The global emergency has made the environment become a relatively recent matter for serious consideration, prayer and action, but the same cannot be said about the ‘care of creation’ generally. That care begins with an acknowledgement of the creator and that the world on which we depend is not just a consequence of some cosmic event. As early as the fifth century S. Leo the Great, (Pope 440-461) said in a sermon:
“Dear Friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God. The heaven, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator, and the marvellous beauty of the elements as they obey him demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of gratitude.”
Or even earlier S. Jerome (331-420) priest and doctor of the Church wrote:
"We marvel at the Creator, not only as the one who made heaven and earth, sun and ocean, elephants, camels, horses, oxen, leopards, bears and lions, but also as the one who made the small creatures: ants, gnats, flies, worms and the like - things whose shape we know better than their names. And as in all creation we revere his skill, so the one whose mind is given to Christ is earnest in small things as in great, knowing that an account must be given even for an idle word."
In these days before Pentecost we are invited to respond in prayer and action to the urgent climate change issues that we all face using these nine days to reflect on the account of creation in the book of Genesis. This Novena also forms part of the Church’s greater preparation for the forthcoming G7 summit and the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties - COP 26 in the autumn. Please join me if you can each day to share the prayers and readings of this Novena. The plan is given in my living streaming schedule and the whole set of prayers can be found on the Diocesan, Bishops’ Conference and God Who Speaks websites to be used at you convenience.
Other environment articles are also to be found on the Bishops’ Conference site.
‘Tomorrow the Church begins Laudato si’ week in which a diverse line-up of Catholic leaders from across the globe, as well as world-renowned speakers and authors as the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, come together to celebrate the end of the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year later this month. https://www.exaudi.org/laudato-si-week-to-feature-diverse-lineup/