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The Season of Creation 2023 has as a special prelude the announcement of Pope Francis who is preparing the second part of Laudato Si’. In addition, it is very likely that the Season of Creation will conclude with the presentation of the aforementioned pontifical document, on the 4th October, 2023.

The Franciscans are invited to be part of this feast. The ravages of climate change, exemplified by the high temperatures experienced in most of the planet so far this year and flooding in several cities, present a bleak picture. Faced with this, the Argentine Pope interprets these planetary concerns with great human and pastoral sensitivity and tries to offer ways of salvation because “creation and redemption are inseparable.”

Pope Francis in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 2023 with the theme “Let justice and peace flow”, recalls that the change of structures is not possible without a change of attitudes or transformation of “our hearts, our lifestyles and the public policies that govern our society”.

In this message three attitudes are discovered that help us Franciscans to live the Season of Creation and to prepare ourselves to receive the second part of Laudato Si’. These attitudes are joy, commitment, and gratitude.

Joy The Season of Creation is a celebration of life because we believe that another world is possible. It is a life with two hearts, that of human beings and that of mother earth. In this regard, the Pope, in the aforementioned message, affirms: “immersed in creation, there is another heartbeat that we can hear, the maternal heartbeat of the earth. And just as the heartbeat of children, from the mother’s womb, is in harmony with that of their mothers, in the same way to grow as human beings we need to match the rhythms of life with those of the creation that gives us life.

Commitment The joy of singing to life is followed by the scandal that these two hearts, that of human beings and that of Mother Earth, Pope Francis assures us that they are not beating harmoniously, hence the need for compromise. “God wants everyone to seek to be righteous in every situation; Always strive to live according to the laws of nature s and, therefore, making it possible for life to flourish in fullness,” the Pope said. The aforementioned message offers some problems to which it is urgent to respond: consumerism, the unbridled use of fossil fuels, the felling of forests and predatory industries that consume and pollute sources of drinking water. “There is so much that can be done!”

Gratitude The Season of Creation is a time to remember “the Great Artist who creates so much beauty and reflect on the mystery of the loving decision to create the world/cosmos.” That is the source of gratitude. “Creation refers to the mysterious and magnificent act of God that creates from nothing this majestic and beautiful planet, as well as this universe, and also the result of this action, still in progress, which we experience as an inexhaustible gift.” Without this sense of gratitude it’s easy to lose hope, forget commitment, and cease celebrating life at all.

 In short, the Franciscans are invited to live this Season of Creation 2023 under three fundamental attitudes: joy for the life received, commitment to defend that life and gratitude to those who give it to us.

Daniel Rodríguez Blanco, OFM

Office JPIC