Enviro Prayer Diary


The purpose of this Prayer Diary is to provide subjects for your reflection and prayer as the Spirit moves you.

 

May 2023 Environmental Prayer Diary

 

Thursday

 

1

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

Robert Swan OBE
The first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles

 

Friday

 

2

Now Thank We All

Now thank we all our God
In whom this Earth rejoices,
For creatures great and small
Who now have lost their voices;
And species calling us
Before they disappear,
To love this fragile Earth
That God would have us share.

O may this bounteous God
In ev’ry tree be near us
To help us feel the pain
Of barren lands so cheerless,
Where once like Eden fresh,
Wild birds in freedom flew
To celebrate a land,
Where life rose crystal new.

All praise and thanks to God
Our Father now be given,
Who kept alive on Earth,
This tribe of greedy humans,
Who sent an only son
To suffer earthly pain,
That cosmic ill and death
Should never rule again.

O Spirit from the land
Rise up like sacred leaven
To free us from the ills
Polluting Earth and heaven;
Inspire us with the drive
To be like healing rain,
Renewing life on Earth
And praising God again.

Words: © Norman Habel 1991

 

Saturday

 

3

 

Sunday

 

4

The Holy Trinity

How majestic, O Lord, our Sovereign, is your name on earth and in the heavens. All creation is aglow and warm because of the work of your hands. Kindle in us not only a sense of wonder at these marvels; but arouse in us a deep sense of responsibility to care for what you have made and done. How majestic, O Triune God, is your name on earth and in the heavens.

 

Monday

 

5

World Environment Day

Theme 2023 – “Solutions to plastic pollution” – #BeatPlasticPollution.

What do the deepest point in the ocean, the Mariana trench, and the highest mountain peak in the world, Mt. Everest, have in common?  Despite being among the planet’s most remote and inaccessible environments, they both contain tiny pieces of plastic from human activities miles away.

Plastics are the largest, most harmful and persistent fraction of marine litter, accounting for at least 85 per cent of total marine waste.  Marine litter is found in increasing volumes along our coastlines and estuaries, in massive swirling mid-ocean currents, on remote islands, in sea ice, across the sea floor from the polar regions down into the deepest darkest trenches, harming marine life and damaging habitats across its path.

The world is being inundated by plastic. More than 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, half of which is designed to be used only once. Of that, less than 10 per cent is recycled. An estimated 19-23 million tonnes end up in lakes, rivers and seas. Today, plastic clogs our landfills, leaches into the ocean and is combusted into toxic smoke, making it one of the gravest threats to the planet.

Not only that, what is less known is that microplastics find their way into the food we eat, the water we drink and even the air we breathe. By some estimates, people consume more than 50,000 plastic particles per year –and many more if inhalation is considered. Many plastic products contain hazardous additives, which may pose a threat to our health.

Over the last 70 years, plastic – an incredibly malleable, versatile, and durable material – infiltrated the market and permeated seemingly every nook and cranny on Earth. Plastics can provide important benefits, from life-saving medical devices to safe and long-life food storage. However, unnecessary and avoidable plastics, particularly single-use packaging and disposable items, are polluting our planet at alarming rates. Decades of economic growth and an increasing dependency on throw-away plastics has led to a torrent of unmanaged waste that pours into lakes, rivers, coastal environments, and finally out to sea, triggering a ripple of problems.

We’re in trouble! ….. from marine pollution, harm to sea creatures, landfills filled to the brim with plastic, air pollution from burning of plastics, overutilisation of fossil resources such as oil in the manufacture of plastics, biodiversity breakdown, climate instability, to microplastics harming human health …. and the list goes on!

The good news is that we have science and solutions to tackle the problem –and a lot is already happening. What is needed most now is a surge of public and political pressure to scale up and speed actions from governments, companies and other stakeholders to solve this crisis. This underscores the importance of this World Environment Day mobilizing action from every corner of the world.

To totally ban plastic in any form is totally unrealistic – plastic is here to stay, but what can be changed is our attitude to its use and waste management.

…. And we’ve heard it all before, but taking these simple steps seriously and putting them into practice will make a world of difference and a difference for the world! So, take ACTION! …..

