Pope Francis’ wonderful teaching, Laudato si: on the Care of our Common Home, ends with two prayers he composed: A Prayer for Our Earth, and A Christian Prayer in Union with all Creation.
They powerfully express the Christian-Franciscan vision of our place before God as one with all He has created. These prayers are filled with a spirit of praise and joyful gratitude, and also a humble awareness of failure and our need for grace to live out our divinely-given vocation on this earth.
One would hope these prayers become well known among the Lord’s disciples and help form our self-understanding as creatures, children and servants of the Most High God.
For the ancient principle still holds true: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi – as we worship, so we believe, so we live.
A Prayer for our Earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universeand 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 creatureas 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.
A Christian prayer in union with creation
Father, we praise you with all your creatures. They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,through you all things were made. You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes. Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory. Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail. You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good. Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulnessfor every being that you have made. Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and moneythat they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you! Amen.