Prayers of ecology and the environment

Presented by the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center

 

 

 

Canticle of the Sun

 

    by St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Ecology                   

   Translation from the original Italian            

 

    Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!

        All praise is yours, all glory, all honor

        And all blessing.

 

    To you alone, Most High, do they belong.

        No mortal lips are worthy

        To pronounce your name.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,

        And first my lord Brother Sun,

        Who brings the day; and light you give to us

        through him.

 

    How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!

        Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;

        In the heavens you have made them, bright

        And precious and fair.

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,

        And fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,

        By which you cherish all that you have made.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,

        so useful, lowly, precious, and pure.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

        Through whom you brighten up the night.

        How beautiful he is, how joyful!  Full of power and strength.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth,

        Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces

        Various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon

        For love of you; through those who endure

        Sickness and trial.

    Happy those who endure in peace,

        By you, Most High, they will be crowned.

 

    All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,

        From whose embrace no mortal can escape.

 

    Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

 

    Happy those She finds doing your will!

        The second death can do no harm to them.

 

    Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,

        And serve him with great humility.

 


 

Canticle of the Sun

 

    by St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Ecology (1182-1226)

    Translation from United States Catholic Conference

 

 

    O most High, almighty, good Lord God,

        to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!

 

    Praised by my Lord God with all creatures;

        and especially our brother the sun,

        which brings us the day and the light;

        fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:

        O Lord, he signifies you to us!

 

    Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,

        and for the stars,

        which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

 

    Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,

        and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,

        by which you uphold in life all creatures.

 

    Praised be my Lord for our sister water,

        which is very serviceable to us,

        and humble, and precious, and clean.

 

    Praised be my Lord for brother fire,

        through which you give us light in the darkness;

        and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty,

        and strong.

   Praised be my Lord for our sister the Earth,

        which sustains us and keeps us,

        and yields diverse fruits, and flowers of many colors, and grass.

 

    Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon

        one another for God's love's sake,

        and who endure weakness and tribulation;

        blessed are they who peaceably shall endure,

        for you, O most High, shall give them a crown!

    Praised be my Lord for our sister,

        the death of the body, from which no one escapes,

        Woe to him who died in mortal sin!

 

    Blessed are they who are found walking

        by your most holy will,

        for the second death shall have no

        power to do them harm.

 

    Praise you, and bless you the Lord

and give thanks to God, and serve God with great humility.

 


 

The Canticle of Brother Son

by St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Ecology (1182-1226)

This English translation was made from the most ancient Italian text identified by Fr. K. Esser, p. 157. For a biblical parallel, cf. Dan. 3:17,23,51-90 and Psalm 148. Punctuation and the arrangement of fourteen verses follows that of the original Italian. The translation of the Italian per into English as "for" has been retained, despite K. Esser's translation of the same into Latin as propter; cf. Note on Latin terms at the beginning of this work.

 

Most High, Omnipotent, Good Lord,
Thine be the praises, the glory, and the honor and every blessing (cf. Apoc. 4:9.11).

To Thee alone, Most High, do they belong
and no man is worthy to mention Thee.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, with all Thy creatures (cf. Tob. 8:7),
especially mister brother sun,
of whom is the day, and Thou enlightens us through him.

And he is beautiful and radiant with a great splendor,
of Thee, Most High, does he convey the meaning.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for 4 sister moon and the stars (cf. Ps. 148:3),
in heaven Thou has made them clear and precious and beautiful.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for brother wind,
and for the air and the cloudy and the clear weather and every weather (cf. Dan 3:64-65), through which to all Thy creatures Thou gives sustenance (cf. Ps. 103:13-14).

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for sister water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for brother fire (cf. Dan 3:66),
through whom Thou illumines the night,
and he is handsome and jocund and robust and strong.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for our sister, mother earth, (cf. Dan 3:74)
who sustains us and governs,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and green plants (cf. Ps 103:13-14).

