Praying the rosary for the care of creation

Tree with green leaves and white buds

For the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, young CAFOD volunteer Rebecca Maxwell reflects on how praying the rosary can inspire us to act to protect our common home.

In a few weeks, world leaders will gather for COP26 in Glasgow. Decisions made at this vital meeting on climate change will impact us all – especially people living in poverty, who are most vulnerable to the effects of the crisis.

Currently, it looks like we will increase emissions instead of reducing them by the amount needed by 2030, to keep overall temperatures below 1.5 degrees.[1]

As Christians we are called to act! We must take action ourselves to reduce our carbon footprint and use our voices politically.

Sign CAFOD’S petition and urge the Prime Minister to put people hardest hit at the heart of COP26 climate talks

We are also called to pray: for world leaders to make positive changes, for those already suffering due to more frequent severe weather, and for ourselves, that we will live out our calling to be protectors of God’s creation.

October: the month of the rosary

This October, the month of the holy rosary, CAFOD is offering a rosary resource and podcast to help focus our prayer and nourish our commitment to the earth

Hand holding rosary beads against grass.
Rebecca holding her rosary beads.

Through the rosary, we are asking for Mary to intervene in our lives and bring us closer to her Son. Mary always listens and “prays to Jesus for the needs of all people” (Catechism 546). We can trust that she deeply cares for each of us and for all creation. Mary is “the new Eve, the true mother of all the living” (Catechism 100) and “cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world.” (Laudato Si’, 241)

Climate change presents a time of crisis for us all, but Mary is with us and cares for us. We can commit ourselves to caring for creation wholeheartedly and courageously like Mary did when she said ‘Yes’ to God’s will.

Five ways to pray the rosary this October

The rosary is a prayer that I have never fully committed to before. But it is an extremely powerful prayer. So here are a few ideas I had to make praying the rosary part of my prayer during the month of October.

1. Use the CAFOD rosary resource

Listening to the podcast allows us to pray the rosary with others. Knowing many voices are present in the plea for help in protecting our planet is very motivating

As we listen (or if you prefer download the written resource) we reflect on challenging questions, stories from people that CAFOD supports and how each of the joyful mysteries can speak  into our modern-day struggles.

2. Pray the rosary outside

Perhaps in looking at a tree, some grass, a flower, or water, we can focus our prayers on being in awe of nature and asking Mary to pray for us as we try to protect and heal it during this time.

3. Pray a decade before eating a meal

Praying five decades may sometimes feel like too much of a time commitment in our busy lives. But perhaps we could manage one decade before eating a meal. This also reminds me that food production is interconnected with the climate crisis.

4. Offer up the rosary for a particular intention

Maybe there is a climate action that you are struggling with. Maybe it is eating less meat, buying less plastic, using your car less, switching bank accounts, buying mainly fairtrade and second-hand items, switching to renewable energy, or using your voice politically. Take some time to reflect on any challenges and ask for Our Lady’s support.

26 things you can do about the climate crisis

Perhaps there are initiatives in your local area that you could engage in with? Can you ask Mary to pray for you as seek to increase in awareness and be courageous in getting involved, or continuing with what you are already doing, for creation in your own area?

These are just a few suggestions. When praying with the rosary resource, I hope you can take time for your own unique reflections, listening to what God is challenging you to do and being inspired to take action in your own way.

Let us finish with the final prayer, given at the end of the Rosary resource.

Mary, Mother of all creation,
pray for us, that our meditation on these mysteries
may guide us into new ways of seeing the world,
new ways of living with creation,
new ways of being global neighbours.
as we seek to build the Kingdom to which your Son calls us.
Amen.

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