowers of spectacular colour and form.
In his Encyclical Laudato Si’ of last year, Pope Francis wrote: “If we approach nature and the environment without an openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs. By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care well up spontaneously.”
Pope Francis has also called for next Thursday, 1st September, to be set aside as a “Day of Prayer for our Common Home”. The world and its resources are not ours to do with as we want; we are asked to take care of it. Pope Francis also wrote in Laudato Si’: “In the words of his beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.”
Throughout his encyclical there are many examples of practical steps we can take to care for our world, Our Common Home. He has also asked us to pray. What can we do next Thursday when people all over the world will pray for our world, its creatures and all its rich resources? Please pray in a special way in thanksgiving for the gift of our world, and pray that people everywhere will protect and love our world.
Celtic people prayed prayers like this in Springtime. As we enter Spring we look for our own prayers to help us rejoice in the beauty of this time of year and to be ever grateful for Our Common Home.
“At the rising of the sun, I take refuge in the presence of the Awakener of Spring:
as plants bud and creatures prepare for the birth of their young,
so do I await the blossoming of my heart in your stillness.
May I walk with you this Spring day.”
On this Day of Prayer make a point of going somewhere different, of gazing in wonder and awe at the natural beauty which surrounds us, look at a flower , a tree, revel in the colours, the shapes and forms of so much splendour …..then give thanks with a grateful heart.
With every blessing
Cardinal John A Dew
Archbishop of Wellington
26 August 2016