By Orlando Hernández
Luke’s Gospel (Lk 8:4-15) tells us Jesus’ Parable Of The Sower. Our Lord teaches us so much in this passage. The Word of God falls into our hearts like seed. If our hearts are like “rich soil” we are the ones “who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with with a generous and good heart and bear fruit with perseverance.”
What is this fruit? In verse 12, Jesus seems to imply that this fruit is first of all to “believe and be saved”. Absolutely. In verse 15, our Lord speaks of “a generous and good heart.” This fruit seems to include acts of generosity and goodness for our world. There are so many ways that we can do this. When I read this Gospel this week I felt that part of this goodness includes our commitment to love and save God’s Creation here on our Planet.
The Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum once wrote this much-quoted line:
“In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”
Can the Word of God teach us to understand and love what He has created? Or are our hearts like the trampled, rocky, or weed-covered soil? How can we learn to care? How can we learn to hear this Word of God? It is, of course, a life-long endeavor. When stuck, it is always good to begin by praying to our God. In this period from September 1- October 4 (The Feast of St. Francis) Christians all over the world are observing the “Season of Prayer” , inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. It is a time for listening to this Word of God through prayer, contemplation, listening, learning, sharing, and doing generous and good acts to help preserve our planet Earth.
The “Prayer for the Season of Creation” is part of the many prayers and activities that are taking place. For me, it addresses my questions at the beginning of this blog.
Creator of All,
From your communion of love you word went forth to
create a symphony of life that sings your praise.
By your Holy Wisdom you made the Earth to bring forth a
diversity of creatures who praise you in their being.
You called human beings to till and keep your garden.
But we turn in on ourselves and away from our co- creatures.
We fail to listen to the cries of the poor and the needs of the
most vulnerable. We silence the voices of those who hold
the traditions that teach us to care for the Earth. We close
our ears to your creative, reconciling and sustaining Word
that calls us through the Scriptures.
Creation cries out as forests crackle, and animals alike flee
the fires of injustice that we have lit by our
unwillingness to listen.
In this Season of Creation, we pray that you will call to us,
as from the burning bush, with the sustaining fire of your Spirit.
Turn us from our inward gaze. Teach us to contemplate
your creation, and listen for the voice of each creature
declaring your glory.
Give us hearts to listen, enlighten us with your grace,
and fill us with the hope to quench the fires of injustice
with the light of your healing love that sustains our common home.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news
to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
With this prayer I open my eyes, my ears, all my senses, my intellect, and my spirit, that God’s Word will make of my heart fertile ground for the many ways that my Lord can teach me and guide me in this holy mission, this Fruit, this devotion to serve His wounded people and His endangered creation. I will write more on the mystery of this Word of God, next time.
If you are interested in learning more about this observance of the Season of Creation , you can go to https://seasonofcreation.org/ –
God bless you all.
Thanks, Orlando, for posting info about the Season of Creation.
Here are a few more prayers I found to inspire us!
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. Amen.
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you! Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory. Praise be to you! Amen.
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you! Amen.