February 26, 2016
Prayer by Mrs. Jenni Justus, Theology Department
I am really scared of spiders. And cockroaches. And mosquitoes. And ants. And basically all bugs with the exception of lady bugs. If it crawls or flies or looks vaguely insect-like, I will run screaming in the other direction. This Lent, I committed to reading Laudautio Si, which as you know, is the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment. Considering my lack of appreciation for God’s creepy, crawly creatures, I definitely felt like Pope Francis was calling me out in the following passage, and I wanted to share that with you today. It is a reminder that every single piece of creation has worth and is in need of protection:
No creature is superfluous, all of creation speaks of God’s love:
“ Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.
…So what [we] all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of [our] encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in [our] relationship with the world around us. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience…”
Let us Pray.
God our Father, you created the world and sent your own Son to live among us, made of the same stuff, breathing the same air, marveling at sunrise and sunset just as we do. Help us to participate in the life around and within us as your life, as you living in us and we living in you and in each other. God of love and life, bring all of us to an “ecological conversion” and help us to appreciate more deeply each and every aspect of this masterpiece of yours. Restore us to your peace, renew us through your power and teach us to love all that you have created and to care for the earth as your gift and our home.
Mary, seat of Wisdom, pray for us.