“I invite the whole Augustinian Recollect Family to listen to the cry of Creation and the cry of the poor”

In a message addressed to the whole Augustinian Recollect Family, the Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Miguel Miro, has called for the 2019 Heart of Solidarity Campaign, this year with the aim of rediscovering the profound ecological dimension of Christian life.
News | 2019 Jun 30

Pope Francis urges us insistently to see what is happening in Creation and reminds us that the cry of the Earth is the cry of the poor. The poor are, precisely, the human face of the ecological crisis in which the world is immersed. They are the ones who suffer the worst impact of the climate crisis.

The violence that exists in the human heart, hurt by sin, also manifests itself in the symptoms of illness that we notice on the ground, in the water, in the air and in living beings. For this reason, among the most abandoned and mistreated poor, is our oppressed and devastated land, which “groans and suffers birth pangs” (Rm 8,22). Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 2

In addition, future generations are about to inherit from us a world in ruins. Children and young people should not have to pay the cost of the irresponsibility of our generation. In fact, as it is becoming more and more evident, young people are demanding change.

Therefore, amidst the diversity of cultures and social situations, the process of ecological conversion that requires spiritual sensitivity, discernment and openness to attitudinal and behavioral changes is most needed.

It is about the 'total conversion of the person' that springs from the heart and opens up to a 'community conversion' recognizing its social and environmental links, that is, an 'ecological conversion'. Synod for the Amazon, preparation document.

We are all called to join forces to take care of our common home together.

The Synod for the Amazon this coming October is an opportunity to become aware of the integral ecology that we need:

A spirituality of communion... to learn together to accompany people, listen to their stories, participate in their life projects, sharing their spirituality and assuming their struggles. Synod for the Amazon, preparation document

I invite the whole Augustinian Recollect Family and all those - in the missions, parishes, schools and centers of spirituality - to share with us their faith in Christ, to listen to the cry of Creation and the cry of the poor.

Open your heart to find Christ and initiate that process of personal, community and ecological conversion. If, as our father St. Augustine says, the Most Holy Trinity is revealed to us in creation, the care of this is contemplation of God.

Our Solidarity Campaign 2019 is directed towards this purpose - to rediscover the profound ecological dimension of our Christian life, something that cannot be left in good intentions and beautiful words. The major superiors will establish the most opportune date to carry out this campaign in each country.

This year I dare to make three concrete proposals:

  1. Unite our hearts in prayer. Five years ago, Pope Francis published the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, on the care of the common home. I suggest you pray the final prayer of Laudato Si’, which I transcribe below.
  2. Read and use the campaign materials that have been distributed and commit to a concrete gesture of care for the common home. It can be clean up of plastics project, tree planting, volunteering oneself for the advocacy... Every little gesture of this kind means a lot and will move others to do the same. ARCORES, when updated of your initiatives, will take charge of sharing them for mutual encouragement and more commitments.
  3. Participate financially in the humanitarian projects as proposed in the Solidarity Heart 2019 campaign under the auspices of the ARCORES, the Augustinian Recollect International Solidarity Network.

In Jesus of Nazareth we will find the inspiration and the strength to take on the great challenge of approaching the poor, of loving them and helping them with simplicity. Let the words of the Gospel resonate within us:

What you did to one of these poorest brothers, you did it to me (Mt 25, 31).

Think of the saints of yesterday and today: all have been characterized by responding with their prayer, creativity and generosity to the needs of their time.

May the Lord infuse us with his Spirit to assume the commitments with the Creation that the Gospel of Jesus proposes to us and may He grant us a heart of solidarity with the poorest and the most needy. United in prayer:

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand.
They are yours,
filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus, through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards
the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord,
wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good,
advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you! Amen.

Rome, June 21, 2019.

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