September 1st marked the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, officially launching the Season of Creation which runs until October 4th the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. This year’s theme is “Let Justice and Peace Flow”. The intention is that all of us working together in our own ways, like tributaries which flow into a mighty river, collectively can create change.
Members of Pax Christi gathered to pray and share ideas about how to confront the environmental challenges facing us today, and the need for an ecological conversion, acknowledgement of our ecological debt and commitment to help restore environmental integrity and to help those negatively impacted.
What is required is firstly, a profound appreciation of the wonders of the gifts of Creation, to see the Divine in all things, and our interconnectedness with others. In experiencing this interdependency we will be motivated to preserve and protect these precious gifts and to restore right relations among all aspects of creation. This requires a fundamental shift in attitude away from self-interest to solidarity and collaboration, in contrast to the current economic model, which focuses on consumerism and maximizing growth at the expense of the environment.
The group discussed ways to incorporate this new worldview, in our own lives, and to convey these values to others i.e. in moderation in our own lives, in the energy we use in our homes; and our choices of transportation. This can also be done easily by switching to a plant-based diet, not only for health but to reduce the harmful effects on the environment.
We are encouraged to look for opportunities to bring the message to family and friends, to not take the gifts of Creation for granted but to appreciate them and to be thankful, and to talk about the need to restore right relations with the land and others. Each of us could ask at our own Parish what is being done for the Season of Creation, or ask that Prayers be included in Petitions and the Prayers of the Faithful, or look for opportunities to share the Message of Care for Creation within the various Ministries.
Beyond personal commitment, to address the injustices and global crisis we must advocate for change. The most urgent priority now is to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels. The Season of Creation guide suggests we advocate with our leaders to honour our international commitments. Recently the Discernment Team identified a local action to oppose the expansion of provincial gas plants in Ontario to reduce the emissions they will create.
Recent events included:
Sept. 16: Global March to end Fossil Fuels – 11:00 Rally at Queens Park & 12:00 March; 1:00 p.m. in Niagara Falls
Sept. 23: Blue Scarf Walk, OCAD, visiting various sites in Toronto and educating citizens regarding the Palestinian Israel non-violent resistance and encouraging participants to participate in Petitions and letters to Cabinet Ministers re non-expansion of gas plants and the UN Treaty on the on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Sept. 27 Mouvement Laudato Si’ Movement (Canada) National Gathering on collaboration of Laudato Si groups;
Oct. 4 Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – Closing prayer service