Season of Creation with Francis (Days 22-24)
September 22, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
September 22

We are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, 11for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:9-11)

An admirable creativity and generosity is shown by persons and groups who respond to environmental limitations by alleviating the adverse effects of their surroundings and learning to orient their lives amid disorder and uncertainty. For example, in some places, where the façades of buildings are derelict, people show great care for the interior of their homes, or find contentment in the kindness and friendliness of others. A wholesome social life can light up a seemingly undesirable environment. At times a commendable human ecology is practised by the poor despite numerous hardships. The feeling of asphyxiation brought on by densely populated residential areas is countered if close and warm relationships develop, if communities are created, if the limitations of the environment are compensated for in the interior of each person who feels held within a network of solidarity and belonging. In this way, any place can turn from being a hell on earth into the setting for a dignified life.
Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines which help us to understand people’s thought processes, symbolic language and ways of acting. It is not enough to seek the beauty of design. More precious still is the service we offer to another kind of beauty: people’s quality of life, their adaptation to the environment, encounter and mutual assistance. Here too, we see how important it is that urban planning always take into consideration the views of those who will live in these areas. (LS 4:148,150)
Musical Selection (John Rutter)
For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies: 
Lord of all, to thee we raise This our joyful hymn of praise. 
For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light:
For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth, and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild: 
For each perfect gift of thine To our race so freely given, Graces human and divine, Flowers of earth and buds of heaven: (F.S. Pierpoint, 1835–1917, slightly altered)

September 23

Wisdom praises herself,
   and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. 
 In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth,
   and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: 
 ‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
   and covered the earth like a mist. 
 I dwelt in the highest heavens,
   and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. 
 Alone I compassed the vault of heaven
   and traversed the depths of the abyss. 
 Over waves of the sea, over all the earth,
   and over every people and nation I have held sway.* 
 Among all these I sought a resting-place;
   in whose territory should I abide? 

 ‘Then the Creator of all things gave me a command,
   and my Creator chose the place for my tent.
He said, “Make your dwelling in Jacob,
   and in Israel receive your inheritance.” 
 Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me,
   and for all the ages I shall not cease to be. 
 In the holy tent I ministered before him,
   and so I was established in Zion. 
 Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting-place,
   and in Jerusalem was my domain. 
 I took root in an honoured people,
   in the portion of the Lord, his heritage. (Ecclesiasticus 24:1-12)


So, according to these three classes, the entire perceivable world enters into the human soul through apprehension. Moreover, these external things are at first perceived as entering the soul by way of the five senses. I should say that they enter, not in substance, but through their appearance, generated at first at their core; from their core they move to the external organ, from where they move into the interior organ and, finally, into that power which apprehends them. In this way, the generation of species at the core and from the core of the organ and the conversion, through the apprehending power, of all these things means that the soul apprehends them as being external.

If this apprehension is of something agreeable there follows enjoyment. The sense furthermore takes a proportionate delight in the perception of the object through its abstract appearance, whether through seeing its beauty, or through smelling or hearing its savor, or through tasting or touching its wholesomeness. But, since the species holds the rationale for its form, power and activity, it indicates thereby how it flows from the origin into the center, passing through that point to the end, where it acts. For this reason, proportionality is found either in its appearance, which accounts for its physicality or form, and for which reason it is called beauty - since "beauty is nothing but numerical equality"or "a certain distribution of parts and suitable color"; or it is found in its potential and power, for which reason it is called savor, so long as the acting power is not disporportionate to the recipient; or else it is found in its efficacy and the impression which it makes, which are proportionate when the agent supplies what the recipient lacks, which is to save and nourish itself and which appears mainly in taste and touch. Thus, following the threefold reason for delight, the enjoyment of delightful things outside the self enter the soul by means of their appearance. (Journey 2:4-5)
Musical Selection (St. Francis of Assisi)
All creatures of our God and King Lift up your voice and with us sing, Alleluia! Alleluia! Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon with softer gleam! O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 
And all ye men of tender heart, Forgiving others, take your part, O sing ye! Alleluia! Ye who long pain and sorrow bear, Praise God and on Him cast your care! O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 
And thou most kind and gentle Death, Waiting to hush our latest breath, O praise Him! Alleluia! Thou leadest home the child of God, And Christ our Lord the way hath trod. O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 
Let all things their Creator bless, And worship Him in humbleness, O praise Him! Alleluia! Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, And praise the Spirit, Three in One! O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


September 24


Those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day [of Pentecost] about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:41-47)


An integral ecology is inseparable from the notion of the common good, a central and unifying principle of social ethics. The common good is “the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfilment”. 

Underlying the principle of the common good is respect for the human person as such, endowed with basic and inalienable rights ordered to his or her integral development. It has also to do with the overall welfare of society and the development of a variety of intermediate groups, applying the principle of subsidiarity. Outstanding among those groups is the family, as the basic cell of society. Finally, the common good calls for social peace, the stability and security provided by a certain order which cannot be achieved without particular concern for distributive justice; whenever this is violated, violence always ensues. Society as a whole, and the state in particular, are obliged to defend and promote the common good. 

In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. This option entails recognizing the implications of the universal destination of the world’s goods, but, as I mentioned in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, it demands before all else an appreciation of the immense dignity of the poor in the light of our deepest convictions as believers. We need only look around us to see that, today, this option is in fact an ethical imperative essential for effectively attaining the common good. (LS 4:156-158)


An Ecumenical Christian Prayer (Pope Francis)


O God, Trinity of love,
from the profound communion of your divine life,
pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love.
Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus,
in his family of Nazareth, 
and in the early Christian community.

Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel,
discovering Christ in each human being,
recognizing him crucified
in the sufferings of the abandoned
and forgotten of our world,
and risen in each brother or sister
who makes a new start.

Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth,
so that we may discover anew 
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity 
that God so loves. Amen.