Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: september
We pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner.
In the beginning, God created the earth and everything within it and upon it, bearing us in mind all the while: this world was made for us. When He created Adam and Eve in His image and likeness He said to them “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over…all the living creatures…”. This word “subdue” is a strong one; our instinct is to see it in terms of crushing some manner of resistance. Some see this as God telling Adam to conquer the wilderness outside of Eden, that mankind has a blank check to use the Earth as it sees fit. But this is not so: notice what God does in the beginning.
“The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom he had formed,”. Later Scripture tells us that God placed Adam in the garden to “…cultivate and care for it,”. In other words, the manner in which we are commanded to “subdue” and have “dominion” over the Earth is to imitate the example God showed Adam when He fashioned, from the wilderness, a patch of paradise: Adam was meant to make the whole Earth an Eden. We haven’t license to do whatever we want; rather we have the responsibility to receive what God has entrusted to our care and use it for the fullfilment of our needs, and tend it well, not only for the sake of future generations but in honor of the God who fashioned all things. Let us use the Earth and everything in it, yes! But let us recall what the poet Emerson once wrote “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
Source: Apostleship of Prayer - Jacob Boddicker, SJ, Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA & Canada)
Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: august
We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.
The beauty of the sunrise took my breath away. A tall fishing vessel glided over the horizon as it approached the shore. A little while later it yielded up its harvest of 153 beautiful fish. Despite the catch, the nets were not broken. (John 21:11) Fishermen had breakfast on the seashore and gave thanks for the labor of the night.
Sadly, for many a different story unfolds. Inclement weather, poor quality boats and ever changing legislation cripples the fishing industry plunging the families of these good men into poverty and distress. Man’s abuse of creation pollutes the oceans – the seabed is poisoned, fish die.
On some occasions fishing trawlers are captured by human traffickers – the soul of man bleeds as victims endure all forms of abuse and the God of all creation fills the sea with his tears.
Our world cries out for healing and renewal. May we place our hand into the hand of the God who calmed the seas that his beautiful gift of creation may be restored and all whose lives depend on the fruits of the ocean be protected, this day and always. As one, may we rejoice and give thanks. Amen.
Source: Apostleship of Prayer - Siobhán O’Keeffe S.H.J.M, Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Ireland)