On Tuesday, 1 September, Pope Francis has called for a Day of Prayer, joining with a long-standing tradition in the Orthodox Church. The day of prayer, the Pope said, will give individuals and communities an opportunity to implore God’s help in protecting creation and an opportunity to ask God’s forgiveness “for sins committed against the world in which we live.”
Both the World Day of Prayer and the recent encyclical of Pope Francis offer as a leit motif “The Canticle of Creation” of Saint Francis of Assisi.
On this opening day of September and first day of school for Freshmen arriving at La Salle Academy, we might do well to pause and join the world community in prayer for this precious earth.
With Pope Francis we pray in the words of one of the final parts of his encyclical:
A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
Brother Frederick Mueller