The 1st of September is commonly known as spring day which marks the beginning of a new season after long cold winter and dusty August.
The Church invites us to mark the 1st September to October 4th as a season of creation. This is a time to pray for our common home Mother Earth and to be aware of the fact that “our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God” (Pope Francis Laudato Si, 19).
In response to Pope Francis invitation to a month long season of creation, the Southern African Catholic Bishop Conference (SACBC) has made a call to all Catholics and people of goodwill to celebrate the season of creation in sure hope of arousing the curiosity to deepen our relationship with the environment. Each week within the season creation has a particular theme which helps us to focus and pray for specific intention.
The department for Christian formation, liturgy and Culture has provided few examples which can help us deepen our prayer in appreciation for creation as an arsenal to take action against the sins of our society and misuse of God’s creation. These methods include active participation of families and small Christian communities to reflect and pray for protection God’s creation. Pastors are also encouraged to insert prayers on creation in our Sunday worship in order to raise awareness on the care of neighbor and the environment. Pope Francis always reminds us that “destroying the environment is a sin”. Below are some questions which can help us increase our love and appreciation of God’s creation and lead us to action in order to save mother Earth.
Questions for reflection and suggestions for action
- What is my understanding of creation? Research information to gain more knowledge.
- As a custodian of God’s creation how am I taking care of nature? Clean up the areas where you live.
- How is my relationship with fellow family members and others? Learn to love, and forgive.
- Do I use water and electricity responsibly? Be aware of your usage by keeping records.
- What do I do with left over meals or food in general? Do not throw away what can be donated.
- Have I ever planted or ever watered a flower, grass, or tree? Start a garden, plant something.
- What do I do with waste? Do I have waste containers? Do I make use of public waste containers? Start using waste containers.
“O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, who are so precious in your eyes…God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth” Praise be to you! Amen
Fr. Boshom Mpetsheni summary: SACBC material on the season of Creation. Pope Francis Laudato Si.