Enviro Prayer Diary

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

(December Prayer Diary below …. )

November 2020
Environmental Prayer Diary

 

Sunday

 

1

Prayer from UN Environmental Sabbath Programme 

 We join with the earth and with each other
   To bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air.
We join with the earth and with each other
   To renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures.
We join with the earth and with each other
  
To celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars.
We join with the earth and with each other
   To recreate the human community, to promote justice and peace, to remember our children.
We join with the earth and with each other
We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of the earth and renewal of all life.

Acknowledgment – Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
https://ctbi.org.uk/


Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

We lift up our voices

Merciful God,
We place into your care all the refugees and migrants,
God who hurts with humanity, we lift up our voices and pour out our hearts to you, in sadness and grief,
for those who don’t have anyone to hear their suffering and pain,
for those who don’t have anyone to love and care,
for those who don’t have anyone to tell their stories
and especially for those who have been suffering due to this pandemic and struggling with coronavirus to see another day in their life.
We pray for their courage of heart and strength of mind and body.
Keep them safe from harm.
Amen.

Prayer: Inmanuel Chayan Biswas, who works for Caritas Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp


 

Monday

 

2

“Long before the awakening of thought on earth, manifestations of cosmic energy must have been produced which have no parallel today.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


 

Tuesday

 

3

Way back in October 2010, “The Decade of Biodiversity” was proposed by the Government of Japan during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) and Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010.  This endeavoured to formalise and strategise efforts to protect international biodiversity – concerns which were first tabled at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.  At this meeting in October 2010, held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was developed – which included the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

A further convention to assess the effectiveness of the Aichi Targets was due to be held in September this year, but due to the evolving nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has moved to hold many meetings virtually and has postponed others.

Sadly, as we approach the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020, progress towards global biodiversity targets including those of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) has been grossly insufficient and largely ineffective.  A UN report revealed the world had failed to meet biodiversity targets in the past decade.  While there are many local examples of success, biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with growing impacts on people and our planet.  A renewed focus on the global biodiversity crisis began in May, when a UN report issued the dire warning that up to one million species could go extinct, many within decades, without totally transforming the ways in which we use and abuse the natural world.

At the end of September, this year, the United Nations held a Summit on Biodiversity.  At this Summit, a global deal, touted as the equivalent of the Paris Agreement, to halt the collapse of nature – the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature – United to Reverse Biodiversity Loss by 2030 for Sustainable Development” was presented.  This pledge, supported by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Kenya and Uganda, among others, warns humanity is in a state of “planetary emergency” from the interdependent crisis of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and climate change – driven in large part by unsustainable production and consumption – and that this requires “urgent and immediate global action”.  Countries including India, Brazil and the United States  have refused to sign the 10-point Leader’s Pledge for Nature and China is still sitting on the fence.  South Africa is yet to commit, although in his virtual address to the Summit, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa must ensure it “builds back both better and greener” as it emerges from the pandemic. 

So what is our responsibility as People of Faith?

Biodiversity has intrinsic value first and foremost because it is the handiwork of God and reflects God, but biodiversity in all its richness, that is, its quantity and its genetic and ecosystem variety, is also necessary for a healthy world in which to live. Believe it or not, some of the most vital creatures on earth are the micro-organisms that live within the soil! Ecosystems which are biological communities of interacting organisms in a geographical area have their own unique combination of species.

Pray for
  • Leaders of South Africa to commit in earnest to the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature” and ensure that the actions contained therein are carried out
  • Leaders of Countries that have not yet committed to the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature” as well as Leaders of Countries that refuse to sign the Pledge – that their hearts might be changed
  • People of the World to commit to action to protect biodiversity

 

Wednesday

 

4

“There are some four million different kinds of animals and plants in the world. Four million different solutions to the problems of staying alive.”

 David Attenborough


 

Thursday

 

5


 

Friday

 

6

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in Armed Conflict and War

The impact of armed conflict on the natural environment is often acknowledged, but its scale is largely underestimated. From 1946 to 2010, conflict was the single most important predictor of declines in certain wildlife populations. International humanitarian law protects the natural environment and aims to limit the damage caused to it, not only because the environment sustains human life, but because of its intrinsic value.

On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict .

Though humanity has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war. Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage.

Furthermore, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found that over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.

The United Nations attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies, because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.


 

Saturday

7


 

Sunday

 

8

The Operation Noah Prayer 

Creator God, how deep are your designs!  You made a living earth, cloud, rain and wind,  and charged us with their care.
We confess that the way we live today is changing the climate, the seas and the balance of life, dispossessing the poor and future generations.

Build our lives into an Ark for all creation, and, as you promised Noah never to repeat the flood,  so make us heralds of a new rainbow covenant: 

Choosing life for all that is at risk –  for creation, neighbours near and far,  Our children and ourselves.  Amen. 

Acknowledgment – Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
https://ctbi.org.uk/


Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

Prayer for uncertain times

Lord Jesus Christ, light of this world, thank you for the hope you have given us.
Help us to give our worries to you and, above all, to trust in your unfailing love.
For you have promised us “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
Almighty God, our protector, let us trust in you to carry us through this time of uncertainty.
Jesus, hear our cries as we mourn those who’ve left us.
Whatever tomorrow may bring, we will praise your name. 
Amen.