  •  Wean yourself off disposable plastics.
  • Stop buying bottled water. Use a reusable water bottle instead.
  • Limit take-away foods.
  • Recycle ethically.
  • Buy in bulk where possible.
  • Reuse your glass jars instead of plastic containers.
  • Use only reusable shopping bags.
  • Say no to plastic straws.
  • Use your own takeaway cup.
  • Consider food packaging.
  • Avoid microbeads.
  • Choose products with less plastic packaging and support businesses that are working to reduce their plastic waste.
  • Snack on fruit, instead of crisps or sweets.
  • ……. and the many other ways YOU already know!

Read the full report – Drowning in Plastics – Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics 

 

Tuesday

 

6

“The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.”

Jacques Yves Cousteau

 

Wednesday

7

 

Thursday

 

8

World Oceans Day

Theme 2023: “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”

The 2023 Conservation Action Focus is to protect at least 30% of our blue planet by 2030.  Recently, world leaders made a global commitment to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030 (30×30). To create a healthy ocean with abundant wildlife and to stabilize the climate, it’s critical that 30% of our planet’s lands, waters, and ocean are protected and more support for local conservation efforts is necessary to meet the 30×30 goal.

Leading scientists worldwide have determined a healthy ocean is a critical part of the solution to the climate and biodiversity crises.  By supporting 30×30, we can protect our planet’s life support systems – specifically the interconnected issues of ocean, climate, and biodiversity.  Currently, less than 17% of land and 8% of the ocean worldwide is protected.

The good news is, due to the efforts of the growing global 30×30 movement, including those involved in the World Ocean Day network, our nations’ leaders made a global commitment to 30×30 during the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December 2022.

The oceans provide our Earth with a moist, livable climate, full of oxygen from trillions of microscopic plants floating like tiny stars in a watery, immense universe, producing close to 100 million tons of food each year, enough to provide one in every four or five people with their daily protein.  The threats faced by our ocean planet may seem overwhelming.  Everyone – whether we live far from the ocean or next to the lapping waves – need to make the connection that we are dependent on the Oceans for so much.  In the face of pollution, climate change, overfishing, and other daunting problems, what you can do on your own may seem like a drop in the bucket. But if we begin working together now, we can make a huge difference.  The first step in making a difference is learning about the ocean and how your actions have an impact. Keep reading to learn everyday things you can do to help protect and restore the seas.

  • Be Water Wise and use as little fertilizer as possible as these in excess can be carried via rivers to the ocean causing harmful algae blooms that disrupt the ocean’s natural balance.  Don’t use pesticides and if you do use with extreme caution. These too, can make their way into the ocean and harm marine life.
  • It goes without saying that plastics and the ocean are not friends!!  Ensure that you use and recycle plastics (and your other waste) ethically. 
  • Watch what you eat and demand sustainable seafood at the supermarket and in your favourite restaurants. Download the SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) App to your phone so that you always know what to order or buy.  (Available on both Google Play Store and Apple Store).  And when fishing for your own seafood, make sure you follow all local catch limits.
  • Steer clear of jewellery, mementos, and products made from marine animals or animal parts, including shells, especially coral. 
  • Remember that carbon from fossil fuels – causing climate change – is also taking a toll on marine life. It also causes the ocean to become more acidic, which makes it hard for organisms like corals and clams to build their skeletons and shells. You can help slow global warming and ocean acidification by reducing your “carbon footprint” – the amount of carbon dioxide released as you go about your daily activities.

 

Friday

 

9

Companion God, Understander of our living,
Forgiver of our failings, Inspirer of our best efforts,
Encourager of our fearful selves,
We think of the oceans, seas, lakes, wetlands, rivers, streams, waterholes, of our lives.
Their essential place in our very survival.  We conjure their beauty in calm and tempest.  We eat their produce from necessity and delight.
All this we know, and more, and yet we foul our own splendour, food source and playground.
It is costly in time and effort and lost income to protect our environment.

Again, it is often a “why me …. they don’t do it ….. Why should I have to pick up other’s rubbish…  Environmentalists, Activists, Lawmakers, children planting trees, dairy farmers understanding their cows must be shifted, recycling, not buying plastic bags, picking up others discarded polystyrene are all necessary ingredients for the world we want to survive.

