Monday, February 24, 2020

Letting the Earth Speak

Cattle ranch in Oklahoma

Desert buttes in Utah,

Oil Well in West Texas
The new decade began for me  with several trips to the western US to preach appeals for Unbound. Being that I am from the  East Coast the vast expanses of land in the western part of our country is something unusual as well as awe inspiring for me.

Another development in my life comes from reading and studying Pope Francis' recent encyclical Laudato Si.He takes on several issues in this wonderful work. One of his main points is stressing that the earth is our common home. He is inspired in many ways by Francis of Assisi, author of the canticle which begins with those very words, Laudato Si, and in which he praises God for the earth, the water, the sun and the moon which he calls his brothers and sisters.

   In my own prayer I have recently reflected on how God speaks to us through creation. Here in central Florida where I live the beautiful waters of Tampa Bay, the wonderful tropical vegetation and the interesting birds of the area speak to my heart of God.

   Moving out of this area and experiencing God's creation in other ways enriches this sense of the beauty of our common home. It also brings about sadness when I see some of our lands being recklessly destroyed because of greed. Do we need oil? Sure, but not at the expense of ruining our rivers, streams and underground waters.

   I invite you to reaad and study Pope Francis' encyclical and to reflect on St. Francis wonderful canticle.

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honour,
and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendour!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will
find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord,
and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.[3]

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