Prayer: Sasha Breakenridge, CAFOD volunteer


 

Monday

 

9

The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC was originally scheduled to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.  On 28 May 2020, the COP Bureau decided that it would take place from 1-12 November 2021, in Glasgow, UK.

Pray that the continued virtual discussions will be positive and fruitful so that all parties can focus on the issues to ensure a productive outcome for the next vital conference.


 

Tuesday

 

10

World Science Day for Peace and Development

The theme of the year 2020 is “Women in Science.”

World Science Day for Peace and Development was proclaimed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001 (UNESCO 31 C/Resolution 20). The Day highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in daily living.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

Thanksgiving for all who work in Science and Technology:

We praise you, O God, for creating humankind in your image
    and giving all human beings a common genetic makeup regardless of race, gender or ethnicity:
We are awed by the knowledge
   that there are trillions of cells in our bodies and each one of them stores of the secret of life in its DNA
We are amazed by scientists’ use of technology
   to learn about cells, tissues and organs and how any changes in the gene can affect our daily lives.
We pray for all scientists –
   engineers, students, teachers, researchers, physicians, technicians who work diligently to unfold your holy mysteries and ask your blessing on each one of them.
   May these technological developments be used for the good of all and to alleviate suffering in the world and promote peace.
We thank you, O God,
   for the wisdom and knowledge that you bestow on scientists who work at revealing the secrets of creation.
   We stand in awe and wonder at the history of the universe and life on this planet.
   This knowledge strengthens our faith in your creative power
   We are grateful for this wonderful creation and being a part of your blessings
Praise be to you, O God.


 

Wednesday

 

11


 

Thursday

 

12

Read Matthew 21:33-43

In Matthew’s Gospel, the parable of the tenants reminds us of God’s call for us to protect our common home and those within it.

The landlord sends his tenants to work the land, but they forget their role in caring for it, and their responsibility in returning its rewards to him.  Then the landlord sends his son to remind them of what is required of them. It is a mark of respect, he does not wish ill on them, despite all they have done.  In this, we see Christ’s ultimate sacrifice out of love and care for God’s children.  The landlord then takes away all responsibility and hands it over to new tenants who will recognise the importance of sharing the wealth.

We must see ourselves in this parable, we are the tenants, we are provided with all we need to make God’s vineyard possible. We have been granted the ultimate responsibility to care for the crop and protect creation.  But at times we have forgotten about the beauty we have been given, and our responsibility to make it fruitful. We risk losing everything. Just as the tenants in the parable did.

So let us ask ourselves today, what fruits will I produce for the Lord?

Prayer

Lord, help me to recognise myself in this parable, the role I play as tenant of your vineyard and the harvest you hope for. Guide us all to work for the common good, for the protection of our common home and those within it, so that we may create your kingdom on Earth. 

Amen.

Juliette Bone
A retreat leader at St Cassian’s retreat centre in Kintbury
www.cafod.org.uk


 

Friday

 

13

Fratelli tutti

Fratelli tutti (All Brothers) is the third encyclical of Pope Francis, subtitled of “on fraternity and social friendship”. In the document, Francis states that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven the failure of the world to work together during the crisis.  The encyclical calls for more human fraternity and solidarity, and is a plea to reject wars.

The document was signed on 3 October 2020, on the occasion of Pope Francis’s visit to the tomb of his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, and was published the following day, the saint’s feast day.

Overview

The encyclical calls for more human fraternity and solidarity, and is a plea to reject wars.  The document focuses on contemporary social and economic problems, and proposes an ideal world of fraternity in which all countries can be part of a “larger human family.”

Take some time to download and read the “Fratelli Tutti” and prayerfully consider what fraternal love, that Pope Francis writes about, means to you.

(Over the course of future Prayer Diaries, aspects of this Encyclical will be considered)


 

Saturday

 

14

A Prayer to Make Poverty History

Christ our Lord, your light shines into the shadows, and shows us where the obstacles to change lie.
We know that often they are in our own hearts, in the way we live, and in our daily choices and actions.
We pray that we may accept the light of your love as a challenge to change ourselves and our world.
We pray that, each day, we make the choices and take the actions that will bring an end to poverty and hunger, and lead us all towards a fairer world.
Be with us, Lord, as we face your challenge and learn how to live our lives in love. 
Amen 

Linda Jones
CAFOD
Acknowledgment – Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
https://ctbi.org.uk/


 

Sunday

 

15

Prayer for the Environment

Caring God,
We thank you for your gifts in creation, for our world,  – the heavens tell of your glory;
we thank you for our land, its beauty and its resources and the rich heritage we enjoy.

We pray for those who make decisions about the resources of the earth, that we may use your gifts responsibly;
for those who work on the land and sea, and in industry,  that they may enjoy the fruits of their labours and marvel at your creation;
for artists, scientists and visionaries, that through their work we may see creation afresh.

