Tag - prayer

The Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation: Joint message



(Vatican Radio) The Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation is being marked today September 1 and has special importance in this its third year.

It is a Joint Message which was released on Friday morning from Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who for the first time are writing together on Themes of the Day, inviting all the faithful and men of good will to prayer and to reflect on how to live in a simple and solid manner, responsibly using earthly goods.

The Day of Prayer for the Creation of the Creation was instituted by Pope Francis in 2015. The Orthodox Church has commemorated the Day since 1989. 

Below find the English Language translation of the Joint Message from Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

 

JOINT MESSAGE

of  Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

on the World Day of Prayer for Creation

The story of creation presents us with a panoramic view of the world. Scripture reveals that, “in the beginning”, God intended humanity to cooperate in the preservation and protection of the natural environment. At first, as we read in Genesis, “no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up – for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground” (2:5). The earth was entrusted to us as a sublime gift and legacy, for which all of us share responsibility until, “in the end”, all things in heaven and on earth will be restored in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10). Our human dignity and welfare are deeply connected to our care for the whole of creation.

However, “in the meantime”, the history of the world presents a very different context. It reveals a morally decaying scenario where our attitude and behaviour towards creation obscures our calling as God’s co-operators. Our propensity to interrupt the world’s delicate and balanced ecosystems, our insatiable desire to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and our greed for limitless profit in markets – all these have alienated us from the original purpose of creation. We no longer respect nature as a shared gift; instead, we regard it as a private possession. We no longer associate with nature in order to sustain it; instead, we lord over it to support our own constructs.

The consequences of this alternative worldview are tragic and lasting. The human environment and the natural environment are deteriorating together, and this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people. The impact of climate change affects, first and foremost, those who live in poverty in every corner of the globe. Our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly implies the recognition of and respect for all people and all living creatures. The urgent call and challenge to care for creation are an invitation for all of humanity to work towards sustainable and integral development.

Therefore, united by the same concern for God’s creation and acknowledging the earth as a shared good, we fervently invite all people of goodwill to dedicate a time of prayer for the environment on 1 September.  On this occasion, we wish to offer thanks to the loving Creator for the noble gift of creation and to pledge commitment to its care and preservation for the sake of future generations. After all, we know that we labour in vain if the Lord is not by our side (cf. Ps 126-127), if prayer is not at the centre of our reflection and celebration. Indeed, an objective of our prayer is to change the way we perceive the world in order to change the way we relate to the world. The goal of our promise is to be courageous in embracing greater simplicity and solidarity in our lives.

We urgently appeal to those in positions of social and economic, as well as political and cultural, responsibility to hear the cry of the earth and to attend to the needs of the marginalized, but above all to respond to the plea of millions and support the consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation. We are convinced that there can be no sincere and enduring resolution to the challenge of the ecological crisis and climate change unless the response is concerted and collective, unless the responsibility is shared and accountable, unless we give priority to solidarity and service.

 

From the Vatican and from the Phanar, 1 September 2017

 

   Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis sends letter to interfaith prayer meeting in Japan



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a letter to the 30th Prayer Meeting on Mount Hiei in Kyoto, Japan, inviting all religions to “pray and work together for peace”.

“It is my pleasure to send my cordial greetings to you and to the distinguished representatives of the different religious traditions,” he wrote.

The Pope’s letter was delivered and read to participants by Cardinal John Tong Hon, Bishop-emeritus of Hong Kong.

It was addressed to Venerable Koei Morikawa, the Supreme Priest of the Tendai Buddhist Denomination, with whom Pope Francis met privately in the Vatican on September 16, 2016.

“This annual religious summit contributes in a special way to the building up of that spirit of dialogue and friendship which allows the followers of the world’s religions to work together to open new paths for peace in our human family.”

Pope Francis also said prayer “inspires and sustains our efforts for peace, because it helps to deepen our reciprocal respect for each other as persons, strengthens the bonds of love between us, and spurs us to make decisive efforts towards promoting just relations and fraternal solidarity.”

