November 4, 2016 – From Sr. Carole Anne Griswold
As citizens of the universe, we acknowledge our participation with all creation in the evolution and growth of the reign of God. (Living Document) Since Chapter 2013, we have taken time to grow in our role as “citizens of the universe” so as to bring about the reign of God. This month of November allows us to call to mind the many un-named saints who have shown us how to bring about he reign of God in practicing the works of mercy. While each of us have done this in different ways, Pope Francis suggests yet another practice when he speaks on the World Day of Prayer for Creation 2016. He integrates our role as citizen of the universe into the Year of Mercy: ” A new work of mercy: The Christian life involves the practice of the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. “We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness… But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.”  ‘. . .Everything it embraces’ includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home. As a spiritual work of mercy , care for our common home calls for a ‘grateful contemplation of God’s world’ (Laudato Si, 214) which ‘allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us’ (ibid., 85). As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires ‘simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness’ and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world’ (ibid., 230-31).” Allow yourself time for “grateful contemplation of God’s world”. Ponder “simple daily gestures” of care for our common home that you wish to include in your life.