Environment Novena – Day 6

The sixth of nine days of prayer and readings as tangible action to respond to the urgent climate change issues we all face.

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Wednesday after Ascension

The sixth of nine days of prayer and readings as tangible action to respond to the urgent climate change issues we all face.

Introduction and Opening Prayer

Show Mercy to our Common Home

Despite our sins and the daunting challenges before us, we never lose heart. “The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us… for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward.”
Laudato Si’, 13; 245

In a particular way, let us pray…

“O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
who are so precious in your eyes…
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth”
Laudato Si’, 13; 246

God of mercy, may we receive your forgiveness
and convey your mercy throughout our common home.
Praise be to you!

Scripture Reading and Prayer

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creatures that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the sea, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
Genesis 1:20-23

Bless the Lord, you whales and all creatures that move in the waters,
sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, all birds of the air,
sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, all beasts and cattle sing praise to him
and highly exalt him forever.
Prayer of Azariah and his Companions, Daniel 3:79-81

A reading from the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium on ‘the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world.’ Pope Francis, 24 November 2013.

There are other weak and defenceless beings who are frequently at the mercy of economic interests or indiscriminate exploitation. I am speaking of creation as a whole. We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures.

Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations.

Here I would make my own the touching and prophetic lament voiced some years ago by the bishops of the Philippines:

“An incredible variety of insects lived in the forest and were busy with all kinds of tasks… Birds flew through the air, their bright plumes and varying calls adding colour and song to the green of the forests… God intended this land for us, his special creatures, but not so that we might destroy it and turn it into a wasteland… After a single night’s rain, look at the chocolate brown rivers in your locality and remember that they are carrying the life blood of the land into the sea… How can fish swim in sewers like the Pasig and so many more rivers which we have polluted? Who has turned the wonder world of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of colour and life?”

Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples.

Concluding Prayer

Common Prayer for Earth and for Humanity

Loving God,
Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we can be part of Creation, your gift.

Be present to those in need in these difficult times, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Help us to show creative solidarity as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic.
Make us courageous in embracing the changes required to seek the common good.
Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent.

Enable us to succeed in listening and responding to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.
May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs of a more fraternal and sustainable world.
We pray through Christ our Lord, under the loving gaze of Mary, Help of Christians.


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