We thank you for giving us life; for all who enrich our experience and that you have called us to celebrate your creation.  Give us reverence for life in your world.
We thank you for your redeeming love;
May your word and sacrament strengthen us to love as you love us.
God, Creator, bring us new life.  Jesus, Redeemer, renew us.  Holy Spirit, strengthen and guide us.

Amen


Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

An Examen for Life During COVID-19
  1. Take a moment to settle. Take a deep breath. Get comfortable. Like a rock settling on the bottom of a lake after it’s thrown in, let yourself settle.
    Acknowledge how you are feeling in this moment. If being calm is hard, acknowledge it. If you find yourself frustrated or stressed, acknowledge it. God wants to be present in all parts of our lives – not just the easy or serene moments.
  2. Ask for light and insight as you prepare to review your day. For some that light may come in the form of a sense of the Divine. For others it’s from a deep sense of your true self.
  3. Take a moment to think about how COVID-19 has impacted your life. Even as we are being asked to distance ourselves from one another socially, ask yourself what connections you find yourself grateful for?  Who makes you feel grounded and connected to God?
  4. Public health issues have a way of making us recognise how interwoven our lives are with others in society. It can help us realise who we may often choose not to see or connect with. Is there a person or group of people especially affected by COVID-19 that you don’t often choose to see or connect with normally? What connections to others are you becoming more aware of? Who do you normally choose to reach out and connect to? Who do you avoid or refuse to see? If you can, picture the faces of these people. What connections do you take for granted in your life? What connections impact you the most?
  5. Note the emotions you feel when you think of these individuals without judging or over-analysing. Simply acknowledge them, pay attention, and listen to where God may be speaking.
  6. As you think of the ways we are connected or disconnected to one another, pick a connection (or lack thereof) that seems important, significant, or is manifesting itself the strongest. Pause and reflect on where you’re being invited to grow from that moment. If you are a person of faith, take a moment to pray with it.
  7. God gifted us with limitless creativity and imagination. Even in this time of separation and possible isolation, what is one way you can maintain meaningful connection to others – whether directly, through technology, or intentional focus and attention?

 Take a deep breath and moment of quiet. When you are ready, return to your day. 

Susan Haarman, Loyola University Chicago


 

Monday

 

16

Every Creature Is a Word of God

God brought things into being in order that his [sic] goodness might be communicated to creatures, and be represented by them; and because his goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, he produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided.  –Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, 47, 1

Each and every creature is a unique word of God, with its own message, its own metaphor, its own energetic style, its own way of showing forth goodness, beauty, and participation in the Great Mystery. Each creature has its own glow and its own unique glory. To be a contemplative is to be able to see each epiphany, to enjoy it, protect it, and draw upon it for the common good. (Some Sundays I am drawn to awe, prayer, and service by the Nature Channel much more than by the morning church service!)

Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, a speaker at some CAC conferences, writes in true Franciscan style: “The world is created as a means of God’s self-revelation so that, like a mirror or footprint, it might lead us to love and praise the Creator. We are created to read the book of creation so that we may know the Author of Life. This book of creation is an expression of who God is and is meant to lead humans to what it signifies, namely, the eternal Trinity of dynamic, self-diffusive love” (Christ in Evolution, p. 62).

Meister Eckhart, OP, says it even more succinctly: “Anyone who truly knows creatures may be excused from listening to sermons, for every creature is full of God, and is a book.” And that is from one who was a member of the Order of Preachers!

Gateway to Silence:
Let all the earth bless the Lord.

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


 

Tuesday

 

17

“The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong.  To be  alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.”

Thomas Berry


 

Wednesday

 

18

Lord Most High

From the ends of the earth
From the depths of the sea
From the heights of the heavens
Your name be praised

From the hearts of the weak
From the shouts of the strong
From the lips of all people
This song we raise Lord

Throughout the endless ages
You will be crowned with praises
Lord Most High
Exalted in every nation
Sovereign of all creation
Lord Most High be magnified

Gary Sadler

YouTube – Ross Parsley


 

Thursday

 

19

For Equilibrium, a Blessing:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.

John O’Donohue
Irish Poet, Author, Priest, and Hegelian Philosopher


 

Friday

 

20


 

Saturday

 

21

World Fisheries Day

World Fisheries Day is celebrated every year on 21 November throughout the world by fishing communities and serves as an important reminder that we need to change the way we manage global fisheries in order to maintain stocks and healthy aquatic ecosystems.

A recent United Nations study revealed that more than two-thirds of the world’s fisheries have been over fished or are fully harvested. It also stated that more than a third of the world’s fisheries are in a state of decline because of factors such as the loss of essential fish habitats, pollution, and global warming.

Fish forms an important part of the diets of people around the world, particularly those that live near rivers, coasts and other water bodies. A number of traditional societies and communities are rallied around the occupation of fishing.  This is why a majority of human settlements, whether small villages or mega cities, are situated in close proximity to water bodies. Besides the importance of water for survival and as a means of transportation, it is also an important source of fish and aquatic protein.  But this proximity has also lead to severe ocean and coastal pollution from run-off and from domestic and industrial activities carried out near-by. This has led to depletion of fish stocks in the immediate vicinity, requiring fishermen to fish farther and farther away from their traditional grounds.