Help us to find the like-minded people, the sacrificial souls, the energy-filled campaigners, the struggling causes, the visionaries who not only plumb the deep with new technology but save the planet in sometimes tiny acts.
Encourage us to love,
in Jesus’ name we ask it, Amen.

Mary Heinemann
St Kilda Uniting Church, Victoria, Australia

 

Saturday

 

10

 

Sunday

 

11

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.

Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory.

Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit,
by your light you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good.

Praise be to you!
Triune Lord,
wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good,
advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.

O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen

 

Monday

 

12

Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti of Pope Francis on the Fraternity and Social Friendship

Chapter Two – The plea of the stranger

80.         Finally, I would note that in another passage of the Gospel Jesus says: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35). Jesus could speak those words because he had an open heart, sensitive to the difficulties of others. Saint Paul urges us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). When our hearts do this, they are capable of identifying with others without worrying about where they were born or come from. In the process, we come to experience others as our “own flesh” (Is 58:7).

81. For Christians, the words of Jesus have an even deeper meaning. They compel us to recognize Christ himself in each of our abandoned or excluded brothers and sisters (cf. Mt 25:40.45). Faith has untold power to inspire and sustain our respect for others, for believers come to know that God loves every man and woman with infinite love and “thereby confers infinite dignity” upon all humanity.[61] We likewise believe that Christ shed his blood for each of us and that no one is beyond the scope of his universal love. If we go to the ultimate source of that love which is the very life of the triune God, we encounter in the community of the three divine Persons the origin and perfect model of all life in society. Theology continues to be enriched by its reflection on this great truth.

82. I sometimes wonder why, in light of this, it took so long for the Church unequivocally to condemn slavery and various forms of violence. Today, with our developed spirituality and theology, we have no excuses. Still, there are those who appear to feel encouraged or at least permitted by their faith to support varieties of narrow and violent nationalism, xenophobia and contempt, and even the mistreatment of those who are different. Faith, and the humanism it inspires, must maintain a critical sense in the face of these tendencies, and prompt an immediate response whenever they rear their head. For this reason, it is important that catechesis and preaching speak more directly and clearly about the social meaning of existence, the fraternal dimension of spirituality, our conviction of the inalienable dignity of each person, and our reasons for loving and accepting all our brothers and sisters.

Prayerfully consider how this is affecting our own Country.

 

Tuesday

 

13

Creator God, on windswept beaches your saints of old
held their hands up to you in wonder and amazement,
felt your power through the roar of wind and surf,
and, exposed to the elements,
felt a unity with the One who had created all things.
This world does not often allow us such intimacy, Father.
We are crowded out by circumstances of our own choosing,
seeking fellowship with each other rather than with you.
Forgive our unwillingness to follow in the footsteps of your saints,
to meet you in the solitude of your creation.
Forgive our unwillingness to get our feet wet

 

Wednesday

 

14

Praying a Psalm in its Nature Setting

What a joyful and renewing experience it is to pray a Psalm in its nature setting!

Nature and the Psalms

The beauty of God’s creation draws us to delight in God’s goodness and his loving presence in the moment. And the prayer of the Psalmist gives voice and shape to our struggles and longings and connects us with God’s loving heart.

Psalm 104 and the Birds

Look and listen for the birds. Notice how joyfully they sing! The same Father that cares for them cares for you. Let the birds lead you to give thanks and praise to God. With the birds and the angels of the heavens you are joining God’s love song – he sings his love over you first!

Meditate on the birds and on Psalm 104:1, 12, 28, 30: “Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great… The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches… When you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things… When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”

Recently have you been appreciating God’s goodness and care? Right now is a good time to smile, sing, and give thanks to God!

Bill Gaultiere
www.soulshepherding.org/pray-a-psalm-in-its-nature

 

Thursday

 

15

Global Wind Day

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) organized the first Wind Day in 2007. In 2009 the EWEA joined forces with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and made it a worldwide event.  It is a day for discovering wind energy, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth.

Wind energy is generated by modern wind turbines which harness the wind’s kinetic energy and convert this energy into electricity. Many wind turbines have three blades which sit atop a steel tubular tower. They range in size, from large to small. The size of the turbine depends on the demand of the entity it’s required to power.

South Africa’s high wind speeds do offer very favourable conditions for wind installations and are practical in areas that have strong and steady winds.

