August 2017 Environmental Prayer Diary
|Tuesday||1||Through the silence of nature, I attain Thy divine peace.
Oh, sublime nature, in thy stillness let my heart rest.
Thou art patiently awaiting the moment to manifest through the silence of sublime nature.
Oh, nature sublime, speak to me through silence, for I am awaiting in silence like you the call of God.
Oh, nature sublime, through thy silence I hear Thy cry.
My heart is tuned to the quietness, that the stillness of nature inspires.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Blessed be the works of your hands,
Your Spirit inspires trees and birds and waves into song and dance,
It is that same holy wind that you breathed on your disciples and on all creation,
Let your Spirit blow us to creative love and stewardship that shows reverence for your creation.
Blessed be the works of your hands O Holy One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen
Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya of Swaziland
|Thursday||3||““Among irrational animals the love of the offspring and of the parents for each other is extraordinary because God, who created them, compensated for the deficiency of reason by the superiority of their senses.”
Saint Basil of Caesarea (4th century)
|Friday||4||We pray for many women involved in conservation, scientific research, social upliftment and environmental awareness education.
|Saturday||5|| All creatures of our God and King
O praise Him! O praise Him!All creatures of our God and King,
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
And all ye men of tender heart,
Let all things their Creator bless,
|Sunday||6||Prayer for the Conservation of Natural Resources
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pope Francis – Laudato Si
“152. Lack of housing is a grave problem in many parts of the world, both in rural areas and in large cities, since state budgets usually cover only a small portion of the demand. Not only the poor, but many other members of society as well, find it difficult to own a home. Having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families. This is a major issue for human ecology. In some places, where makeshift shanty towns have sprung up, this will mean developing those neighbourhoods rather than razing or displacing them. When the poor live in unsanitary slums or in dangerous tenements, “in cases where it is necessary to relocate them, in order not to heap suffering upon suffering, adequate information needs to be given beforehand, with choices of decent housing offered, and the people directly involved must be part of the process”. At the same time, creativity should be shown in integrating rundown neighbourhoods into a welcoming city: “How beautiful those cities which overcome paralyzing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favour the recognition of others!”
Prayerfully reflect on this
|Tuesday||8||“Advancing gender equality may be one of the best ways of saving the environment, and countering the dangers of overcrowding and other adversities associated with population pressure. The voice of women is critically important for the world’s future – not just for women’s future.”
Amartya Kumar Sen
As we celebrate Women’s Day by commemorating our history and the many achievements of women, somewhere in some corner of the world there are plenty of girls and women for whom a healthy, happy life free from oppression and tortures are still a dream. Educated and aware women of today’s world stand for the exploited lot to help them overcome all barriers and reach for their rights. It is a woman who understands a woman’s woe and hence they have a crucial role in changing lives of subjugated and deprived women for better.
|Thursday||10||World Lion Day
How South Africa’s lion and tiger exports threaten endangered wild tigers in Asia
African lion populations declined by 43 per cent between 1993 and 2014, with a current estimated continental population of 20,000, including 3,490 lions in South Africa.
African lions are listed under CITES Appendix II with an annotation meaning that some international commercial trade in wild and captive lion parts and products is allowed. South Africa has been legally exporting lion bone, claws, teeth, skulls and skeletons sourced from both wild and captive lions – the bodies and skeletons of at least 4,296 lions have been exported legally to Asian markets between 2005-15
In 2016, CITES Parties agreed to restrict this trade to specimens sourced from captive lions. South Africa allows lion and tiger farming for commercial trade in parts and derivatives. With regard to the tiger farming operations, this contravenes CITES Decision 14.69. The country’s wild lion population is dwarfed by the reported 6,000 to 8,000 captive lions held in up to 200 facilities.
Both the number of captive lions and the facilities breeding and keeping them have increased, coinciding with a dramatic increase in exports of lion bone and other lion parts, especially since 2008
A number of these facilities are also breeding tigers; in 2015, 280 tigers were estimated to be in at least 44 facilities in South Africa. The proliferation of lion and tiger farms in South Africa and the associated trade from such facilities undermines enforcement efforts to end illegal tiger trade and stimulates demand for tiger parts and derivatives. Given consumer preferences for wild-sourced tiger parts, this also sustains poaching pressure on wild tigers
|Friday||11||Women’s work, leadership, and contributions positively impact social, economic, and environmental progress. But we live in an unjust world where gender inequality remains pervasive and human rights, especially women’s human rights, are violated with impunity and effectively hold back women around the world. Despite a growing focus on gender at all levels, stark gender disparities remain, including unequal access to land, resources, opportunities, and decision-making power.
Women’s Environment & Development Organization
Prayerfully consider this issue
|Saturday||12||World Elephant Day
On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.
The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.
World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day, August 12, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.
Lift up this initiative in prayer
|Sunday||13||Father, we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the scale and complication of the environmental problems we face. Help us to see how we may respond in our daily lives to the challenges that face us, and help us to understand that where we lead, others may follow.|
|Monday||14||Children’s Earth Prayer
Dear God, thank you for this beautiful planet. Bless it and keep it safe from harm. We pray for the protection of the animals, the soil, air and water. May we care for all you have made. Help us to love the Earth as you do. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
|Tuesday||15||Read Mark 12:38-44
“This poor widow has put in more than all.”