Besides, overfishing and mechanisation has also resulted in a crisis – fish stocks are being depleted through ‘factory’ vessels, bottom trawling, and other means of unsustainable fishing methods. If these issues are not collectively addressed, the crisis will deepen.

World Fisheries Day helps to highlight these problems, and moves towards finding solutions to the increasingly inter-connected problems we are facing, and in the longer term, to sustainable means of maintaining fish stocks.


 

Sunday

 

22

A prayer – we are sorry

God we are sorry for the way we use your gifts to us so carelessly.
We are sorry that our actions are spoiling the precious balance between the earth and the sun so that our world is becoming too hot.
We are sorry for wasting food while others go hungry We are sorry for wasting water when some children spend four hours each day collecting it.
We are sorry for buying things we do not need. We are sorry for throwing away things just because they are old or unfashionable.
We are ashamed that the world is such an unfair place We are sorry when we choose to bury our heads in the sand rather than seek fair solutions.
Lord forgive us and disturb us until we change to make your world a better place

R Croft and J Laynesmith 
Acknowledgment – Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
https://ctbi.org.uk/


Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

An Ignatian Examen on Working During The Pandemic

Lord,

I am thankful for good colleagues and the opportunity to collaborate with so many around me.
I am thankful for the opportunity learn and practice new things.
I am grateful for extra time with family, and for all the new ways I have found to connect with friends.
I am grateful for my health and for the health of my family.

Over the course of the last months,
I have felt your presence in the care and compassion of those working around and with me to find the best path forward for our community.
I have felt your presence in our continuous striving for better, striving to find solutions that serve the greatest number of people in the best way possible with the least risk of harm.
I have felt your presence on days when my work – at my workplace or at home – was not great, and I was humble or needed to make apologies.

I have been challenged and needed your guidance in thinking with a community-focus rather than an individual one, and I’ve been challenged in finding the right response on other occasions when I judge that others are falling into that same pit.
I have felt challenged by all the meals I’ve cooked and dishes I’ve washed. I have felt true joy in the quiet moments of fellowship and connection that only could have happened because of this common event.

I continue to welcome and be open to your presence in my life and in this work.

I pray that we continue to be inclusive and broad in our thinking, that we continue to be imaginative and innovative, that we have the energy required to sustain us.
I pray that we continue to be intentional collaborators, guided by your spirit.

  by Rebecca L. Cull


 

Monday

 

23

The wisdom of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa once said;  ‘There are no great acts, just simple acts with great love’. 

Lord, break our hearts for the needs of others, and help us stand together- show us what we have to offer. Break our hearts for communities in our own country affected by recession, debt and hopelessness- for our friends, neighbours, and those we do not know personally.
Lord, we pray too for those in the majority world experiencing poverty and lack of food, those without education, healthcare and vulnerable to disaster and exploitation. Fill us with compassion and a sense of solidarity as one people.
Prepare our hearts to love, our hands to serve, and our mouths to speak against injustice – simple acts, with great love.
Amen


 

Tuesday

 

24

“We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us”

Albert Einstein


 

Wednesday

 

25


 

Thursday

 

26

Matthew 10:24-33

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.


 

Friday

 

27


 

Saturday

 

28

Buy Nothing Day

Whether or not you’ve participated in it, you’ve definitely seen the reports of people going from being their best selves to being their worst selves on Black  Friday. This is why some genius person in Canada, some 25 years ago, began something different as a protest to mass consumerism, and it quickly spread around the world.

Dubbed as a 24-hour shopping detox, the day encourages relaxing over consumption. Rather than push people out of the way to get the last pair of cheap socks, heat up some leftovers and settle in for a day of Netflix and chill!  … and you will save 100% of what you would have spent!


 

Sunday

 

29

Father, we live in a world where things have gone badly wrong because we have forgotten you and put money before morality. We have adopted our own way of life and have not served your Kingdom. We have chosen what pleases us and have not done your will. Lord, forgive us our sin and follies and blindness. Turn us back to yourself, for the sake of your Son, the only Saviour of the world.
Amen


Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

Love never fails

Even in the darkest moments, love gives hope. 
Love compels us to fight against coronavirus alongside our sisters and brothers living in poverty.
Love compels us to stand together in prayer with our neighbours near and far.
Love compels us to give and act as one. 
Now, it is clear that our futures are bound together more tightly than ever before. 
As we pray in our individual homes – around the nation and around the world – we are united as one family.


 

Monday

 

30


     

 

 

December 2020 Environmental Prayer Diary

 

Tuesday

 

1

The Creative Breath

Creative God, breath of all life Through whom all things are created and sustained; all sons and daughters flocks and herds, all birds of the air and fish of the sea You walked this earth as child and Creator You touched the soil quenched your thirst embraced this world brought life and light love and laughter into dark and death-filled lives Creative God, breath of all life Through whom all things are created and sustained We bring to you our sacrifice of a contrite and willing heart.


