Caring for our Common Home During Lent

February 26, 2020

In his 2015 encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis wrote of our common home, Earth, as a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens our arms to embrace us. As we approach the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, let us be reminded of the critical role each of us plays in caring for Earth. “We must protect creation for it is a gift which the Lord has given us, it is God’s present to us; we are the guardians of creation,” Pope Francis said.

As Lent is a time of prayer, penance, sacrifices, and good works in preparation for Easter, let us join together to nurture our common home. The Sisters of the Redeemer believe Redeemer spirituality embraces all of God’s creation, and they seek to protect it. Throughout the Lenten season, the Sisters will share daily reflections or information about caring for creation. When we work together towards protecting our common home, even small actions can make a large impact.

Check back daily to read a new post:

April 8:

“Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices. Laudato Si’ 211

April 7:

“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10

April 6:

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.” -Anne Frank

April 5: Sixth Sunday of Lent

Most gracious God, we come before you to pray for the wellbeing of the planet. You alone know the full extent of the destruction we have wrought to your beautiful handiwork, and what needs to be done to remedy it. We pray for the people around the globe who suffer because of environmental damage. We pray for the defenseless creatures harmed or made extinct by our selfishness and ignorance. We pray for the oceans, air, mountains, plants, and soil, that life and health may again pulse in them. We pray that we humans have a change of heart and stop harming the planet. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us that we may have the passion and wisdom to work effectively to restore your creation. Guide us in our personal, church and community efforts. Give us strength to continue on with this work when it is difficult and requires sacrifice. Bless the Earth and all its life in every way. We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

April 4:

“God is an artist, and the universe is His work of art.” -St. Thomas Aquinas

April 3:

“All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully. As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola

April 2:

“We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic. Here too, our active commitment is needed to confront this emergency.” -Pope Francis, message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, 2018

April 1:

A psalm of David

“The earth is the LORD’s and all it holds,

the world and those who dwell in it.

For he founded it on the seas,

established it over the rivers.”

March 31:

“I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that everywhere, wherever you may be, the least plant may bring to you the clear remembrance of the Creator. If you see the grass of the fields, think of human nature, and remember the comparison of the wise Isaiah. “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” -St. Basil

March 30:

Resolve not to buy anything new this week, except for true essentials.

March 29: Fifth Sunday of Lent

A Christian prayer in union with creation
by Pope Francis

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!

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.

March 28:

“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? This question not only concerns the environment in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal. When we ask ourselves what kind of world we want to leave behind… We need to see that what is at stake is our own dignity. Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us. The issue is one which dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn.” Laudato Si’ 160

March 27:

“The most profound motive for our work is this knowing that we share in creation. Learning the meaning of creation in our daily lives will help us to live holier lives. It will fill the world with the spirit of Christ, the spirit of justice, charity, and peace.” St. John Paul II

March 26:

“The most profound motive for our work is this knowing that we share in creation. Learning the meaning of creation in our daily lives will help us to live holier lives. It will fill the world with the spirit of Christ, the spirit of justice, charity, and peace.”

March 25:

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 24:

“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.” Laudato Si’ 84

March 23:

“Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.” Revelations 4:11

March 22: Fourth Sunday of Lent and World Water Day

“Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.” Pope Francis, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

March 21:

“It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted.” Laudato Si’ 91

March 20:

When a business or individual offers you a free give away that you don’t need, politely refuse. This can be anything from a straw in a restaurant to promotional gifts to paper handouts. This not only saves the company or individual money, but it keeps resources from being consumed unnecessarily (even if it is recyclable).

March 19:

“St. Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families.” – Saint John Paul II

March 18:

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.” – Jimmy Carter

March 17:

May the strength of God pilot us.
May the power of God preserve us.
May the wisdom of God instruct us.
May the hand of God protect us.
May the way of God direct us.
May the shield of God defend us.
May the host of God guard us
against the snares of evil
and the temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us,
Christ before us,
Christ in us,
Christ over us.
May thy Salvation, O Lord, be always ours
this day and for evermore. Amen.

-St. Patrick

March 16:

“The  environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. . . Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others.” Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth

March 15: Third Sunday of Lent

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.” – Pope Francis

March 14:

Pay your bills online and ask companies to stop paper bills from being sent to you. Ask to have your information removed from catalog mailings. Print and copy on both sides of the paper.

March 13:

“How varied are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, great and wide! It teems with countless beings, living things both large and small.” Psalms 104: 24-25

March 12:

“As individuals, as institutions, as a people, we need a change of heart to preserve and protect the planet for our children and for generations yet unborn.” Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching

March 11:

“In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.” -St. Teresa of Avila

March 10:

Consider buying secondhand items instead of buying new. People often dispose of items–clothing, household items, furniture, etc. that still have a lot of life left. Buying used items can save them from ending up in a landfill, while saving energy and resources needed to produce new items. Make sure to check out Holy Redeemer Thrift Store for a great selection.

March 9:

“Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry.” Laudato Si’ Chapter 1, paragraph 25

March 8: Second Sunday of Lent

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.

-Pope Francis

March 7:

Avoid bottled water. Bottled water is inefficient, expensive, and produces large amounts of plastic waste. Instead, use a refillable water bottle.

March 6:

“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 splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for they will be crowned.” ― St. Francis of Assisi

March 5:

“It is essential to seek comprehensive solutions which consider the interactions within natural systems themselves and with social systems. We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” (Laudato Si’ 139)

March 4:

Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 28 percent of what we throw away. If we all compost, millions of tons of organic waste can be diverted from landfills. Not sure where to start? Check out this site for more information.

March 3:

“Our Earth needs constant concern and attention. Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for creation, this precious gift which God has entrusted to us.” -Pope Francis

March 2:

The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags per year. Instead of relying on plastic bags, bring reusable cloth bags when shopping.

March 1: First Sunday of Lent

“God called the dry land earth, and the basin of water he called sea. God saw that it was good. Then God said: Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. And so it happened the earth brought forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10-12

February 29:

Change your lightbulbs to eco-friendly versions. CFL and LED bulbs can emit 25-80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent, plus they last longer! Consider this greener alternative when it comes time to replenishing those bulbs.

February 28:

“The aesthetic value of creation cannot be overlooked. Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the goodness and beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God.” –St. John Paul II

February 27:

Americans use an estimated 500 million straws each day.  They are one of the top ten items found during beach clean ups. If you do not need a straw, please do not use one. Or, consider purchasing a reusable straw.

February 26: Ash Wednesday

“We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7); our bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.” Laudato Si’ 2