Research from the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) shows that there are currently 3.024 MW of wind capacity on the South African grid and that 36 wind projects have been selected as part of the country’s REIPPPP, while a R200 billion total investment has been made to all renewable energy initiatives.

Energy from wind power has definite advantages as wind is almost everywhere and can be harnessed in remote areas, occupying very little land.  It is a clean green source that is truly economical.  Wind farms can also offer sustainable employment.

However, wind power – like all energy sources – does come with a cost. Wind farms have different impacts on the environment compared to conventional power plants, but similar concerns exist over both the noise produced by the turbine blades and the visual impacts on the landscape.  A key challenge facing the wind industry is the potential for turbines to adversely affect wild animals (mainly birds and bats) both directly, via collisions, as well as indirectly due to noise pollution, habitat loss, and reduced survival or reproduction of species in that particular area.  Some people who live near wind turbines say they experience sleep disturbances, headaches and concentration problems. These symptoms and others could be explained as effects of infrasound, as well as constant humming and vibrations.

These challenges are constantly under scrutiny by the Wind Energy Industry in efforts to improve this hugely important energy source.

Pray for ethical discernment for those involved in this industry.

 

Friday

 

16

Youth Day

A quote from ”The Last Child in the Woods” .
The thesis of Last Child in the Woods is that today’s children suffer from too little exposure to nature. Louv argues that digging in the soil or wandering in the woods is essential for any child’s development, and he presents evidence that spending time outdoors helps relieve the symptoms of ADHD.

 

Saturday

 

17

World Desertification Day

Desertification is the process by which vegetation in drylands i.e. arid and semi-arid lands, such as grasslands or shrublands, decreases and eventually disappears.

Globally, desertification affects approximately 70% of drylands, and 73% of Africa’s agricultural lands are degraded. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, approximately, 91% of South Africa’s landscape is drylands, and this makes it susceptible to desertification.

What desertification is caused by the removal of the natural vegetation cover(by taking too much fuel wood)expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing, agricultural activities in the vulnerable ecosystems of arid and semi-arid areas, which are thus strained beyond their capacity. These activities are triggered by population growth, the impact of the market economy, and poverty.

Human activities that contribute to desertification include the expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing. 

Higher food prices, water availability, violent conflicts for land, migration, increasing poverty, pollution from wind-blown dust particles coming from distant lands, could be the outcomes of desertification if we let it consume more of our planet.

Although Desertification normally happens in drier areas, we can all do our bit by protection what we have – especially grasslands.  If you have influence in susceptible arid/drier areas, encourage the planting of suitable trees as a good option in combating desertification, as trees and their roots help keep the soil from blowing away, causing more desertification.

Continually reflect on your lifestyle so as not to have negative impacts on our precious biomes.

 

Sunday

 

18

 

Monday

 

19

Creator God, we give thanks that science is continuing to increase our understanding of the world we live upon and the bodies we live within.
We pray that knowledge gained by research and technology might not simply be profit-driven but kindle a growing desire for the common good of all, 
that rich and poor alike might see the benefit and humankind become,
as in the time of Eden, good stewards of this earth.

 

Tuesday

 

20

Ode to the giraffe
Your bottle neck stretches to the heavens
for all to see and be seen.
With the trees and by the trees
your body grew towards the sky and makes believe
the world is its paradise.

Your wobbly pencil sticks give you enough power
to take on the most ferocious beasts
but yet still enough height to lift away from fears.

The spots. Oh, your spots!
They give you character like nothing else.
They protrude your skin with substance
of some sense more than other creatures wish to bear.
The colours of honey and lemon do well to serve you
for all the needs this world has and combinations
this world needs in that of honey and lemon.

Your feet were seen as so beautiful that God gave you four
and your ears so blessed he tried to give you more
He split your toes on middle down
and gave you ossicones, your lovely crown.

Your wide-eyed appearance
is everything and literal
that your face needn’t care
that it’s so delightful.

My lovely giraffe,
you are but a friend of mine,
oh, my lovely giraffe,
you’re truly a friend of mine.