 

Wednesday

 

2

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

Dark Clouds Over a Closed World

1.     Without claiming to carry out an exhaustive analysis or to study every aspect of our present-day experience, I intend simply to consider certain trends in our world that hinder the development of universal fraternity.

Shattered Dreams

2.     For decades, it seemed that the world had learned a lesson from its many wars and disasters, and was slowly moving towards various forms of integration. For example, there was the dream of a united Europe, capable of acknowledging its shared roots and rejoicing in its rich diversity. We think of “the firm conviction of the founders of the European Union, who envisioned a future based on the capacity to work together in bridging divisions and in fostering peace and fellowship between all the peoples of this continent”.[7] There was also a growing desire for integration in Latin America, and several steps were taken in this direction. In some countries and regions, attempts at reconciliation and rapprochement proved fruitful, while others showed great promise.

3.     Our own days, however, seem to be showing signs of a certain regression. Ancient conflicts thought long buried are breaking out anew, while instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise. In some countries, a concept of popular and national unity influenced by various ideologies is creating new forms of selfishness and a loss of the social sense under the guise of defending national interests. Once more we are being reminded that “each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its sights even higher. This is the path. Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day. It is not possible to settle for what was achieved in the past and complacently enjoy it, as if we could somehow disregard the fact that many of our brothers and sisters still endure situations that cry out for our attention”.[8]

  • Prayerfully consider how this is affecting our own Country

 

Thursday

 

3

Advent

Perhaps Advent is a good time to review our priorities.  What is it about Christmas that requires us to consume and waste with such abandon?  If it’s true that a stable is a suitable birthplace for our God, and that even princes only need three gifts, why do we eat, drink and spend as if we were celebrating the birth of the free-market economy?  We all need to understand that there is a carbon footprint for everything.

Perhaps this year we can:

  • Drop the idea that the cost of your presents has any relation to the value you place on your friendships
  • Be generous to the planet and give thoughtful presents, with the receipt so that they can be returned if need be
  • Video-Skype your distant relatives and plan to see them properly another time.
  • Make a pact with your family and friends to keep all gifts below a strict limit and donate the savings to charity.

 

Friday

 

4

“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery store, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”

Aldo Leopold
Scientist, ecologist, & environmentalist


 

Saturday

 

5

World Soil Day

The theme for 2020 is “Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity” and aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, fighting soil biodiversity loss, increasing soil awareness and encouraging governments, organisations, communities and individuals around the world to commit to proactively improving soil health.

The gardener has a long, touchy-feely relationship with the soil. As every good cultivator knows, you assess the earth by holding it  … is it dark and crumbly, is there an earthworm or beetle in there, is it moist, and when you smell it, are you getting that pleasant earthy aroma?

All these signs are reassuring, and have been through the ages, but they are mere indicators of something much greater and infinitely mysterious: a hidden universe beneath our feet.

This cosmos is only now revealing itself as a result of scientific discoveries based on better microscopic imaging and DNA analysis. There is much still to learn, but it boils down to this: Plants nurture a whole world of creatures in the soil that in return feed and protect the plants, including and especially trees. It is a subterranean community that includes worms, insects, mites, other arthropods you’ve never heard of, amoebas, and fellow protozoa. The dominant organisms are bacteria and fungi. All these players work together, sometimes by eating one another.

The awareness of this biosphere should change the way gardeners think about cultivating plants and heighten everyone’s understanding of the natural world. In other words, don’t ever call it “dirt” again!


 

Sunday

 

6

Second Sunday in Advent – Light and Darkness

In the beginning, Lord I was alone but when I saw you in the light I was no longer afraid. You held out your hand and though I had a choice I had no choice because to refuse was to embrace again the darkness. In the beginning, Lord I was alone now I am again a part of your creation loved, wanted, needed, family. In the light of your presence I hold out my heart that others might glimpse through it your reflection and be drawn from the darkness that I once embraced into the light of your sunrise the brightness of your face.

Excerpt from https://www.faithandworship.com/Advent/Advent_Celtic_Christian_Celebration.htm


Prayer for the week during the COVID19 pandemic

Prayer for putting on a mask

We bless you and praise you, Lord Christ, for commanding us to love one another. Let this mask be a sign of your love, and let my behaviour be filled with love for my neighbour. Amen


 

Monday

7


 

Tuesday

 

8

“May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul. May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference. ”

 John O’Donohue
Priest, Author & Irish Poet


 

Wednesday

 

9

Here, [are] four key reasons why ecological restoration is the most important endeavour of our time. If we are to reverse the ecological crisis that we are currently facing, and protect biodiversity for itself and for future generations, we must turn pledges into immediate action and restore our ecosystems on a global level.

  • Our food systems depend on healthy soils. The revival of plants, crops and forests depends on the revival of degraded soils. 
  • Ecosystem degradation is contributing to our failing relationship with nature: people’s accepted view of ecological conditions are continually lowered, a phenomenon known as shifting baseline syndrome.
  • Indigenous cultures and knowledge is being lost
  • The restoration of ecosystems is intrinsically linked to the restoration of human health. 

