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Columban missionary brings Laudato Si' to life

Pope Francis' encyclical on the care of Mother Earth is to be marked by special celebrations on Creation Day

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Updated: August 24, 2020 06:41 AM GMT
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Columban missionary brings Laudato Si' to life

A sunset at Varkala Beach in Kerala, India, in 2018. (Photo: UCA News)

A Columban missionary who ministered in Korea and now lives in his native Australia has provided a series of scripture-based meditations to help Christians observe the upcoming World Day of Prayer for Creation.

Father Charles Rue’s meditations, prepared for the Aug. 25-31 week ahead of the day, follow the tradition of Christian vigils. The meditations, along with liturgy, are presented as “Reflection-Retreat,” offering a prayerful way for those preparing for the global observation.

Three years ago, Greek Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis jointly declared Sept. 1 as World Day of Prayer for Creation. It is an opportunity to bring their ecumenically shared message of care for creation to ordinary believers.

Father Rue said the reflections and Eucharistic material he prepared reinforce the officially sanctioned ecumenical celebration of the day.

The readings link to a biblical understanding of creation in four ways: they praise the loving outreach of God revealed in all creation; invite believers to hear better the hidden voice of the earth; link the cry of the earth with the cry of the poor; and recall the often fickle human responses.

In his revolutionary encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis stresses environmental protection and cites the environmental writings of his brother bishops globally.

The pope said that caring for creation is in the order of love, and having a hopeful vision of the universe gives a powerful message to all peoples on the human journey.

For several years Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the former archbishop of Manila, and Archbishop Loy Chong of Suva have organized parish-based liturgical prayer in their dioceses on creation during September.

Recently, Cardinal Charles Bo of Myanmar, Cardinal John Ribat, archbishop of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, and the Synod of Amazonia in 2019 have all called for ecological conversion to be expressed in prayer and action.

In his encyclical, Pope Francis offers a new form of spirituality suitable to this age and speaks of a creation spirituality that links God, earth and humanity.

As the first encyclical of its kind, its new social teaching ends with a call for ecological conversion, ecological education and ecological spirituality. Combined, they lead to an ecological vocation where believers act in their life situations, using their unique personal skills.

Here are the seven meditations:

Day one: A Provident God

Day two: Good Seed Bears Fruit

Day three: Voiding God’s Promises

Day four: Holy Spirit Eternal Teacher

Day five: Heals And Casts Out Devils

Day six: Agreement

Day seven: Francis of Assisi

 

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