Lenten Novena: Ash Wednesday
The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team developed the Lenten Novena for Protectors of Mother Earth to invite people of faith to join in solidarity with people, especially indigenous communities, who are courageously speaking out against the impacts of extractive industries. You can find the full Novena here and read it in Spanish here.
Opening Prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful with justice and mercy, and kindle in us the fire of your love.”
Our Father …
Hail Mary …
Glory Be …
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God. - Joel 2:12-18
Reflection: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” - Laudato Si’ 160
As we start the season of Lent, we remember Pope Francis’ challenge to us to keep in mind the needs of vulnerable communities and future generations, and to repent of the voracious greed for ever-expanding development that threatens their health, culture and territories. Indigenous people often take the lead in sounding the alarm, and the tearful words of native activist and environmentalist Casey Camp-Horenek on the impacts of fracking in her community in Oklahoma contain such a warning.
Prayer: “God of love, may we grow in our love for you, responding with justice and mercy to the cry of the poor and with reverence and care to the cry of the earth.”
Prayer for Our Earth:
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.
- Concluding prayer of Laudato Si