(https://theconversation.com/four-reasons-why-restoring-nature-is-the-most-important-endeavour-of-our-time-147365)

Prayerfully consider how best you will address these issues in the New Year


 

Thursday

 

10


 

Friday

 

11

International Mountain Day

“Mountain biodiversity” is the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day – a day to celebrate the rich biodiversity in mountains as well as to address the threats it faces.

Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Biodiversity encompasses the variety of ecosystems, species and genetic resources and mountains have many endemic varieties. The differentiated topography in terms of altitude, slope and exposure in mountains offers opportunities to grow a variety of high-value crops, horticulture, livestock and forest species.

However, climate change, unsustainable farming practices, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. In addition, land use and land cover change, and natural disasters, accelerate biodiversity loss and contribute to creating a fragile environment for mountain communities. Ecosystem degradation, loss of livelihoods and migration in mountains can lead to the abandonment of cultural practices and ancient traditions that have sustained biodiversity for generations.

The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has been increasingly recognised as a global priority. Sustainable Development Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss,  target four is dedicated to the conservation of mountains’ biodiversity in consideration of its global relevance. Biodiversity in all ecosystems is in focus, as the United Nations has declared 2021 to 2030 the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and governments prepare to negotiate the post-2020 global biodiversity framework for adoption this year at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Pray for all involved with the discussions and actions on ecosystem restoration.


 

Saturday

 

12

“The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

Romans 8,19-21


 

Sunday

 

13

Third Sunday in Advent – Obedience

There were safer places, more comfortable places, palaces and wealthy places. Yet you chose a daughter of the soil who would have otherwise lived a good and honest life grown and harvested crops cooked and washed and cared for others and been forgotten to be your temporary home to be exalted for all time.

Excerpt from https://www.faithandworship.com/Advent/Advent_Celtic_Christian_Celebration.htm


Prayer for the week during the COVID19 pandemic

Let us seek peace, lest we fall into despair, fear, frustration, rancour, or hatred. This unusual crisis calls us to stand up and be a light to the world, spreading messages of encouragement instead of rumours or resentment. We are grateful for the selfless work of mental health professionals who, during this time, are counselling people online. May those who struggle with anxiety and anger find help.

Based on Prayers and Liturgies for the Covid-19 Pandemic – https://episcopalchurch.org


 

Monday

 

14

Isaiah 11:1-10

The Branch From Jesse

11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.


 

Tuesday

 

15

All Things New

Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that.
You cannot hold onto the old, all the while declaring that you want something new.
The old will defy the new;
The old will deny the new;
The old will decry the new.
There is only one way to bring in the new
You must make room for it.

Neale Donald Walsch

My spiritual father, Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), was a master of making room for the new and letting go of that which was tired or empty. He was ready for absolute newness from God and therefore could also trust fresh and new attitudes in himself. His God was not tired, and so he was never tired. His God was not old, so Francis remained forever young.

Francis was the first to create a living nativity scene, bringing to life the revolutionary new way God revealed God’s self in the vulnerability of a baby in a manger. The Incarnation of God in Jesus was foundational to Francis, and he wanted others to experience its life-changing power.

Francis was at once very traditional and entirely new in the ways of holiness. Franciscanism is not an iconoclastic dismissal of traditional Christian images, history, or culture, but a positive choosing of the deep, shining, and enduring divine images that are hidden beneath the too-easy formulas. It is no fast-food religion, but slow and healthy nutrition.

Both Jesus and Francis did not let the old get in the way of the new, but like all religious geniuses, revealed what the old was saying all along. Francis both named and exemplified that “first, churchless incarnation in the human heart.”  But somehow he also knew that it was the half-knowing, organized Church that passed this shared mystery on to him and preserved it for future generations. He had the humility and patience to know that whatever is true is always a shared truth; and only institutions, for all their weaknesses, make this widely shareable, historical, and communal.

Both Jesus and Francis were “conservatives” in the true sense of the term: they conserved what was worth conserving – the core, the transformative life of the Gospel – and did not let accidentals get in the way. They then ended up looking quite “progressive,” radical, and even dangerous to the status quo. This is the biblical pattern, from Abraham to Moses, to Jeremiah, Job, John the Baptist, Mary, and Joseph.

Gateway to Silence:
You make all things new.

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


 

Wednesday

 

16

Reconciliation Day

Reconciling God, Creation and Humanity
An Ignatian Examen

Reconciling God, Creation and Humanity is a reflection tool to heed Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for creation and to reconcile our relationship with God, creation and one another.  With this in mind, this Ecological Examen asks you to reflect on your personal relationship with creation, to acknowledge and amend your ways and to promote ecological justice by standing in solidarity with those most impacted by environmental harm

Begin the Examen by placing yourself in a posture that allows you to be open to the ways the Spirit is working in you. There are six steps in the Examen. Go at a pace that works for you: pause at sections in the Examen that you would like to reflect more on.

1.     Gratitude:

I give thanks to god for creation and for being wonderfully made.

Ignatian spirituality invites us to recognize that all that we are, the person we are now and the person we are becoming, the possessions we have and the earth we inhabit, is all a gift from a loving Creator.
Where did I feel God’s presence in creation today?

