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Reflection for the end of the Season of Creation.
St Teresa of Avila Church. 05.10.2021   Anna Byrne, Daughter of Charity

He said to them; ‘Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole of creation’      Mark 16:15

Our world is wonderful – GOOD NEWS – indeed.  The awe and majesty of creation can overwhelm us and take our breaths away -if only we take time to gaze at a small flower or even a garden bird. Someone once said,

 “Our lives are measured not by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away.”

Christianity has a rich history of praising the wonder and beauty of God’s creation. Our scripture, particularly the OT psalms, or hymns based on the psalms like- the one we just listened to help us to raise ou r voices in praise of creation.  I loved the reading from the book of Job (Job 12:7-10) too especially the last bit:

“In God’s hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all humankind.”

This world and all within it, is after all – God’s greatest gift to us,

800 years ago -St. Thomas Aquinas – a doctor of the Church, said

 “If we get creation wrong, we get God wrong.”

In the 13th century St Francis of Assisi -whose feast day we celebrate today, was sensitive to the wonder of all God’s creatures and as we know a source of amusement for some as he is said to have proclaimed the Good News to the birds and the cows- Did he have the right idea? .. I wonder if the raueal story was lost over time! ..

Pope Francis 6 years ago, building on the work of his predecessors, began his encyclical Laudato Si’ with words, ”Praise be to you, My Lord’ from the Canticle of the creatures attributed to St Francis of Assisi-  In this prophetic letter –  subtitled ‘On care for our common home’  our Pope says that a sense of awe and wonder comprise a core value for living out our faith. We are in good company then, as we mark the ending of the Season of Creation on the feast day of Francis of Assisi which began on September 1st for our diocese with a celebration in St Peter’s Cathedral.

Creation is beautiful – more Good news. D Attenborough’s many nature films and documentaries capture this beauty very sensitively.  The beauty and charm of the many species filmed can speak to us even as we sit in the comfort in our living rooms watching TV

But familiarity over time, as we all know can reduce our appreciation of beauty. – Yet, Pope Francis tells us in L Si’ that

‘to love God we must love what God loves.

He also says that the more we see the beauty of our gracious earth the more we will reverence and protect it.

In other words what is constantly on display, even if it is beautiful, can become invisible and we could lose a sense of appreciation and reverence – even for something we once held dear.

For some time now, we have not lived in harmony with creation, Pope Francis wrote about this in L Si’, the ads on the TV even, remind us about our wasteful lifestyles, we forget that there is no planet B. There is good news however, there is hope for our planet and for us. We do have time to make a difference, if we in our parishes adopt a culture of care then the generations after us will be able to enjoy the wonder and beauty of creation and taste the fruitfulness of the earth -such as we see here at the foot of the altar.

This culture of care starts with a sense of gratitude for what we have.

A culture of care means that we are sensitive to people in need and to the other areas of our creation that need special attention – we need to invest our money in both for their protection.

Finally, a culture of care means that we appreciate that all that God made is finite, -there is a limit after all to what we can take from planet that has given constantly over the centuries

Hildegard of Bingen- German mystic of the 11th century knew what many of us seem to have forgotten in modern times, her words, I feel, sum up what we can take from the celebration of season of creation 2021

Glance at the sun, See the moon and stars.

Gaze at the beauty of Earth’s greenings.

Now think what delight God gives to humankind.

But we are to work with it.

For without it we cannot survive.

  And Jesus said ………….  Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole of creation


Daughters of Charity

Where we are

We are women who have responded to the Call of Christ to live out our baptismal commitment by reaching out in His name to the people at the margins of our society. With the help and collaboration of many others we contribute to the provision of Child and Family Services, Pre-Schools, Education, Specialised Services for Young People, Services for People with Intellectual Disability, Health Care Services, Services for Older People, Services in Parishes, Family Resource Centres, Services for People who are Homeless, Vincentian Partnership Programmes, Mission Outreaches, Marian Services, Services to the wider Community and Provincial Administration.


MINISTRIES

The Daughters of Charity have provided services to persons with intellectual disability in Ireland for over a century. Today these services are based in Dublin, Limerick and Tipperary and include community-based residential services...

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MISSIONS

The Daughters of Charity are present in 21 African Countries. The Irish Sisters have worked in Nigeria and Ethiopia since the early 1960’s and now the young Nigerian Sisters have branched out to Ghana and Burkina Faso giving us contacts in all these mission areas...

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Daughters of Charity
St Vincent De Paul. Today 27 September we celebrate the feast of the Apostle of Charity. The founder of the #VincentianFamily in 1617.Vincent de Paul was born in 1581 into a peasant family in Dax in the south of France� He spent many hours as a boy herding sheep on the family farm. Vincent’s ability was recognised at an early age, and when the local pastor suggested to his father that he should be sent to school, his father sold a pair of oxen in order to pay school fees� Vincent was 4 years in school in Dax before going to the Seminary in Toulouse to study for the priesthood, and was ordained in 1600. During the next 17 years Vincent spent some time as chaplain to Queen Marguerite De Valois, became acquainted with Pierre de Bérulle, was pastor of Clichy for a time and then became tutor to the family of Philippe Emmanuel de Gondi, General of the Galleys�The year 1617 marks a watershed in the life of Vincent de Paul� There were two defining moments in that year, the first of which was his experience in Folleville. Vincent heard the confession of one of the tenants on the de Gondi estates� The man was so happy after making a good confession that Mme de Gondi became aware of it and asked Vincent to preach a sermon on general confession in the church in Folleville� So many people went to confession after the sermon that he had to get help from priests from the surrounding area� This experience moved him greatly and he described it in the following words: ‘In Folleville, I felt an interior movement of grace to devote myself to teach and serve the poor country people�’Having left the de Gondi household shortly afterwards, he became pastor in Chatillon les Dombes� On Sunday 20 August he had a second experience that was life‑changing� He was preparing to say Mass when a lady came to tell him of a poor family in dire need� He tells us that the story ‘touched him to the heart’� This led to the foundation of the first Confraternity of Charity.He was persuaded to return to the de Gondi family� With the encouragement and financial support of Mme de Gondi, and in the company of Fr Antoine Portail, he set about giving missions on the de Gondi estates� This was the beginning of the Congregation of the Mission� At the end of each mission a Confraternity of Charity was established on the model of that of Chatillon les Dombes�And so the two experiences of 1617, formed the basis of his life’s work on behalf of people who were poor: taking care of their spiritual and material needs� The 1617 experiences also sowed the seed for the three communities founded by Vincent ‑ the International Association of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity� The three communities spread to every continent bringing the charism of Vincent de Paul to the poor and marginalised all over the world�Vincent died in 1660� He was canonised in 1737� ... See MoreSee Less
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