Nancy Roth is a writer, dancer, and Episcopal priest who draws on music, movement, and theology to help others discover the integration of body and soul. She is the author of many books including An Invitation to Christian Yoga. In this delightful paperback, Roth presents the practice of "organic prayer" which enriches our contemplation of God and our attempts to live in harmony with the good earth. The chapter heads and some of the topics covered are:
• Soil (Holy Ground, A Lump of Clay, All Things Green, Rocks)
• Seeds (Kinship, Love, Responsibility)
• Water (Seeing, Eating, Moving)
• Compost (Gifts, Sorrows, Weather)
• Pests (Emptiness and Greed, Despair and Burnout)
• Harvest ( Heaven and Earth Are Full of Your Glory, Easter)
In each chapter, the author includes a section called "Spadework" consisting of down-to-earth prayer exercises. We liked the ones on prayer rocks, walking meditation, communing with a tree, eating meditation, working with the weather, and making a pilgrimage in the place where you live. Here is an exercise to honor species:
"Include other species in your prayers. You may pray especially for the particular species you have chosen to observe and study, whether they be the denizens of a rainforest or animals who live near you or with you.
"You may especially wish to include some endangered species in your intercessions. Pray for them just as you pray for members of the human family who are in need. One way to do this is silently to 'hold before God' the creatures for whom you are praying. Or you may repeat their names, like a litany: 'Creator God, protect and preserve the spotted owl, the humpback whale, the timber wolf, the peregrine falcon, the rhinoceros, the whooping crane, the tiger, the gorilla, the manatee.
"In penitence and sorrow, on behalf of the human family, hold before God those species who are extinct, especially on account of human destructiveness."