Lenten Novena: Berta Caceres: A Laudato Si’ Martyr
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 …
Reading: I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you, life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live.
- Deuteronomy 30:15-30
Reflection: “Sister Earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, is crying out, pleading that we take another course.” – Laudato Si’ 53
Today we mark the one-year anniversary of the murder of Berta Caceres, a leader of the Lenca people in Honduras and a human rights defender who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. She is among more than 120 people who have been killed in Honduras since 2010 for taking a stand against dams, mines, logging or agriculture on their land –murdered by state forces, security guards or hired assassins. Countless others have been threatened, attacked or imprisoned.
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