The annual prayer meeting closes on 6 August in commemoration of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis renews prayer for Venezuela



(Vatican Radio) The Pope during his Angelus  in St Peter’s Square on Sunday once again addressed his thoughts to Venezuela. Greeting the Venezuelan Catholic community in Italy he renewed his prayer for what he called, this “beloved country”.  Pope Francis’ prayer comes on a crucial day for Venezuela: this Sunday marks the popular referendum promoted by the opposition to say no to the constituent assembly proposed by President Maduro. The country’s bishops support the initiative, which is not recognized by the authorities, to counteract – they say – the attempt to establish a Marxist military dictatorship. Meanwhile, as the political crisis deepens, the humanitarian crisis worsens. Italian Caritas has published a report entitled which shows that over 11,000 children died in 2016 for lack of medicines and maternal mortality rose by almost 70%. Faced with the food, health and safety crisis, the Italian Bishops’ Conference has also offered to contribute 500,000 euros.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope: In moments of darkness choose the path of prayer, patience and hope in God



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday urged Christians not to fall into the trap of vanity in moments of pain and sorrow but rather resort to prayer patience and hope in God.  Do not be misled by the “cosmetic beauty” of vanity, but let that “joy of God” enter your hearts, thanking the Lord for the “salvation” he grants us. Pope Francis made the exhortation in his homily at Mass Friday morning, in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.

Reflecting on the first reading from the Book of Tobit, the Pope went through the story of a father-in-law and a daughter-in-law: Tobit, the father of Tobiah who became blind, and Sarah, Tobiah’s wife, accused in the past of being responsible for the death of some men.  The Pope explained it’s a passage in which one understands how the Lord carries forward the “history” and “the life of persons, including ours”.  In fact, he said, Tobit and Sarah lived through “bad times” and “good times”, as “it happens in an entire life”.  Tobit was “persecuted,” “teased” and “insulted” by his wife, who after all, the Pope said, was not a bad woman, because she had to manage the house as he was blind. Even Sarah was insulted and suffered much.  Passing through some very bad times, both of them, the Holy Father said, thought “it’s better to die.”

“We’ve all been through bad times, though not as bad as this, but we know how its feels in times of darkness, in moments of pain, in times of difficulty, we know.  But then Sara thinks, ‘If I hang myself, I will make my parents suffer.’  So she stops and prays. And Tobit says, ‘But this is my life, let’s go ahead’ and he prays.  This is the attitude that saves us in bad times,– prayer. Patience – because both of them are patient with their pains. And hope – that God will listen to us and help us tide over these bad moments.  In moments of sadness, little or much, in moments of darkness, prayer, patience and hope. Do not forget this.”

There are also bright moments in their stories but the Pope stressed it is like a “happy ending” of a novel.

“After the test, the Lord comes close to them and saves them. But there are some beautiful and authentic moments, not with beautiful makeup that everything is artificial, all fireworks which is not the beauty of the soul. And what do both of them do in the beautiful moments? They thank God, broadening their hearts with prayers of thanksgiving.”

The Pontiff exhorted all to ask themselves whether in various phases of life we are able to discern what is happening in our soul, aware that the bad moments are “the crosses” and that one needs “to pray, to have patience and have at least a bit of hope.”  One must avoid falling into “vanity” because “the Lord is always there” beside us when we turn “to Him in prayer” and thank Him for the joy that He has given us.  Through discernment Sarah realized that she should not end up hanging herself; Tobit realized that he had to “wait, in prayer and in hope for the Lord’s salvation.” Pope Francis invited all to re-read these passages of the Bible:

“While reading this Book this weekend, let us ask for grace of discerning what happens in the bad times of our lives and how to go on and what happens in the beautiful moments and not be misled by vanity.”

(from Vatican Radio)



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