Lenten Novena: What Have We Done to Our Earth and Our Native Sisters and Brothers?

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: “For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me,

ill and you cared for me,

in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer him and say,

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,

or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,

or naked and clothe you?

When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?”

And the king will say to them in reply,

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did

for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

- Matthew 25: 42-46

Reflection: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? … We need to see that what is at stake is our own dignity. Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us. The issue is one which dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn.” – Laudato Si’ 160

Residents of Flint, Michigan, have been dealing not only with contaminated water but with the psychological ramifications of knowing that authorities ignored a massive public health hazard for far too long. We pray with our native sisters and brothers that we heed this warning, hold our elected officials to greater account and take actions on our own when necessary to protect our land, water and communities.

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

 

Download the full Lenten Novena for Protectors of Mother Earth here and in Spanish here.