Gary R. Hess

 

Wednesday

 

21

World Giraffe Day

As a species, the giraffe in Southern Africa are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.  Of concern is the fact that two subspecies (Kordofan and Nubian giraffe), in North Africa remain listed as Critically Endangered, Reticulated giraffe as Endangered, Thornicroft’s giraffe as Vulnerable, while Angolan giraffe are listed as Least Concern.

After local extinctions in various places, South African giraffes have been reintroduced in many parts of Southern Africa, including in Eswatini. They are common in both in and outside of protected areas. South African giraffes usually live in savannahs and woodlands where food plants are available.

This, for once, is good news and needs to be celebrated!

Give thanks for these amazing creatures!

 

Thursday

 

22

World Rainforest Day

A Rainforest is defined as an area of tall, mostly evergreen trees and a high amount of rainfall. Rainforests have an annual rainfall of at least 100 inches (254cm) and often much more.  Rainforests are Earth’s oldest living ecosystems, with some surviving in their present form for at least 70 million years.

Rainforests produce about 20% of our oxygen and store a huge amount of carbon dioxide, drastically reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions thus they help stabilize the world’s climate. Massive amounts of solar radiation are absorbed, helping regulate temperatures around the globe. Taken together, these processes help to stabilize Earth’s climate.

Here are some facts about Rainforests:

  • There are two different types of rainforests – tropical and temporate.
  • Rainforests are the richest terrestrial ecosystems on earth. This vast untamed wilderness is home to thousands of unique species of plants, animals and insects.
  • Rainforests are a great source of medicines.  Approximately 25 percent of all Western medicines have come from rainforest plants, including those that treat inflammation, rheumatism, diabetes, muscle tension, malaria, heart and skin conditions, arthritis, glaucoma, cancer, and many more.
  • Rainforests are important to our food supply. Not many of us realize this, but around 80 percent of important and beloved foods in our daily diets originally come from the tropical rainforests.  Citrus fruits, avocadoes, tomatoes, potatoes, vanilla and even coffee have their origins in rainforests.  How dull our daily menus would be without many of these culinary gifts from our world’s rainforestsA lot of people’s livelihoods directly depend on rainforests.  Many parts of the tropical rainforests are inhabited by indigenous people, who have been living in the jungle for millennia without any contact with the rest of the world. About 250,000 indigenous people call Amazon rainforest their home.  They have built their culture around the deep respect and traditional knowledge of the rainforest and its riches.
  • Rainforests affect the global rainfall pattern.  Rainforests play a critical role in the water cycle. When it rains, thick vegetation of the rainforest acts as a sponge – trees absorb large amounts of rainwater through their roots. Water is then distributed through their trunk into the branches and leaves for food. Excess water is released in the form of vapour back into the atmosphere.
  • Rainforests play an important part in the earth’s carbon cycle. According to scientists, around 230 billion tons of carbon is stored in the dense vegetation of tropical rainforests. This is the equivalent of approximately 30 years of carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
  • Rainforest destruction is contributing to climate change.  As increasing demand for resources rules our modern lifestyle, ancient rainforests across the world keep disappearing to satisfy our needs. From the original 6 million square miles of tropical forest, we are left with just one third of it.  Lush and dense vegetation of tropical jungle is being replaced with cattle farms, soy or palm oil plantations. But with the trees gone, the carbon stored in their bodies is released back into the atmosphere.
  • Rainforests are cut down and replaced with vast monoculture plantations of eucalyptus and acacia to make our clothing. Around 2.4 million acres of the Indonesian rainforest is cleared each year to make way for pulp wood production. This pulp is used to make rayon and viscose, fabrics found in a variety of clothing items such as T-shirts and dresses. The apparel is often sold to consumers from the United States, Europe, Asia – far away from the rainforest.

Our health, lifestyle, choice of food and even economy is linked to rainforests in every aspect. Yet, the level of their destruction is worrying. The future of many animals, plants and people is currently being shaped by our decisions to seize more land and transform it from a lively jungle to the exhausted, overexploited plot.

Now is the time to ensure that we only buy responsibly sourced products and make a firm commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.

Now is the time we must strive to protect our beautiful rainforests so that they will be there for future generations on this planet as well as for our own sake!

 

Friday

 

23

“Climate change is moving faster than we are – and its speed has provoked a sonic boom SOS across our world. We face a direct existential threat.”

