The Sisters of Charity invite you to join us in prayer tomorrow, April 22, as we celebrate Earth Day.
CALL TO PRAYER: Earth’s autobiography can be read in every mountain and steppe, ocean, desert, and forest. It can be heard in the songs of the seasons, the poignant harmonies of the humpbacks, the lullabies of parents. For us to come in touch with her unfolding story, we need solitude and a readiness for the surprises she shares with those at home in mystery.
We must respect the earth as the workshop of Providence. (Bl. Frederic Ozanam)
READER 1: Let Mother Earth teach us how to pray:
Like the mountain, still, silent, with thoughts rooted in eternity.
Like the flower, reaching up to the sun, open, ready to accept all things without fear,
Like the ocean, with silence in our depths, calm in our thoughts, and at one with the flow of life.
Like the bird, endlessly singing before the Creator, our song rising like incense.
Do nothing, just sit, just be, and you will harvest the fruit of your prayer. (St. Seraphim of Sarov, adapted)
READER 2: Clearly, nature spoke to Elizabeth Ann Seton about her God. Listen to her words:
“Delight to sit alone by the waterside, wandering hours on the shore, humming and gathering shells…”
“Who are we to praise thee — but we call on all thy creation to praise thee! the birds of the air, the inhabitants of the earth and the depths of the sea, the mountains and the valleys, and whatever thou hast made to praise, to bless, to declare thy glory!”
WORD OF GOD: Revelation 21: 1-7 (God will create a new heaven and a new earth)
Does Mother Earth speak to you as you pray? What are the landmarks of your spiritual home?
INTERCESSIONS: We enter into the hospitality of the heart of Charity and pray…
For those whose addictions to power and prestige cause havoc on land, sea and sky;
For those whose native lands have been laid waste through war, drought, famine, disease;
For those who have no home, for all refugees and wanderers;
For all the wild and untamed places;
For those who hear and respond to Spirit’s voice calling all to care for Earth and its bounty;
MEETING MY GRACE TODAY: I ponder how gratitude for creation is seeking to find expression in me.
Beauty is before me
And beauty is behind me
Above and below me hovers the beautiful
I am surrounded by it
I am immersed in it
In my youth I am aware of it
And in old age I shall walk quietly
The beautiful trail (Navajo Prayer)
Sr. Mary is a spiritual and retreat director, writer, and presenter on topics of spirituality and the Charity charism. Currently the Novice/Vocation/Candidate Director, she has served in congregational leadership, formation ministry, education, and as a missionary in the Bahamas and in Arizona.