Mercy2Earth Weekend

by | Apr 22, 2017 | Church, News, Pope

Brian Roewe from the National Catholic Reporter Writes:

A coincidence of calendars this weekend presents for Catholics an uncommon occurrence, where Earth Day precedes Divine Mercy Sunday, an alignment of dates that has inspired some to use it as an occasion to live out Pope Francis’ recent message on mercy toward God’s creation.

They are calling it Mercy2Earth Weekend, a creation of the Global Catholic Climate Movement. During the two days (April 22-23), the international coalition of 300-plus eco-conscious Catholic organizations is inviting Catholics worldwide to use the weekend as a time to perform 500 acts of mercy for the Earth, be it cutting back on electricity use, calculating a carbon footprint or educating others on their faith connections to environmental stewardship.

The effort also hopes to re-amplify the pope’s Sept. 1, 2016, message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, in which he proposed elevating “care for our common home” to both a spiritual and corporal work of mercy.

“What we’re trying to do here is translate the pope’s message into action,” Tomás Insua, executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, told NCR. That Earth Day and Divine Mercy Sunday coincide in the same weekend, and in their first observances since the pope’s message, came as a “wonderful surprise,” he added.

“It was a beautiful coincidence,” Insua said.

In preparation for the Mercy2Earth weekend, Global Catholic Climate Movement created several eco-spirituality resources for the Lenten season, including an examination of conscience based on Francis’ Sept. 1, 2016, message, a Mercy to Earth rosary, and a special divine mercy chaplet with reflections on the marginalized, indigenous peoples, polluters and the whole world.

For the weekend itself, they created a list of 30 recommended acts of mercy that includes some highlighted by Francis in the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation message — avoiding plastic and paper items, reducing water usage, recycling and composting, carpooling, planting trees, and turning off unnecessary lights — as well as others:

  • Begin a parish care for creation team;
  • Incorporate “mercy2earth” into the Sunday liturgy;
  • Organize a divine mercy chaplet that includes themes of caring for our common home.

Insua of the Global Catholic Climate Movement said that viewing creation care as an act of mercy incorporates the idea deeper into Catholic spirituality. Or as Francis, quoting John Paul II, wrote in his encyclical, “If the simple fact of being human moves people to care for the environment of which they are a part, Christians in their turn ‘realize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty to­wards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith.’ ”

To read the entire article, click the source link below.

1. Have I ever even thought of the Earth as needing my mercy?

2. What act of Mercy will you perform for Earth this weekend?

3. What can we as Vincentians do to care for our common home the rest of the year? 

Source: National Catholic Reporter, Author Brian Rowe

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