Something happened this week that really reminded me of how much has happened at our parish the past sixty some years. A religious sister from Dubuque, Iowa, wrote to us regarding a wooden cross that was among the personal belongings of a member of the community. The cross says on the back: "Little Flower Catholic Church, South Bend, Ind. Built 1939 - Arson Fire 1976." This is a simple reminder that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves, and we must do our best to be good stewards of what we are given.
This very point is why Pope Francis made today the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The world, along with our individual bodies and souls, is the fundamental "gift" that God has entrusted to us to be taken care of well. All of Pope Francis' official speeches and documents are available on the Vatican website, including the message from last year and soon today's. (http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en.html) We are called to pray to God for His care and our care of this fundamental gift. May we open our hearts to listen to what the Lord is saying in how we can be conscientious residents of this earth who are called to pass it on to the following generations. As Pope Francis said in his encyclical Laudato Si': "Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change."
Without neglecting any part of our Christian vocation, especially the call to holiness and the call to serve the poor, may we integrate this other aspect of discipleship into our lives and our societies.
Saint Thérèse, the little flower, pray for us!