By Sister Karen Zielinski
“I have decided to set up the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ which will be celebrated on the 1st of September.” Pope Francis
On the first day of September we prayed for our Earth. I hope it happens every year.
Some prayed by the Statue of Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio, while others gathered in Rosary Care Center Chapel or Queen of Peace Chapel. Their prayer was in response to Pope Francis’ call to pray for the care of creation.
Village members joined in the World Day of Prayer in Sylvania and drew from their rich spiritual heritage and passion for the care of creation. We proclaimed parts of the encyclical, Laudato Si’, and offered words and hymns of thanks and praise for creation.
We sang Marty Haugen’s Canticle of the Sun:
“The heavens are telling the glory of God,
And all creation is shouting for joy!
Come, dance in the forest, come play in the field,
And sing, sing to the glory of the Lord!”
Prayer centered on the elements of Earth: earth, air, fire and water. We silently pressed our feet into the grass-covered ground, and became aware of the earth beneath us. We marveled and were grateful for the nourishment we received from “our mother, sister earth.”
We breathed consciously and deeply, aware of our breath. We were grateful for the gift of air. and resolved to use our voices to advocate for the purity of Earth’s atmosphere.
We mindfully opened and closed our hands, realizing that we had this ability because of the sun’s energy which is captured by the plant life that we eat. We rejoiced in the energy of the sun, and resolved to use our energy to face climate change, one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.
We again breathed deeply, taking in the molecules of water that have also passed through the bodies of all breathing creatures. We were grateful for the gift of water and resolved to use it with reverence and justice.
With an evergreen bough and fresh water, we blessed the trees, flowers, animals, grass and ourselves. We recommitted to caring for all of creation and reverencing all life. We ended with Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Earth. www.SeasonOfCreation.info
This was not just a simple Prayer service in Sylvania, Ohio. Those present fervently listened and meditated, but a powerful part of the prayer service was the fact that we, in little Sylvania, Ohio, were part of something larger–a world effort to pray for Creation. We called on our Creator God to help us be gentle and caring for everything that is Earth, our beautiful and fragile home. We joined in a monumental World Event with millions of others who blessed and breathed and touched the same water, air, earth and fire.
May September 1 grow to be an annual healing tradition all over Earth!