Prayer for the Care of Creation
Pope Francis has declared September 1 a worldwide day of prayer for our earth. He asks all people--of all faiths around the world--to gather in prayer for our common home and reflect on ways that we can work collectively to care for the environment.
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’
O most High, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all creatures;
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day, and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!
Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our sister water,
which is very serviceable to us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.
Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
through which you give us light in the darkness:
and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty, and strong.
Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth,
which sustains us and keeps us,
and yields diverse fruits,
and flowers of many colors, and grass.
Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon
one another for God’s love's sake,
and who endure weakness and tribulation;
blessed are they who peaceably shall endure,
for you, O most High, shall give them a crown!
Praised be my Lord for our sister,
the death of the body, from which no one escapes.
Woe to him who dies in mortal sin!
Blessed are they who are found walking
by your most holy will,
for the second death shall have no power to do them harm.
Praise you, and bless you the Lord,
and give thanks to God, and serve God
with great humility.
(St. Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)
O fire of the consoling spirit,
Life of life for all creatures.
You are holy for you kindle life in the created.
You are holy for you clean the festering wounds.
You are holy for you anoint the dangerous afflictions.
Breath of all holiness,
fire of life,
sweet essence we drink into our core,
fragrance of virtue you embed in our hearts.
You are a pure spring where we behold
God as he gathers up the confused and searches for the lost.
O defender of life, you, hope of unity for your members,
O girdle of upright honor, bring holiness to the blessed!
Protect those held captive by the enemy, free those bound in chains;
The godly power wants to save them.
You, mighty way,
that stretches across the breadth of all things in the heavens,
on the earth, through the depths,
you ordain and encircle everything into one.
By your power the clouds blow,
the air streams, the stones shift,
the creeks gush into springs,
and the earth sprouts green.
For all time you have begotten people full of understanding,
made happy through the breath of wisdom.
And so you shall be praised,
You, voice of laudation,
You, joy of life,
You, hope and might glory,
Because you grant the gifts of light.
Hildegard von Bingen
“Songs,” Nr. 19
St. Ignatius begins his Spiritual Exercises with The First Principle and Foundation. While not typically thought of as a prayer, it still contains much that is worth reflecting on.
The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God's life
to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts from God,
Presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
Insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
They displace God
And so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
Before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
And are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
Wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
A deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
To God's deepening his life in me.
“Blessed are You, Adonai our God,
Ruler of the universe, Creator of light and darkness,
Who makes peace and fashions all things.
In mercy do You give light to the earth
and to all who dwell upon it,
and in Your goodness do you renew every day,
continuously, the work of Creation.
How great are Your works, Adonai!
In wisdom you made them all,
filling the earth with your creatures.
The Ruler Who alone was exalted before Creation,
Who has been praised, glorified and raised on high since ancient days,
Eternal God, in Your abundant mercies, have mercy upon us.
Our powerful God, our rock-like fortress,
our shield of redemption, be a stronghold for us!
Blessed God, great in knowledge, prepared and formed the rays of the sun.
The beneficent One created honor for His Name,
and placed luminaries around His might.
The heads of His legions, holy ones, exalters of the Almighty,
are always relating the honor of God and His holiness.
May You be blessed, Adonai our God,
beyond the praises of Your handiwork and
beyond the brightness of the luminaries that You created—may they glorify You!
May You shine a new light on Zion,
and may we all soon be worthy of its radiance.
Blessed are You, Adonai, Creator of the heavenly lights.”
Om Bhur Buvaha Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath
We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
Who has created the Universe;
Who is worthy of Worship;
Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
Who is the remover of Sin and Ignorance;
May He open our hearts and enlighten our Intellect.