António Guterres,
United Nations Secretary-General

 

Saturday

 

24

 

 

25

We pray for the Church: that she may be a beacon of hope throughout the world, reminding us all of our responsibility to care for and protect God’s precious gift of creation.
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the world, our common home: that through God’s grace we may hear its cry of the damage done and be moved to protect it for future generations to enjoy.
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those people who are already facing droughts, floods and storms: that God may grant them strength and hope for the future as they work to adapt to the changing climate.
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our parish and our local community: that through the grace of God we may hear the urgent cry of the earth and of the poor and be inspired to respond at this crucial time.
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the world we live in: that God may open our eyes to recognise the goodness of all creation and help us to do what we can to restore and care for the wonderful gift that we have been given.
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for world leaders: that God may grant them wisdom to make just decisions which respect the earth and all that lives in it, especially those who are poorest and most vulnerable.
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

We pray for our local community: that through God’s grace we may be good neighbours to each other and to the whole of creation, restoring and caring for all that God has made,
     Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Monday

 

26

“Climate change is much more than an issue of environmental preservation. Insofar as human-induced, it is a profoundly moral and spiritual problem. To persist in our current path of ecological destruction is not only folly. It is suicidal because it jeopardizes the diversity of our planet. Moreover, climate change constitutes a matter of social and economic justice. For, those who will most directly and severely be affected by climate change will be the poorer and more vulnerable nations (what Christian Scriptures refer to as our “neighbour”) as well as the younger and future generations (the world of our children, and of our children’s children).”

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

 

Tuesday

 

27

The Earth Is Pregnant with God

The intuition of St. Francis is that the entire world is a sacrament revealing the presence of God! Here, Franciscan scholars explain how Francis and Angela of Foligno (1248–1309) could come to see such a universal vision of Christ in the created world:

Francis’s world was so imbued by the goodness of God that he was “aroused by everything to divine love.”  . . . Thomas of Celano [1185–1260] states: “Fields and vineyards, rocks and woods, and all the beauties of the field, flowing springs and blooming gardens, earth and fire, air and wind: all these he urged to love of God and to willing service.”  Francis truly became a lover of God through the beautiful things of creation. . . .

Many Christ-cantered mystics, like Francis, have experienced the profound presence of God in creation. To know Christ in human form is to know God in created reality; to see God in the Eucharist is to see God in creation. The great penitent-mystic, Angela of Foligno, while attending Mass one day and seeing the host elevated, exclaimed:

I beheld and comprehended the whole of creation, that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea. . . . And my soul in an excess of wonder cried out: “This world is pregnant with God!” Wherefore I understood how small is the whole of creation—that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea, the abyss, the sea itself, and everything else—but the power of God fills it all to overflowing.

The idea of the whole earth “pregnant with God” speaks to us of “Mother Earth,” a nourishing and caring Earth that cries out in labour pains, longing for its fulfillment in God (Romans 8:22). Angela’s vision reminds us that the power of spiritual vision and relatedness is made possible by the power of love in union with Christ. To see God present with the eyes of the heart and to love what is seen requires faith in the risen Christ, truly believing that God is present to us in created reality.

Authors Delio, Warner, and Wood press us to struggle with the implications of such an inclusive understanding of God’s presence during a time of environmental catastrophe:

Do we really believe that God dwells with us, in our lives and in the natural world of creation? Does the Body of Christ move us to contemplate God in creation? If so, then how can we say “Amen” to receiving the Body of Christ and perpetrate destruction of the environment? There is a disconnect between what we claim to be or rather what we claim to see and what we actually do. It is an alienation of heart and mind that has rendered a desecration of the environment, as if we take the host, the Body of Christ, and continually stomp on it while saying, “yes, so be it

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditations
www.cac.org

 

Wednesday

 

28

Psalm 65

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer, to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Saviour,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

 

Thursday

 

29

We are sorry for polluting your creation. Healer and Redeemer God, you sent your son Jesus Christ to reconcile the whole world to yourself. We pray that your kingdom of healing will come today to your oceans. May your Holy Spirit help us to live lives that honour you and emulate your care for the oceans.

 

Friday

 

30

 

2023 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2022 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2021 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2020 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2019 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2018 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2017 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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