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Pope Francis wants you to pray for care of creation and the poor

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We are to be stewards of creation, a gift from God that sustains us.

Today is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and Pope Francis has asked all Christians to pray for the Earth and the poor.

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Let us be thankful and care for all creation.

Let us be thankful and care for all creation.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Pope Francis has asked the world to pray for creation. Tomorrow is the World Day of Prayer for Creation and we are to consider the Earth, the environment, and especially the poor, who are most affected by the harm we do to creation.

Pope Francis asked us to, "listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology." 

Later today, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox Christian Church will issue a joint message to Christians, calling them to prayer.

Patriarch Bartholomew I said of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si:

"There has never been so much turmoil on our planet, but there has never been greater opportunity for communication, cooperation and dialogue. Basic human rights such as access to water, clean air and sufficient food should be available to everyone without distinction or discrimination. We are convinced that we cannot separate our concern for human dignity, human rights or social justice from the concern for ecological preservation and sustainability."

In the Bible, God grants mankind dominion over the Earth. However, implied in that dominion is also a mandate to care for what God gave us. Care of creation is important because we all rely on the Earth to sustain our survival.

While a drought or a flood for most people means higher prices at the supermarket, for many of the world's poor it's the difference between life and death. Poor people often lack the means to weather disasters, to relocate, and to adapt to catastrophic changes in their environment.

Regardless of our opinions on issues like global warming, all Christians are called to be stewards of creation. We should never advocate for pollution or the needless destruction of nature. We should strive to live in harmony with creation, and not in opposition to it. And most important, we should work to care for the poor and to include them in sharing the bounty God provides.

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