Novena for Earth Defenders - Day 3

Standing Rock & the Cry of Indigenous Peoples

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: Is this not the fast I choose? Releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. 
–Isaiah 58:1-9

Reflection: “Today, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” –Laudato Si’ 49

The Standing Rock Sioux and their allies, collectively known as the water protectors, were praying for months to change the minds and hearts of policymakers determined to build the Dakota Access Pipeline near the tribe’s lands. Their pleas at the construction site against both the desecration of their land and the potential risk to the water supply for millions of people were met with violent repression by a militarized police force. While construction was temporarily halted in late 2016, a decision by the Trump administration in 2017 gave the project the green light. We join in prayer the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous people, who are experiencing yet another injustice on their long road to freedom.  

Prayer for Ourselves: “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’


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