Hypocrites come in many disguises – false friends who never tell you the truth but try to tell you what you want to hear. Or they can be the people who hide their real nature under a veneer of respectability.
These are the hypocrites Jesus identifies in this gospel – those who pretend to be very holy, letting their religion be seen as important in their lives, while in reality they are ruthless and vicious in their dealings with others.
Jesus now points out the person he really admires – a poor, humble widow. She has very little means but she gives her all. Through her generosity, she gives glory to God who is loving and merciful.
Let us be open, honest and generous in our giving, in prayer, and working life. May we allow God to touch us and open us to become the people the Lord wants us to be.
We pray for all refugees and for people struggling to live on benefits or with very little income. May we share with them, and by God’s grace may they have the means to live and provide for their families in their time of need.
This reflection and prayer were written by Sister Bridgetta Rooney of Saint Joseph of Peace. This congregation is dedicated to bringing peace and justice to the world by work and prayer.
Taken from CAFOD – www.cafod.org.uk
|Thursday||17||SDG Goal #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
Pray that this Target may be achieved
|Friday||18|| Each kind of tree is a sort of musical instrument: the apple a cello, the old oak a bass viola, the cypress a harp, the willow a flute, the young pine a muted violin. Put your ear close to the whispering branch and you may catch what it is saying.
Guy Murchie, Jr.
|Saturday||19||JAEI Eco-sharing morning
08:30 for 09:00 at St Thomas, Linden.
We will learn about “Beautiful Butterflies” – come and join us
|Sunday||20||World Mosquito Day
It might seem strange to ‘celebrate’ the mosquito, given their role in the spread of many infectious diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, West Nile Virus and the recent global health emergency created by the Zika virus. However, the relationship between mosquitoes and the spread of disease was not always known. World Mosquito Day celebrates the discovery of the role mosquitoes play in malaria transmission. On this day in 1897, Sir Ronald Ross made a breakthrough that would later earn him a Nobel Prize in Medicine when he found malaria parasites in dissected mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. By identifying mosquitoes as the agents that spread the parasite from person to person, Ross opened the way for us to reduce the risk of malaria infection by controlling the mosquito itself.
Despite successes in research and the war against Malaria, over 3 billion people are still at risk of contracting the disease. There were nearly half a million malaria deaths in 2015, and many of these were children under the age of five.
“Whilst World Mosquito Day is an opportunity to appreciate the fascinating biology of these creatures, we can also reflect on the challenges that lie ahead in monitoring and controlling mosquitoes and the diseases they spread.” – Dr Frances Hawkes, Research Fellow and Entomologist
|Monday||21||“Because we live in a web of life of interconnectedness where even the flap of a butterfly is felt miles apart, changes in a remote area already affect us in ways yet to be seen. Do we want to see? Here is a a piece of prose written by Adrienne Rich prompting us to see where we dare not, because it is time to heal those festering wounds:”
Denying – her wounds came from the same source as her power.”
Pope Francis – Laudato Si
155. ”Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an “ecology of man”, based on the fact that “man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will”. It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek “to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it”.
Prayerfully reflect on this
|Thursday||24||Father, we know that in all creation only the human family has strayed from the sacred way. We know that we are the ones who, working together, must come back to the path you have set out for us. Dear Father, teach us love, compassion and integrity, that we may heal the earth and heal each other.|
“The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
God will not leave those unpunished who destroy the earth because those who do so are only interested in using and abusing the earth to make a profit but at what cost? We all are responsible for how we live our lives and if we throw litter out of the car, how we leave litter in our neighbourhoods or pour out toxic wastes in the ground.
|Saturday||26||The care and concern of one human being for another is incapable of being commodified. It cannot be stockpiled, nor does it degrade. Its quality rests on the attention paid by one person to another. Yet compassion fatigue is a rising scourge in health sectors hounded by meaningless productivity targets. Likewise with arts and crafts. It is the time spent practising, rehearsing and performing that gives creative arts their appeal. What is to be gained by asking a symphony orchestra to reduce its rehearsal time and play Beethoven’s Choral Symphony faster each time?
Acknowledgments to Christian Ecology Link
Prayerfully consider our obsession with the “I want it now!” syndrome
Read more: http://www.intentionallyyours.org/blog/2014/02/18/the-i-want-it-now-syndrome
|Sunday||27||“Because a woman brought death, a bright Maiden overcame it, and so the highest blessing in all of creation lies in the form of a woman, since God has become man in a sweet and blessed Virgin.”
Hildegard of Bingen
|Monday||28||SDG Goal #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Pray that this Target may be achieved
|Tuesday||29||In these troubled days, dear Father, we turn to thee. Grant to our nation a clear vision of her highest good and to our leaders a clear judgement as to how that good may be attained. May the temporary triumph of parties and special interests, and the transient success of individuals, be surrendered to the common welfare. Make our dear land the instrument of thy will, and our people thy people, working willingly for the good of all, sharing thy goodness, serving one another and dwelling in peace and joy. (Leslie Weatherhead -adapted)|
1 Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
9 You care for the land and water it;
|Thursday||31||“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.”