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for the sake of Thy love 5 (cf. Mt 6:12),
and endure infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed those who endure them in peace (cf. Mt 5:10),
because by Thee, Most High, will they be crowned.

May Thou be praised, my Lord, for our sister, bodily death,
whom no man living can escape.

Woe to those, who die in mortal sin: 6
blessed those whom she 7 will find in Thy most holy desires,
because the second death will do them no evil (cf. Apoc 2:11; 20:6).

Praise and bless my Lord (cf. Dan 3:85),
and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility!

 

FOOTNOTES

4 For a more recent discussion of the use of per ("for") in this Canticle, cf. K. Esser, p. 159, n.33.

5 The Italian here reads per lo tuo amore. This last word is the equivalent of the Latin term amor, cf. Note on Latin terms at the beginning of this work.

6 cf. 1 Jn 16:17.

7 Sister, bodily death.

8 cf. 2 Celano 49; St. Bonaventure, Legenda maior, XI,9.

 


 

Mother Earth

by St. Francis of Assisi

Dear mother earth, who day by day

 Unfolds rich blessing on our way,

O praise God! Alleluia!

The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,

Let them his praise abundant show.

O praise God, O praise God,

 Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

 


 

 

Almighty and Eternal God,

Creator of Heaven and Earth,

You've entrusted mankind to be

Fertile and to have

Dominion over the Earth.

Yet mankind in his disobedience,

Arrogance and greed has instead

Poisoned, polluted, and all but destroyed

the Earth, your footstool, and the home of

Man and all the creatures

of the land, sea, and sky.

Have mercy on us, Lord,

and instill within mankind a true and

Steadfast love for you and

A genuine respect for all

that you have created.

Teach us that having dominion

Over the Earth has not the same

Meaning as domination of the planet,

as you, O Lord, are the Dominant One,

The Supreme Being, the Creator,

The True and Everlasting God.

Teach us that we should honor the Earth

as she is like our mother who nurses every

living creature at her breast. Reveal to us that

every bird, fish, and beast is like our brother,

and that every tree, vine, and flower is like

our friend.

As we pray for you to send out your

Spirit and renew the face of the Earth,

We also pray that the heart and mind of

Mankind be also renewed.

Remove from our mouths the bitter taste

of the most poisonous fruit that has opened our

eyes yet blinded us with the most deadly of

sins--- the haughty delusion that we are like gods.

We beg that you replace that bitterness

With the sacred sweetness

of the precious flesh and blood of Christ,

the Lamb of God who takes away the sin

of the world.

Through the intercession of Mary, your

Most Blessed Mother, we ask this of you

in the Most Holy Name of our Savior, your Son,

Jesus Christ.

Amen.

~ Prayer by Trish, Gulf Coast of Louisiana, 2011

 


 

Prayer of the Christian Farmer (or Gardener)

O God, Source and Giver of all things, Who manifests Your infinite majesty, power and goodness in the earth about us, we give You honor and glory.

For the sun and rain, for the manifold fruits of our fields, for the increase of our herds and flocks we thank You. For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace, we are grateful.

Supreme Lord of the harvest, graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil, in union with Christ Your Son, as atonement for our sins, for the growth of Your Church, for peace and charity in our homes, for salvation to all. Amen.

Prayer Source: Novena in Honor of St. Isidore: Patron of Farmers by National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

 Any farmer or city gardener will find this a beautiful prayer.

 

 


 

SERVANTS OF THE CREATOR KING

Prayer for Advent 2003

Harry Martin, Dn.

 

Jesus, Love, we seek your coming.

As your servants we join with all creation in proclaiming your glory.

The winter barren trees look heavenward,

Anticipating the newness of life,

coming in the springs of your resurrection.

The soaring eagle lifts our hearts,

that with your holy angels,

we can climb the heights of your holy hills.

