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PRAYER AND RITUAL


A PRAYER FOR WORLD PEACE

We pray to the Great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray . . . that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true
compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for more material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor and prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.

We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.

We pray for the multitudes of refugees forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving, that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life.

We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in the Great Spiritual Power.

We pray above all, for peace throughout the world.

--Jane Goodall

PSALM OF CREATION AND SALVATION

Loving God, all your creation calls you blessed.
Your spirit imprints the whole universe with life and mystery.
Yes, all creation proclaims your love.
We join this chorus of praise.

Loving God, as you lure the whole world into salvation,
guide us with your Spirit that we might not be only pilgrims on the earth,
but pilgrims with the earth, journeying home to you.

Open our hearts to understand the intimate relationship
that you have with all creation.
Only with this faith can we hope for tomorrow's children.

Amen. Alleluia!

PRAYER FOR HEALING THE EARTH

We call upon the earth, our planet home, with its beautiful depths
and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life,
and together we ask that it:

Teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon,
that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields,
and we ask that they:

Teach us and show us the way.

We call upon the land which grows our food, the nurturing soil,
the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and we ask that they:

Teach us and show us the way.

We call upon the forests, the great trees reaching strongly to the sky with
earth in their roots and the heavens in their branches,
the fir and the pine and the cedar, and we ask them to:

Teach us and show us the way.

We call upon the creatures of the fields and forests and the seas,
our brothers and sisters the wolves and deer,
the eagle and dove,
the great whales and the dolphin,
the beautiful Orca and salmon, and we ask them to:

Teach us and show us the way.

We call upon all those who have lived on this earth,
our ancestors and our friends,
who dreamed the best for future generations,
and upon whose lives our lives are built,
and with thanksgiving,
we call upon them to:

Teach us and show us the way.

And lastly, we call upon all that we hold most sacred,
the presence and power of the Great Spirit of love and truth
which flows through all the universe . . . to be with us to:

Teach us and show us the way.

--Chinook Blessing Litany


A PRAYER FOR CREATION

Oh Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all."

Gracious and generous God, in your open hand
is all that we need to live and thrive.
You have blessed all Creation with your abundance.

But we have failed as stewards of your creation
and failed to do justice to your people and your good creation.

Send forth your spirit to lead us to a renewal of your earth,
to a new understanding of what it means
to be stewards of your creation,
to a future of abundance and hope and life.

Amen.

MEDITATION ON EARTH

I give thanks for the enormous contribution of those who lived before me,
for thousands of years during which humans crafted their images of You
in the image of the feminine and of the Earth,

for loosening our tongues that we might utter words about your eternal word,
for the Ice Ages that shaped the lands, mountains, and rivers,
which have in turn shaped our imaginations,

for all the mammals who have taught us to birth and succor our young,

for the coming of the flowering plants that channel their energy into seeds by
which the future is endowed,

for the birds who brought song and melody to the Earth,

for the great green plants and their interdependence with insects,

for all the teeming life within the oceans which fashioned the sensing organs of Earth,

for the first simple life forms that learned to take nourishment from the sun,
our mother star,
and laid down a pattern of giving themselves away to others,
and receiving life from others,

for the supernova event by which our mother star collapsed and created the stardust out of which our solar system was formed,

for the stars and galaxies in which is incarnated all the dreams,
visions, and energies by which you have shaped this present moment,

for the first moment, your utter act of giving that brought forth this single body of
the universe out of which I weave the web of my own existence,

for the dark, impenetrable, pregnant, awesome mystery that You are,
and out of which You called my name.

--Mariam Therese Mac Gillis, OP

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PRAYER FOR FARM WORKERS

God of All Human Beings,

We pray for farm workers who toil in our fields and orchards and vineyards to harvest fruits and vegetables for our tables.

We thank farm workers for their hard work, for their resilience, for their expertise,
for their strength.

We are grateful for the food farm workers bring us to eat and the way these gifts nourish our bodies. We are grateful for the knowledge farm workers possess about land and plants and trees and flowers.

We thank farm workers for the ideas to keep up the pace of harvest,
to bear heavy loads, to recognize dangers to food safety, to get the work done.
We thank farm workers for patience with language and communication.

We are grateful for the love farm workers have for family and the way they
talk about their hopes and dreams. We are grateful for farm worker smiles
and laughter in the midst of dirt and toil. We thank farm workers for commitment to home, to children and parents. We thank farm workers for willingness to work
hard and determination to be paid for it.

We pray that farm workers have decent housing and nourishing meals for
rest and replenishment after work. We ask for safe practices to prevent
exposure to pesticides, from spraying or drift or application. We pray for
warm showers and good laundry facilities so that heads, hands, and feet
and clothes can be washed clean from chemicals and dirt and sweat
following long, hard days.

