Praying for Peace for All of Creation
(Especially the week of April 22, Earth Day; also October 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecology)
"Pope John Paul II put it plainly: 'Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle' . . .
The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility
"Carlo Carretto added some zest, when he had Francis of Assisi say:
" 'It is a terrible sin you have committed all around you, and I do not know whether or not you can still be saved. You have violated the forests, defiled the seas, plundered everything like a bunch of bandits. If there were a court of the skies, or of the seas . . . , all of you (or almost all) would be under sentence of death. And perhaps there is such a court. An invisible one. For your punishment has certainly begun. You can scarcely breathe your air. Your food has become unhealthy. Cancer assaults you with more and more regularity. And now that you have destroyed nearly everything, you have appointed me patron saint of ecology. You have to admit, it is a little late. . . .'
Prayer for the Decade of Nonviolence:
I bow to the sacred in all creation. May my spirit fill the world
with beauty and wonder.
May my mind seek truth and humility and openness.
May my heart forgive without limit.
May my love for friend, enemy, and outcast be without measure.
May my needs be few and my living simple.
May my actions bear witness to the suffering of others.
May my hands never harm a living being. May my steps stay
on the journey of justice.
May my tongue speak for those who are poor without fear
of the powerful.
May my prayers rise with patient discontent until no child is hungry.
May my life's work be a passion for peace and nonviolence.
May my soul rejoice in the present moment.
May my imagination overcome death and despair with new possibility.
And may I risk reputation, comfort and security to bring
this hope to the children.
Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, Pax Christi USA
"Action: Consider viewing Inconvenient Truth or Brother Sun, Sister Moon; supporting the efforts of environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and We Can Solve the Climate Crisis; also using the educational and advocacy suggestions of denominational environmental groups like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Environmental Justice Program.
"Prayer of Petition: 0 God of all creation, we humbly express our deep sorrow for what we and others around the world have done to your creation. Thank you for saints like Francis of Assisi who can inspire us to simplify our lifestyles so that there is enough for everyone's need. Move us and our political leaders to make the sacrifices necessary to preserve and enhance your creation for generations to come."