The whiteness of the fresh snow

refracts the light and beauty

that the call of your holiness brings to us.

 

 

Jesus, Love, our Creator King,

we rejoice at your coming,

and yet we sorrow.

Your Holy Word shines upon our path.

And we see...

Lives imprisoned and impoverished

by greed.

Country sides crushed and ravaged by wars

where hate, pride and arrogance reign.

We see waters poisoned by neglect,

Birdsongs of praise stilled

by the corruption of need and want.

Creator King, we weep with the doe

seeking her fawn

crushed by the rush of human traffic.

We sorrow with the unborn child

who will never know,

the beauty of the daybreak.

We weep, coming King,

Because we fail to see and cherish,

the holy beauty and joy

of all life and creation you have made.

Jesus, Love, we seek your coming.

Open our hearts to your Presence,

Our ears to your truth,

Our eyes to the sacred trust of creation and life

we share with all you have made.

 

Jesus, Love, we are your servants.

As we seek your coming,

May our wants,

in simplicity share ... you.

May our words,

in gentle courage,

acclaim your truth.

 

May our paths,

bring us together

to your holy hill.

And there may we share the embrace

of your mercy,

that cleanses and renews

your creation.

That all creation may sing the praises

of our Savior and King.

 


 

 

Prayer of a Rural Family

Wise and compassionate God, accept this our prayer;
Sheltered from storm and darkness, under this roof,
This family kneels to adore You.
For the day just past,
For keeping us safely, body and soul,
Now we most humbly Thank You.
For hilltops and verdure,
For sunlight and wind and boundless space,
For rain and sky's rich color,
For boughs and blossoms and cold clean snow,
We are eternally grateful.


For birds and beasts,
For the good black earth and the seeds producing
The plenteous harvest; for times without number
When we have eaten of that same harvest,
We thank You and bless You forever.
Deliver us safely, if such be Your will,
From deluge and drought,
From famine and war and disaster.
Give us tomorrow, as yesterday and today.
All things most needed for rightful living;
And move our hearts that we may have sorrow
For sinning against You.
God of the hearth and the harvest,
Your children, here kneeling, adore You.
Bless now our rest
And cherish us safe till the morrow.

 

 

Prayer Source: Novena in Honor of St. Isidore: Patron of Farmers by National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National Catholic Rural Life Conference

   

 

Prayer for Rain

O God, in Whom we live and move, and have our being, grant us rain, in due abundance, that, being sufficiently helped with temporal, we may the more confidently seek after eternal gifts. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer Source: Novena in Honor of St. Isidore: Patron of Farmers by National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National Catholic Rural Life Conference

 


 

Liturgy of the Eucharist: Preparation of the Bread

    Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life.

Liturgy of the Eucharist: Preparation of the Wine

    Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands.  It will become our spiritual drink.

Third Eucharistic Prayer

    Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit bring to life and sanctify the universe.

 


 

Prayers of Petition

O Lord, grant us the grace to respect and care for Your creation.

                Lord, hear our prayer.

O Lord, bless all of your creatures as a sign of Your wondrous love.

                Lord, hear our prayer.

O Lord, help us to end the suffering of the poor and bring healing to all of Your creation.

                Lord, hear our prayer.

O Lord, help us to use our technological inventiveness to undo the damage we have done to Your creation and to sustain Your gift of nature.

                Lord, hear our prayer.

 


 

    Prayer on Contemplating Nature

 

You, O God, Majestic Creator, are the origin of all life.

Nothing can exclude itself from your creative influence.

You are wonderful in your words and in your sovereignty.

Amazed, I contemplate the perfection of the world you created for human beings.

You are unmatched in your power and in your goodness.

O Lord, you direct like a conductor the orchestration of a storm, and you shape like a sculptor the petals of a flower.

You are prodigious in your majesty and in your wisdom.

Lord, you have fashioned human beings to accept the challenges of nature and to be your voice in creation.

