Each year on September 1, the Catholic Church commemorates the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This day of prayer also marks the beginning of a month-long ecumenical awareness initiative known as the “Season of Creation,” which concludes on October 4 with the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.
The theme chosen for this year’s Season of Creation is “Let Justice and Peace Flow,” and it calls on the faithful to reflect on the relationship between justice and creation. Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace issued a reflection which may be found here.
“During this Season of Creation, let us dwell on those heartbeats: our own and those of our mothers and grandmothers, the heartbeat of creation and the heartbeat of God. Today they do not beat in harmony; they are not harmonized in justice and peace. Too many of our brothers and sisters are prevented from drinking from that mighty river. Let us heed our call to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to the senseless war against creation.” – from the Holy Father Francis’ Message on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Pope Francis goes on to say, “How can we contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace in this Season of Creation? What can we, particularly as Christian communities, do to heal our common home so that it can once again teem with life? We must do this by resolving to transform our hearts, our lifestyles, and the public policies ruling our societies.”