If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation

by Sister Julie Ann on December 31, 2009

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Pope Benedict XVI’s World Day of Peace Message for 2010 is: If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation. Our Holy Father pleads, “We can not remain indifferent to what is happening around us.”

reflection.jpgThis pastoral challenge is for all believers, but is clearly spoken to world leaders and to all of us who are concerned for the future of humanity. (Professional photos: Sister Mariella Erdmann, OSF and Mark Kolter.)

Some important points:

  • Respect for creation is of immanent consequence.
  • Economic, food-related, environmental or social crises are ultimately also moral crises and are inter-related.
  • Intergenerational solidarity is needed, as well as intragenerational solidarity in relationship with developing countries and highly industrialized countries (that means us.)
  • Environmental degragation challenges our lifestyle and current models of consumption and production which are often unsustainable from a social, environmental and even economic point of view.

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are vigilant in Eucharistic adoration today at the threshold of this new year keeping the Holy Father’s intention in mind. Are there any other requests for prayer at this time?

10 thoughts on “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation”

  1. I am praying for families affected by addictions and those looking for employment. I would appreciate you joining me in that prayer.
    May we be open to the blessings of 2010.

  2. Some quiet reflection on Lord Alfred Tennyson’s 1800’s poem ‘In Memoriam’ seems to cover Sister Anne Marie’s requests and focuses us all in praise of a God that ‘can make all things new’ as we enter a new decade:

    Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
    The flying cloud, the frosty light:
    The year is dying in the night;
    Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true.

    Ring out the grief that saps the mind
    For those that here we see no more;
    Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
    Ring in redress to all mankind.

    Ring out a slowly dying cause,
    And ancient forms of party strife;
    Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws.

    Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
    The faithless coldness of the times;
    Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
    But ring the fuller minstrel in.

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,
    The civic slander and the spite;
    Ring in the love of truth and right,
    Ring in the common love of good.

    Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
    Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
    Ring out the thousand wars of old,
    Ring in the thousand years of peace.

    Ring in the valiant man and free,
    The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
    Ring out the darkness of the land,
    Ring in the Christ that is to be.

  3. Thank you, Sister Julie Ann, for the poem. I’m going to use it often this month… a beautiful opening reflection to a spiritual direction session.

  4. Sister Carla Riach says:

    I’m praying for families who’ve had a loved one die over the holidays. Here we’ve lost an elder employee of the parish, a 39 year old Tohono O’odham fireman,elder,a man in his 40s, and a twenty three year old plus the mother of another employee. People are exhausted from the work that goes into all night wakes besides the grieving.

  5. Thanks for beginning this prayer chain that is connecting people from Oshkosh to Tucson. We are open and willing to support anyone in need especially “those weighed down” by sickness, grief, death and “the others wearied because of them, all of them.” (St. Clare of Assisi)

  6. I’ve now used In Memoriam with several clients as an opening prayer for our spiritual direction sessions. One client spent the first 1/2 hour of the session going through it line by line and sharing what she is “ringing out” and what graces she is “ringing in”. Another commented on the piece being written in the 1800s and it could have been written yesterday. Truth is timeless. Inspiration transcends time and place and individual circumstance. The prayer and reflection continues…

  7. It is interesting to note that Tennyson’s friend Benjamin Jowett describes him with these words:

    Absolute truthfulness, absolutely himself, never played tricks.

    Never got himself puffed in the newspapers.

    A friend of liberty and truth.

    Extraordinary vitality.

    Great common sense and a strong will.

    The instinct of common sense at the bottom of all he did.

    Not a man of the world (in the ordinary sense) but a man who had the greatest insight into the world, and often in a word or a sentence would flash a light.

    Very fair towards other poets, including those who were not popular, such as Crabbe.

    He had the high-bred manners not only of a gentleman but of a great man.

    He would have wished that, like Shakespeare, his life might be unknown to posterity.

    In the commonest conversation he showed himself a man of genius. He had abundance of fire, never talked poorly, never for effect. As Socrates described Plato, “Like no one whom I ever knew before.”

    The three subjects of which he most often spoke were “God,” “Free-Will,” and “Immortality,” yet always seeming to find an (apparent) contradiction between the “imperfect world,” and “the perfect attributes of God.”

    Great charm of his ordinary conversation, sitting by a very ordinary person and telling stories with the most high-bred courtesy, endless stories, not too high or too low for ordinary conversation.

    Wouldn’t you have liked to have known him? To be honest, I feel like I have met others like him (some hers) and they are people who truly cultivate peace in my life today and in others.

  8. Oh, Sister Carla, how difficult to have so many deaths near the holidays. Know you and all the needs of the people you serve are being kept in my prayer.

  9. Sister Julie Ann,
    I, too, have met people who cultivate peace and truth in my life and in the lives of others. They are precious gifts.

    I really appreciate your sharing of Benjamin Jowett’s description of Tennyson. The art of conversation is so enriching to me. Someone recently asked, “When was the last time you had a real conversation, not parallel monologues but real conversation?” Luckily I could say, “In the past week.”

  10. Our Franciscan Community Peace Study for this month invites us to choose one or two sections of John Paul XXIII’s encyclical ‘Pacem in Terris’.
    Not only does it refer to all human beings’ right to choose for themselves the kind of life which appeals them (family, priesthood, religious life), but we are all to be the ‘glowing point of light in the world, a nucleus of love a leaven of the whole mass’.
    The words speak to us today as much as it did on Holy Thursday, April 11, 1963.
    Join us in this important reflection:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_xxiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem_en.html

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