O Lord and King, Majestic Creator, you have made your mystery transparent in the world you have created.

I worship you in your creation and in your providence.

Amen.

From Prayers of Blessing and Praise for All  Occasions, copyright 1987, Hugo Schlesinger and Humberto Porto.

 


 

Blessings of Fields and Gardens

            Let us together praise the Lord,

            from whom we have rain from the heavens

            and abundance from the earth.

            Blessed be God now and for ever.

 

Let us bless God, whose might has created the earth and whose providence has enriched it.  God has given us the earth to cultivate, so that we may gather its fruits to sustain life.  As we thank God for this bounty, let us learn also, as the Gospel teaches, to seek first God's way of holiness: then all we need will be given us besides.

 

            O God,

            from the very beginning of time

            you commanded the earth to bring forth vegetation

            and every fruit of every kind.

            You provide the sower with seed and give bread to eat.

            Grant, we pray, that this land,

            enriched by your bounty and cultivated by human hands,

            may be fertile with abundant crops.

            Then your people, enriched by the gifts of your goodness,

            will praise you unceasingly now and for all ages unending.

 

    Above from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.  Contains excerpts from the English translation of Book of Blessings copyright 1988, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.  All rights reserved.

 

    The Lord has bestowed the fruits of the earth for the benefit of all the world's people.  May we share with all in need and so be good stewards of God's earth and its abundance.  We remember the words Mary speaks in the Gospel story of the visitation: "The hungry he has filled with good things."

 

Icon painted by William Hart McNichols, SJ

 

 


 

Praise in Creation

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

Glory be to God for dappled things --

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced -- fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

 

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

 


 

To Christ, King of the Universe

O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge You King of the Universe. All that has been created has been made for You.  Exercise upon me all Your rights.  I renew my baptismal promises renouncing Satan and all his works.  I promise to lead a good Christian life and to do all in my power to procure the triumph of the rights of God and Your Church. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor actions in order to obtain that all hearts may acknowledge Your sacred royalty and that thus the reign of Your peace may be established throughout the universe.  Amen.


 

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Spirit of wisdom and understanding, enlighten our minds to perceive the mysteries of the universe in relation to eternity. Spirit of right judgment and courage, guide us and make us firm in our baptismal decision to follow Jesus' way of love. Spirit of knowledge and reverence, help us to see the lasting value of justice and mercy in our everyday dealings with one another. May we respect life as we work to solve problems of family and nation, economy and ecology. Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day. Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence which penetrates all creation. Amen.  

 


 

Come Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit.  Fill the hearts of your faithful and make the fire of your love burn within them.  Send forth your spirit and there shall be another creation.  And you shall renew the face of the earth.  Let us pray:  O God, you have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit.  Grant that through the same Holy Spirit we may always be truly wise and rejoice in his consolation.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 


Prayer for Conversion

by St. Augustine

    O God, Framer of the universe, grant me first rightly to invoke Thee; then to show myself worthy to be heard by Thee; lastly, deign to set me free.  God, through whom all things which of themselves were not, tend to be.  God, who out of nothing hast created this world, which the eyes of all perceive to be most beautiful.  God, the Father of truth, the Father of wisdom, the Father of the true and crowning life, the Father of blessedness, the Father of that which is good and fair, the Father of intelligible light, the Father of our awakening and illumination, the Father of the pledge by which we are admonished to return to Thee.

    God, from whom to be turned away, is to fall: to whom to be turned back, is to rise again: in whom to abide, is to stand firm.  God, from whom to go forth, is to die: to whom to return, is to revive: in whom to have our dwelling, is to live.  God, whom no one loses, unless deceived: whom no one seeks, unless stirred up: whom no one finds, unless made pure.  God, by whom we distinguish good from ill.  God, by whom we flee evil, and follow good.  God, who leads us to the door of life.  God, who causes it to be opened to them that knock.  God, who gives us the bread of life.  God, who cleanses us, and prepares us for Divine rewards, come graciously to me.

