Office for Christian Unity
Thursday 12 October 2023
The Bible tells us: “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” ( Gen 1:31). His is “the earth with all that is in it” ( Deut 10:14). For this reason, he tells us that, “the land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants” ( Lev 25:23). Hence, “responsibility for God’s earth means that human beings, endowed with intelligence, must respect the laws of nature and the delicate equilibria existing between the creatures of this world”.
Jesus “was able to invite others to be attentive to the beauty that there is in the world because he himself was in constant touch with nature, lending it an attraction full of fondness and wonder. As he made his way throughout the land, he often stopped to contemplate the beauty sown by his Father, and invited his disciples to perceive a divine message in things”.
The Judaeo-Christian vision of the cosmos defends the unique and central value of the human being amid the marvelous concert of all God’s creatures, but today we see ourselves forced to realize that […] human life is incomprehensible and unsustainable without other creatures. For “as part of the universe… all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect”.
I ask everyone to accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home and to help make it more beautiful, because that commitment has to do with our personal dignity and highest values.
Extracts from Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudate Deum‘
Prepared by the sisters and brothers in the Henri Planchat student house in Puteaux (Paris, France)
To be adapted according to your location
Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19 led to a mass exodus of Armenians, who were forced to leave the land where they had lived for 3,000 years, while the international community remained silent in the face of the violence to which they were subjected.
Lord, we ask you to inspire a sense of justice and dialogue in the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia, so that all the inhabitants of this region may be respected in their dignity and in their faith.
The final phase of the Synod on the Synodality of the Catholic Church opened on Wednesday, October 4.
In thanksgiving for what was experienced at the Together gathering in Rome on September 30, we entrust this time of Synod to you, Lord. Bless all the participants, especially those who are not part of the Catholic Church. May this event be an occasion for fraternal and ecclesial drawing together between brothers and sisters of different Christian denominations.
In recent weeks, tensions have been rising in the Holy Land, leading once again to extreme acts of violence since last Saturday.
Lord, in the face of these divisions and people’s inability to live together, we beg your spirit of reconciliation, openness and peace, so that the miracle of unity may take place, especially in this region.
Following on from ‘Laudato si’ and in response to the climate crisis, Pope Francis has just published the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Laudate Deum’ (Praise God).
Lord, we thank you for all the people of goodwill who act on a daily basis to make our contemporaries aware of the vital issue of preserving our common home. We pray for the progress already made, and entrust to you the leaders who will meet again at the next COP 28.