2.     Awareness:

I ask for the grace to see creation as God does – in all its splendour and suffering.

Ignatius invites us to look down upon the world from the eyes of God the Trinity. God looks at the Earth and sees the great diversity of the world, the goodness of all Creation and the different people who live in the world today.

Do I see the beauty of creation and hear the cries of the earth and the poor?

3.     Understanding:

I ask for the grace to look closely at my own life and the decisions I have made. I ask myself how do I care for the gift of creation and the resources of the Earth, which are meant for the benefit of all, including our brothers and sisters around the world and future generations? How do my choices impact the environment and people in my community, nation and around the world, particularly the poor and vulnerable?

What challenges or joys do I experience as I recall my care for creation?  How can I turn away from a throwaway culture and instead stand in solidarity with creation and the poor?

4.     Conversion:

I ask for the grace of conversion toward ecological justice and reconciliation.

Where have I fallen short in caring for creation and my brothers and sisters? How do I ask for a conversion of heart?

5.     Reconciliation:

God calls us as caretakers of the Earth not simply to take the Earth’s resources for our own benefit, but to use the Earth’s resources to praise, reverence, and serve God.  I ask for the grace to reconcile my relationship with God, creation and humanity, and to stand in solidarity through my actions.

How can I repair my relationship with creation and make choices consistent with my desire for reconciliation with creation?

6.     I offer a closing prayer for the earth and the vulnerable in our society

In concluding the Examen, give thanks to God for the gift of creation and ask for God’s help and guidance so we may care for creation and the most vulnerable among us, strengthened in our common pursuit for ecological justice.

Full Examen may be found at- https://www.ecojesuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Ignatian-Ecological-Examen.pdf


 

Thursday

 

17

O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum” is a German Christmas song. Based on a traditional folk song which was unrelated to Christmas, it became associated with the traditional Christmas tree by the middle of the 19th century and sung as a Christmas carol “O Christmas Tree.”  A Tannenbaum is a fir tree. The lyrics do not actually refer to Christmas, or describe a decorated Christmas tree. Instead, they refer to the fir trees evergreen quality as a symbol of constancy.  The modern lyrics were written in 1824, by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz.

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches

Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime
O tannenbaum, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches

Let us all remember
In our gift giving and our merriment
With our family and friends and loved ones
The real and true meaning of Christmas
The birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ

O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum
How lovely are, are thy branches
O tannenbaum, o…

The pillars all please faithfully
Our trust in God unchangedly
O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum
How lovely are thy branches.


 

Friday

 

18

Grant us, Creator God, a new vision of your world:

  • A world of justice where the costs of climate change will be equitably shared between nations;
  • A world of plenty where sufficient food and water will be available to all;
  • A world of fairness, where success is founded on service, and honour is given to integrity alone
  • A world of peace, where order shall not rest on force, but on the love of all for this wonderful world which we all share.

 

Saturday

 

19


 

Sunday

 

20

Fourth Sunday in Advent – Birth and Rebirth

Beneath the surface of your story is an inescapable fact. You entered this world as vulnerable as any one of us in order to nail that vulnerability to the cross. Our fears, our insecurities and our sins, all that can separate us from God exchanged by your Grace for Love. We cannot comprehend the reasoning, only marvel that Salvation comes to us through a baby born in a stable, who reaches out to a world in need.

Excerpt from https://www.faithandworship.com/Advent/Advent_Celtic_Christian_Celebration.htm


Prayer for the week during the COVID19 pandemic

May God inspire our minds and hearts, so that, as global citizens, we may find ways to help all people recover from the economic damage produced by this health crisis. May we rise together, united, as we should always have been.

Based on Prayers and Liturgies for the Covid-19 Pandemic – https://episcopalchurch.org


 

Monday

 

21

The Christmas Tree

What it means to me

At the top is a star shining so bright,
like the one that shone that first Christmas night.
or an Angel, like those who to the shepherds did sing
“Glory to God … “ for the newborn King.

The tree, made of wood, with its branches spread wide,
is like the cross upon which our Saviour died.
It’s colour, evergreen, means life everlasting
which can be yours if you will just ask Him.

Its lights, shining so pretty and bright
are like “the Light of the World”, God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Like pieces of tinsel, too many to count,
are God’s unending mercies – they freely abound.

The ornaments are a bright crimson red
like great dops of blood that for you He shed.
Garlands, gracefully wrapped around the tree,
is like God’s grace which wraps you and me.

The gifts under the tree are as nice as can be
but the greatest gift ever is Jesus, you see,
for He came to this earth to die on a tree
So you and I from sin might be free.


 

Tuesday

 

22

“Our challenge is to create a new language, even a new sense of what it is to be human. It is to transcend not only national limitations, but even our species isolation, to enter into the larger community of living species. This brings about a completely new sense of reality and value.”

Thomas Berry
“The Ecological Age,” in The Dream of the Earth.


 

Wednesday

 

23

Heavenly Father, the whole meaning of Christmas can be explained in one little four-letter word…LOVE. You sent your gift of pure love to us that first Christmas. Love descended from heaven to be born of a virgin. Love lay in the scratchy hay of a manger in a meagre barn in Bethlehem. All of your love, God, was robed in the delicate skin of a baby and wrapped in swaddling clothes. This final week of Advent helps us to reflect on the magnitude of love that was made manifest in Jesus.