    Thou the only God, come unto my help.  God, whom all things serve, that serve, to whom is compliant every virtuous soul.  By whose laws the poles revolve, the stars fulfill their courses, the sun enlivens the day, the moon tempers the night: and all the framework of things, day after day by turns of light and gloom, month after month by waxings and wanings of the moon, year after year by unceasing order of spring and summer and fall and winter, and through the mighty orbs of time, folding and refolding upon themselves, as the stars still recur to their first conjunctions, maintains, so far as mere visible matter allows, the mighty constancy of things.  God, by whose laws the choice of the soul is free, and to the good rewards and to the evil pains are distributed by necessities settled throughout all natures.  Who hast made man after Thine image and likeness, as he who has come to know himself discovers.  Hear me, hear me, graciously hear me, my God, my Lord, my King, my Father, my Cause, my Hope, my Wealth, my Honor, my House, my Country, my Health, my Light, my Life. Hear, hear, hear me graciously, in that way, all Thine own, which though known to few is to those few known so well.

    Henceforth Thee alone do I love, Thee alone I follow, Thee alone I seek, Thee alone am I prepared to serve, for Thou alone art rightly Lord, and of Thy lordship I desire to be.  Direct, I pray, and command whatever Thou wilt, but heal and open my ears, that I may hear Thine utterances.  Heal and open my eyes, that I may behold the signs of thy command.  Drive delusion from me, that I may recognize Thee.  O Lord, most merciful Father receive, I pray, Thy fugitive; enough already, surely, have I been punished, long enough have I served Thine enemies, whom Thou hast under Thy feet, long enough has error had its way with me.  To Thee I feel I must return: I knock; may Thy door be opened to me; teach me the way to Thee.

Soliloquies 2-5, Abridged.

 


 

Wisdom 9, 1-3

    O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things by thy word, and by thy wisdom has formed man to have dominion over the creatures thou hast made, and rule the world in holiness and righteousness, and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul, give me the wisdom that sits by thy throne.

 


 

Hymn to the Church

The Church's voice speaks:

        In my arms I still carry flowers from the wilderness,

the dew on my hair is from the valleys of the dawn of mankind.

        I have prayers that the meadows lend an ear to,

        I know how storms are tempered, how water is blessed.

 

I carry in my womb the secrets of the desert, on my head the noble web of ancient thought.

For I am mother to all earth’s children: why do you scorn me,  world, when my Heavenly Father makes me so great?

Behold, in me long-vanished generations still kneel, and out of my soul many pagans shine towards the infinite.

I lay hidden in the temples of their gods,

I was darkly present in the sayings of their wise men.

I was on the towers with their star-gazers,

          I was with the solitary women on whom the spirit descended.

          I was the desire of all times, I was the light of all times,

          I am the fullness of all times.

          I am their great union, I am their eternal oneness.

          I am the way of all their ways, on me the millennia are drawn to God.

-- Gertrude von Le Fort’s collection Hymns to the Church (translated by Margaret Chanler and published in 1942 by Sheed & Ward)

 


 

Prayer of Praise

Lord our God,
You who are the source of all life
Let us joyfully praise you:
Let us worship you for the gift of Jesus your Son
Who came to earth, that before the open heavens,
This earth might direct its hopes and plans towards you.
Let us acclaim you for the salvation
that your Son offers to all humanity
Let us honor you for the gift of the Spirit
through whom you renew the universe.
Let us praise you when our churches,
our communities and congregations draw from 
you the strength to break through the barriers of death and division.
Let us praise you when our world is able, through your assembled people,
to find reason still to hope in Christ our Lord. Amen.

--From the Vatican Website www.vatican.net

 

For more prayers on this site, CLICK HERE

 

 

Photos of Sunrises and Sunsets Courtesy of EBible Teacher

 


 

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