Caring for Creation: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

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Editor’s Note: On this World Day of Prayer for Creation, we are privileged to bring you an excerpt from Chapter One of Caring for Creation: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, thanks to the generosity of Franciscan Media. –Barb
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~ God’s Loving Plan for Creation ~

CONTEMPLATE THE GOODNESS OF CREATION

In the first chapter of Genesis, right at the beginning of the Bible, what is emphasized is that God is pleased with his creation, stressing repeatedly the beauty and goodness of every single thing. At the end of each day, it is written: “God saw that it was good” (1:12, 18, 21, 25). If God sees creation as good, as a beautiful thing, then we too must take this attitude and see that creation is a good and beautiful thing. Now, this is the gift of knowledge that allows us to see this beauty, therefore we praise God, giving thanks to him for having granted us so much beauty. And when God finished creating man, he didn’t say, “He saw that this was good,” but said that this was “very good” (v. 31). In the eyes of God, we are the most beautiful thing, the greatest, the best of creation: even the angels are beneath us, we are more than the angels, as we heard in the Book of Psalms. The Lord favors us!…

All this is a source of serenity and peace and makes the Christian a joyful witness of God, in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and so many saints who knew how to praise and laud his love through the contemplation of creation.

GENERAL AUDIENCE, ST. PETER’S SQUARE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014

 

GOD FILLS ALL THINGS

The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER, LAUDATO SI’, 233
SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015

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Every creature is the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world.
Pope Francis @Pontifex · June 18, 2015

WHY GOD CREATED THE WORLD

A young person once asked me—you know how young people ask hard questions!—“Father, what did God do before he created the world?” Believe me, I had a hard time answering that one. I told him what I am going to tell you now. Before he created the world, God was in love, because God is love. The love he had within himself, the love between the Father and the Son, in the Holy Spirit, was so great, so overflowing—I’m not sure if this is theologically precise, but you will get what I am saying— that love was so great that God could not be selfish. He had to go out from himself in order to have someone to love outside of himself. So God created the world. God made this wonderful world in which we live and which, since we are not too smart, we are now in the process of destroying.

PRAYER VIGIL FOR THE FESTIVAL OF FAMILIES,
PHILADELPHIA
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015

THE EARTH , OUR BEAUTIFUL MOTHER

Laudato Si’, mi’ Signore”—“Praise be to you, my Lord.” In the words of this beautiful canticle, St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.” This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER, LAUDATO SI’, 1–2
SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015

 

Among the poor being treated worst is our planet. We cannot pretend all is fine in the face of the great environmental crisis.
Pope Francis @Pontifex · Feb 15, 2016

A REALITY ILLUMINATED BY LOVE

In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the word “creation” has a broader meaning than “nature,” for it has to do with God’s loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance. Nature is usually seen as a system which can be studied, understood and controlled, whereas creation can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all, and as a reality illuminated by the love which calls us together into universal communion.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER, LAUDATO SI’, 76
SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015

 

“Creation” has a broader meaning than “nature”; it has to do with God’s loving plan. #LaudatoSi
Pope Francis @Pontifex · June 18, 2015

"Care for Creation" for CatholicMom.com

Courtesy of Franciscan Media. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Caring for Creation: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis is edited by Alicia von Stamwitz and published by Franciscan Media.

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Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2016 Alicia von Stamwitz

 

 

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