By Darrion Narine
Programme Manager AMMR
The Season of Creation has started in Trinidad and Tobago with rising temperatures and significant changes in our climate.
The Season, which typically runs from September 1 to October 4, encompasses the World Day of Prayer for Creation (September 1) and ends with the Feast of St Francis of Assisi (October 4), the patron saint of ecology.
This month-long period offers a chance for Catholics and people of all faiths to engage in prayer, reflection, and action to protect the environment.
Theologically, this Season invites us to re-examine our relationship with God’s creation. It is a time to reaffirm our belief in the inherent goodness of the world, as stated in Genesis 1:31: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Recognising the goodness of creation is fundamental to understanding our role as stewards and caretakers of the Earth. However, in recent years the world has neglected its duty to care and nurture the environment.
According to Statista.com our global carbon emissions have increased more than 60 per cent since 1990. This has had many devastating effects on the flora and fauna of the world, with approximately 42,100 species of animals at risk of extinction.
This is a justice issue that requires immediate attention. The destruction of ecosystems can have adverse effects that will lead ultimately to the deaths of millions of people, especially those who exist on the margins of society.
We must put more emphasis on stewardship. Humans are called to responsibly manage and protect the resources and creatures of the Earth. This responsibility is not solely an ethical obligation but is deeply rooted in our Catholic faith.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2415) states, “The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation.” The Season of Creation provides an ideal opportunity for Catholics to take this teaching to heart and consider how their actions impact the environment.
We cannot be passive observers in our societies. We are called to protect our environment and the people who are most at risk.
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home has been instrumental in highlighting the importance of ecological stewardship within the Catholic Church. Released in 2015, this document addresses climate change, environmental degradation, and social justice. It calls for an “integral ecology” that acknowledges the interconnectedness of all living beings and the environment.
We all need to view the world through the lens of integral ecology. We must go beyond individualism and see community and interconnectedness as an important part of human development and societal growth.
We must also consider how to put the principles of Laudato Si’ into action. This may involve reducing carbon footprints, supporting renewable energy, and advocating for policies that protect the environment and the vulnerable communities most affected by climate change.
Additionally, we must continue to pray and meditate, especially outdoors and in nature. This will help us to grow our connection with nature, our environment and with God.
Prayers during this Season often express gratitude for creation and seek guidance on how to be better stewards of the Earth. In addition to individual prayers, many Catholic communities hold special liturgical services, environmentally themed Masses, and outdoor celebrations during this Season. These gatherings provide opportunities for people to come together, reflect on their collective responsibility, and share ideas for taking concrete steps toward environmental sustainability.
The Season of Creation is not limited to spiritual reflection alone. It also encourages people to engage in environmental education and advocacy.
Many organisations have workshops, seminars, and community projects to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote eco-friendly practices.
The Season of Creation is a vital addition to the Catholic liturgical calendar, offering people a unique opportunity to deepen their faith and commitment to environmental stewardship.
It calls upon us to recognise the interconnectedness of all living beings and the environment and to take concrete steps to protect and preserve God’s creation.
The CCSJ asks for your support.
Catholic Commission for Social Justice
Account #: 290 458 025 501
Bank: Republic Bank Ltd.
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