Dare to Care - September 23rd 2022

Laudato Si action platform logo91. A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted. This compromises the very meaning of our struggle for the sake of the environment. It is no coincidence that, in the canticle in which Saint Francis praises God for his creatures, he goes on to say: “Praised be you my Lord, through those who give pardon for your love”. Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.
Reflection: “Everything is connected.” Everything. No exceptions. How does your heart hold tenderness, compassion, and concern for others? How is your commitment to justice connected to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth? Reflect in silence on these questions and journal with your prayer and reflection. 

Action: Take one concrete action this week to speak up for immigrants, many of whom flee their countries of origin for the sake of their lives. How is this action connected to your care for the environment? Share your action and reflection with others who may not have considered this.

Season of Creation

For full resources on the Season of Creation click here. Consider this SSND International Solidarity Reflection prayer service for your local community, school, or ministry during this Season of Creation. For a beautiful liturgical guide that’s easy to use and access, click here. Click here and look in the Friday newsletter to find short pieces for the five weeks of Season of Creation, on climate topics including education, contemplation, and action.

Spaces of Hope 

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?    

Thirty inspirational quotes to consider from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from her seventy year reign. 
Christian conversion requires new thinking and new living, a continual change of mind and heart as individuals and as community. Our call to conversion and our response find expression in…. courageous coping with insecurities and fears (19); attempts to alleviate human suffering, especially that of the poor (20); the promotion of justice and peace (20). We struggle to live by the conviction that love is, indeed, the fulfillment of the law. (You Are Sent 51a, 19-21; 51b)

Justice for Immigrants

The human beings trapped in the lack of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States have once again made the national news, now being flown and bussed to cities, often without information about where they are headed or what will be there for them when they get there. Read this article about the challenge for Catholics to respond. Read here about the current administration back to working on the border wall started by the previous administration. Read in this PBS story about the struggles for those who live on the border to these unprecedented times. The USCCB Justice for Immigrants suggests these two actions on immigration.  Remind those who you are in conversation with that everyone is made in the image and likeness of God and due dignity because of their creation. Dignity. 

Ending Human Trafficking

The US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking has four action campaigns for you to consider and support. Learn more here about keeping kids safe online, illegal fishing and forced labor,  the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victim Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021 (TVPRA) HR 5150 bill, and an economy without human trafficking. 

Dismantling Racism

Dismantling racism demands not only ongoing personal conversion but engagement with the structures of racism as well. Read or listen to this NPR interview this week with Dr. Nathan Connolly and Dr. Shani Mott, both on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, and their experience of racial bias in the real estate market. Laudato Si’ (#90) reminds us that dignity is not reserved for some human beings over others. Share this interview with others and discuss it. 

Race and environmental concerns overlap as well in many communities. Jackson’s population is more than 80% Black and the poverty level is 24.5%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Read more about the clean water issues in Jackson, Mississippi, and share it with others to discuss. And watch this short 5 minute video about racial justice and climate justice; they are so linked. 

Climate Change

It is good to remember that there are many people of high integrity who care about the earth and all her resources. Read this New York Times article about the founder of Patagonia and the family decision to divest of their company into organizations that care for the earth. 

All change begins with one small step. Commit yourself to reading the Laudato Si’ reflection each week. One paragraph at a time you can stop and reflect on what we are all called to as a Laudato Si’ community! Share some of the parts of the newsletter with others who might not otherwise consider these issues.

Partnership with Haiti

Our prayers continue for the people of Haiti as they struggle for peace. Staff members of Beyond Borders in Port-au-Prince are going to Lagonav to safely be able to work. Commit to continue learning about the current situation in Haiti, and add Haiti and the Beyond Borders staff to your litany of daily prayer. 

Gospel Fund Announcement

The Gospel Fund of the Atlantic-Midwest Province is established for the purpose of assisting in the financing of projects whose goals are consistent with the SSND congregational mandate to reverence all creation and make the concerns of the poor our own. The next funding cycle is open for new applications until October 1, 2022. For full information and to access the online application form, click here

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