We ask for freedom from harassment and sexual violence, especially for the
women who do this work. We pray for safe transportation to and from the fields,
to and from homes, to and from countries of origin. We ask for paths to citizenship
for farm workers who have resided with us years and years and for any who want to come here.

We pray for farm workers who wish to travel to and from home countries as seasonal workers, and ask for documents that remove stigma and fear of status in the U.S.
We pray for comfort for farm workers who grieve and are homesick, for spiritual nurture to farm workers who seek it, for education opportunities for family members who travel in migrant streams.

We ask for all the things that we want for ourselves as human beings, O God.

And while we ask, we pray that you give us the courage and resolve to stand WITH farm workers in their quest for dignity and justice.

Amen.

--From National Farm Worker Ministry

FROM THE BREASTPLATE OT PTRK

INTERCESSIONS ATTRIBUTED TO MOTHER TERESA

Reader: People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Congregation: Forgive them anyway.

Reader: If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Congregation: Be kind anyway.

Reader: If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Congregation: Succeed anyway.

Reader: If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Congregation: Be honest and sincere anyway.

Reader: What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Congregation: Create anyway.

Reader: If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Congregation: Be happy anyway.

Reader: The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Congregation: Be good anyway.

Reader: Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Congregation: Give your best anyway.

Reader: In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
Congregation: It was never between you and them anyway.

 

SEVENTEENTH CENTURY NUN'S PRAYER

Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other's pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my momory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint--some of them are so hard to live with--but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the Devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Amen.

(Author Unknown)

INTERCESSIONS ON CARE OF CREATION

All the petitions use words or images from Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si'.

1. That we may hear the cry of our sister Earth because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her, we pray . . .

2. That we might recognize that the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all and make the changes of lifestyle, production and consumption in order to combat global warming, we pray . . .

3. That God may open our hearts to both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, we pray . . .

4. That we might hear the call to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet may be as God created it and may correspond to his plan for peace, beauty and fullness, we pray . . .

5. For a deep reverence toward creation, that we might experience everything, soil, water, mountains, as a caress of God, we pray . . .

6. That the spirit of God may deepen our recognition of the nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily acts, we pray . . .

7. For all followers of Jesus, that we may recognize that living our vocations to be protectors of God's handiwork is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience, we pray . . .

(These intercessions were prepared by the Office of Peace, Justice and Ecological Integrity of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ)

FOR OUR PLANET

Let us bless the imagination of the Earth,
That knew early the patience to harness
the mind of time, waited for the seas to warm,
ready to welcome the emergence of things
dreaming of voyaging among the stillness of land . . .

Let us thank the Earth that offers ground for home
and holds our feet firm to walk in space open to
infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence and certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness, their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden trusting the first warmth of spring . . .
The humility of the Earth that transfigures all that has
fallen of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth, opening to receive
our worn forms into the final stillness.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
for all our sins against her:
for our violence and poisonings of her beauty.

Let us remember within us the ancient clay,
holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind, the fluency of water,
the warmth of fire, the quiver-touch of the sun and
shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken to live to the full the dream
of the Earth who chose us to emerge and incarnate
its hidden night in mind, spirit and light.

We join with Earth and with each other

To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

We join with Earth and each other

To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures

We join with Earth and with each other

To celebrate the seas
To rejoice in the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars

We join with Earth and with each other

To recreate community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children

We join together as many diverse expressions
of one loving mystery,
for the healing of earth and the
renewal of all life.

--John O'Donohue

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May you know the embrace of Earth.
May she teach you the wisdom of time:
the unfolding of Spring
the ripening of Summer
the turning of Autumn
the shedding of Winter.

May she teach you the wisdom of intimacy:
seed embraced by warm, dark soil
crevice traced by insistent stream
raindrop clinging to new, soft leaf
precious stones in hidden places.

May she teach you the wisdom of grace:
flowers entwining fallen oak
healing gifts of common "weeds"
grain for bread, fruit for wine
dancing stars through barren branches.

May you be known in Earth's embrace.

--Jan L. Richardson

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GOD OF ALL CREATION

We unite as your children as faithful partners
who are called to reveal your will for creation.
National and international actions have been made that
impact the earth's climate, our partner-family,
and all of your good creation.

We have prayed and we continue to pray for guidance.
and we pray for stewardship,
stewardship over our internal spirit
responsibility for our moral voice to society and
new imagination for a world that strives for the
righteousness of justice and peace.

We also pray for righteous energy:
the energy of your spirit that enlivens each
one of us. And for physical energy
that can bring responsible value to utility,
economy and productivity. Collectively,
we are your children.