The greatest gift of all came that first Christmas. It wasn’t wrapped in a beautiful package and set under a decorated tree. The greatest gift came wrapped in the flesh of baby Jesus and laid in the rough wood of a manger. Our perfect gift would later be rewrapped in the scars of our sin and nailed to the rugged wood of a cross on Calvary, all because of love.

Father, this final week of Advent, fill our hearts and minds with the significance of that truth. Thank you, Lord, for loving us enough to send Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

Hope Bollinger
www.biblestudytools.com


 

Thursday

 

24

Prayer of Gratitude for the Birth of Jesus

Father God, we thank You and praise You for the miracle of Your Son’s birth. Thank You for bringing great JOY to the whole world! Thank You for giving us the assurance that because You came to us in the form of a human, we who believe in Jesus can know with absolute certainty that we’ll spend eternity with You. We thank You, Lord, for the many reasons we have been given a merry Christmas. And we rejoice for each blessing. New life. New love. A home. A job. New opportunities. Second chances. And more. We know, Lord, that You bring the sun and the moon and set the stars in motion. You tell the ocean where to stop and the snow when to start. And we thank You for the mighty gift of Your creation. Thank You, Father, for spiritual leaders and faith-filled friends who keep encouraging us when we are close to giving up. And although we have many reasons to rejoice today, Lord, we also know December 25th can be not-so-merry for a whole host of reasons. We pray for those who are experiencing loss during Advent: relational, financial, spiritual and physical. We pray for those who are coping with loving a prodigal and our friends and family members whose hearts are far from You. We pray for those dealing with unemployment and addictions and chronic sickness… and unending pain and frustrations of all kinds. Thank You, Lord, that You are The Wonderful Counsellor and Prince of Peace, even in the midst of our not-so-merry circumstances. Finally, Lord, we ask You to grant us peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our churches, and peace in our hearts, when the world all around us spins out-of-control. Help us to stay focused on You, this Advent season and always. Thank You for loving the whole world enough to send the greatest gift, Your Son, so that we might truly have a very merry Christmas. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Steph Raquel,
from “A Christmas Prayer for the Merry… and Not-So-Merry , Prov. 31 Ministries 
www.biblestudytools.com


 

Friday

 

25

O Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into human hearts the peace which they seek so desperately and which you alone can give. Help them to know one another better, and to live as children of the same Father.
Pope John XXII


 

Saturday

 

26


 

Sunday

 

27

 


Prayer for the week during the COVID19 pandemic

We pray that all of us, together, may use the time through which we are living as an opportunity to question and transform our values, our struggles, and our passions. May we find hope to rise again and create a world that is stronger, more united, more inclusive, more harmonious, and more loving. May we never lose faith in humanity.

Based on Prayers and Liturgies for the Covid-19 Pandemic
https://episcopalchurch.org


 

Monday

 

28

“Our Christian stewardship demands that we care for the whole of God’s creation, and especially for our poorer neighbours wherever they may be, remembering the words of Jesus at the end of his parable about stewardship in Luke 12.48: “From him to whom much is given, much will be required.”

Sir John Houghton
Theologian, Atmospheric Physicist & Nobel Peace Prize winner


 Tuesday

 29

 


 

Wednesday

 

30

Our great and gracious God,

As we come to the close of another year, we would indeed make it the prayer of our hearts that you would abide with us.

We thank you that you have been with us through the days of this past year.  Perhaps many a day we have not felt you near,
Perhaps at times we have even felt that you have forsaken us and forgotten us but we thank you that it has never been so.

We thank you that you are constantly with your people, and that you have enabled us to persevere in grace,

You have comforted our hearts,
You have heard our prayers,
You have come so often to our aid.

We pray that you will go with us into this new year.

There is none of us who knows what the new year will hold, but we thank you that every moment of that year is in your hands, and you will be with your people.

We thank you that with that promise girding us, we can go forward with confidence and in your peace. We pray that you will help us to walk with you in this new year better than we have ever done before. Forgive us, Lord, for our sins and our backslidings of this past year.

Grant to us, as the days of the new year unfold, an ever closer walk with you.

Help us to put sin to death,
Help us gladly yield our lives unreservedly to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and God that we may regard ourselves entirely at his disposal to be, to go, to do, as he would wish

We pray that it may be our privilege to serve him, to bring glory to him, to help others to know him better, and to help some, indeed, to come to know him for the first time.

Have mercy, we pray, upon those connected with us who come to the end of this year and their hearts are still closed against you, still hardening their hearts against you.  Spare them, O God, we pray. Grant that this new year would mark the beginning of new life in Jesus Christ. We are so thankful for the almighty Holy Spirit, for his limitless power to bring conviction of sin, to give new birth, and to draw those who are away from you
to faith and to repentance.

We pray, Lord, that you would do that in the hearts and lives of all who are upon our hearts.

For Jesus’ sake,
Amen.


 Thursday

 31


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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