Please, God, be our parent!
Calm our fears, end our fighting,
nurture our heart, teach us wisdom.
Believing this, move us to act.

Amen.

   PRAYER SERVICE FOR AN END TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Leader: As we gather in prayer to end human trafficking, let us take a moment of silence to remember the estimated 21 million women, men and children who are trafficked today, and every, day.



[Moment of Silence]


Leader: Let us hold these people in our hearts as with hope we pray the words of Psalm 10:17-18
 
Reader 1: You listen, God, to the needs of the poor; you strengthen their hearts and incline your ear. You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed; no one on earth will cause terror again.
 
Leader: As we listen to the stories of survivors of human trafficking, we pray for the strength of those enslaved as we work to create a world where no one causes terror again.

Reader 2: “The long working hours made us weak and exhausted . . .  I always felt very tired and much
disturbed because the supervisors were scolding me for carelessness in my work. I also suffered from headache and leg pain. I didn’t like working at the mill at all.”

--A 20-year-old Dalit Girl working 12-hour plus days at a textile factory in Tamil Nadu, India

Reader 1: “My wife and I were forced to do agricultural and construction work to pay off our debt. Our small children were abused and forced to do household chores. We were all forced to live in the garage and were threatened with deportation. Food was locked up and we were not allowed to eat without permission.”


--A man who moved with his family from Latin America to Washington State, USA
 
Reader 2: “We had no choice. There was nowhere to flee; we were surrounded by the sea. After we arrived back to the shore, we were locked inside the room guarded by their men. The workers had to take one trip after another. There were many workers living under the same conditions. ”

A young man enslaved on a fishing boat in Thailand
 
Reader 1: “They let me know what would become of me if I told anyone. They told me they knew where I lived, they knew my teachers, they knew my school, they knew everything about me. There was nothing I could do to protect myself. At 14-years-old. I didn’t know where to begin.”


—An American girl sold by a friend’s father and trafficked for sex in Florida, USALeader: We now take a moment to reflect upon these stories.
 
[Moment of Silence]

Reader 2: For children and adults exploited in the commercial sex industry;

Response All: Dwell in them and give them freedom.

Reader 1: For the survivors of human trafficking, as they rebuild their lives;
 
Response All: Dwell in them and give them hope.

Reader 2: For the traffickers and pimps who have hardened their hearts and are exploiting others;
 
Response All: Dwell in them and change their hearts.
 
Reader 1: For consumers, that we may be aware of what we support through our daily words, actions and purchases; and that we respect the human dignity of all oursisters and brothers;
 
Response All: Dwell in us and help us see You in others.

Let us pray (Together): God of freedom, be with the people enslaved around the world. Help them to remember that they have dignity and worth. Guide us as we endeavor to end human trafficking and work for freedom for all people. Amen.
 
I ask my brothers and sisters in faith and all men and women of good will for a decisive choice to combat trafficking in persons.

—Pope Francis

PRAYER TO CONFRONT POVERTY

Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, you are the origin of all gifts. Make us grateful stewards of your many blessings,

Father, Creator of Abundance, grant us generosity in sharing our gifts and resources with our brothers and sisters around the world.

Jesus, Prince of Peace, make us advocates of the peace that strengths justice and the justice that sustains peace.

Spirit of Justice, may the love and equality you share with the Father and the Son inspire us to support just policies that lift up poor persons.

Loving God, we ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

PRAYER FOR VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS

O GOD, HEAR THE PRAYERS OF THOSE WHOSE
EVERYDAY LIVES ARE COMPLETELY OVERTURNED
BY A NATURAL DISASTER.

FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION,
YOU REVEALED YOUR POWER AND DIVINITY
THROUGH WHAT YOU HAVE MADE.

GRANT US THE GRACE TO SEE YOUR POWER
AND DIVINITY AT WORK EVEN IN THE POWERFUL
MENACE OF WINDS AND STORMS.

STRENGTHEN THE FAITH OF THOSE WHO FIND
IT DIFFICULT TO HOPE IN TOMORROW AND THE
COURAGE TO FACE THE CHALLENGES OF TODAY.

STIR THE HEARTS OF YOUR FAITHFUL TO FIND YOU,
LOVE YOU, AND SERVE YOU IN THEIR NEIGHBORS IN NEED.

GRANT THAT OUR FAITH IN THE RESURRECTION OF
YOUR SON JESUS MAY BE ACTIVELY ALIVE IN US,
THAT WE MAY SEE IN THIS IMMEDIATE NEED THE WAYS
IN WHICH YOU WILL BRING FORTH LIFE ONCE AGAIN
FROM DEVASTATING REALITIES.

AMEN.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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