Ninth Day of Climate Change Novena

Feast of St. Catherine of Siena – Day of the Climate March, April 29 2017

Prayer:

Watch the video on YouTube entitled, “Sunrise” by Brian Craig, and soak in the hope of a new day.

According to Catherine,

O Fire Ever Blazing, the soul who comes to know herself in
You finds Your greatness wherever she turns,
even in the tiniest things, in people and in all created things,
for in all of them she sees your power and
wisdom and mercy.

Study:

We have received many study resources over the days of this novena – many more than we could have covered in a mere nine days. Today review those sources and consider:

To which ones will you return? To which ones will you dig into a little deeper?

We Dominicans, both sisters and associates, have studied the life and writings of Catherine. As we review her life now, consider:

What might she be able to teach us today, so that we might enkindle a new sense of recommitment to finding God as we turn to Earth?

Act:  

March 29th is the day of the Climate March. Everyone cannot go to Washington, DC for the March, so here is a resource so that you can march in a city near you https://peoplesclimate.org/#map.

If you are unable to attend a March, there are other ways to participate:

And most importantly we must continue to keep the energy and spirit of this day alive all the days after the March and our novena, remembering that our sister Catherine calls us to “Preach the truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.”

For further prayer, study, and action, you can order the DVD, Immersed in God’s Creation: Catherine of Siena from Amazon. It was created in 2009 by the Earth Council of the OPSCC, and the message is even more needed more today.

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Eighth Day of Climate Change Novena

Recommit to the Preamble of the Earth Charter, April 28 2017

Prayer:

In 2016 on Vatican Radio Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Papal Household, urged Christians to glorify God for creation, saying “the primary duty of human beings towards creation is to lend it a voice.” He said St Francis of Assisi did not pray “for creation” but instead prayed “with creation” or “because of creation.” He noted that “the sovereignty of human beings over the cosmos” does not entail “the triumphalism of our species but the assumption of responsibility toward the weak, the poor, the defenseless.”

Earth teach me freedom
   as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me regeneration
   as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
   as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
   as dry fields weep with rain. — from Ute prayer

Study:

First, simply go to http://earthcharter.org/discover/the-earth-charter/ and read the Preamble to theEarth Charter. Ask yourself if you resonate with the challenges named there. How might you move those challenges forward?

Second, familiarize yourself with the many links available on the Earth Charter website. For more opportunities to refresh yourself to the charter and then to recommit yourself to its principles, go to http://earthcharter.org/learn/ where you will find a treasure trove of resources for learning about the Earth Charter, as well as for teaching it, including toolkits and teachers’ guides.

Act: 

First, after you have spent some time reading and reflecting, choose one or two principles with which you particularly resonate.

  • What are ways that the principle(s) could be embodied individually in your local area or community?
  • What are global situations that need the application of this principle? How can you speak out on behalf of that principle(s)?

Second, name or learn about a local sustainable development issue in your local community.

  • Which of the Earth Charter principles (and perhaps there is more than one) relates to the issue? How?
  • How would this situation change over time if the principle(s) were practiced as you envision they could be?

And third, can you commit to the spirit and aims of the Earth Charter? Write in your journal some tangible and measurable way you can do that.

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Seventh Day of Climate Change Novena

Recommit to Paris 2015, April 27, 2017

Pray: 

We join with Earth and with each other
To bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air. 

We join with Earth and with each other
To renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures.

We join with Earth and with each other
To celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars. 

We join with Earth and with each other
To recreate the human community, to promote justice and peace, to remember our children.

We join with Earth and with each other
We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of  Earth and renewal of all life.

– Prayer from UN Environmental Sabbath Programme

Study:

Is the Paris Agreement (1) effectively stalled, perhaps even dead in the water?  Several nations are re-thinking their commitment, primarily due to financial or other constraints.  Others, including Sweden, Germany, France, and China, remain committed despite US threats to back out.  In spite of President Trump’s campaign promise to leave the Agreement, he and his policy advisors are currently divided about US withdrawal. The President plans to make a decision by the end of May. In the meantime he has made drastic budget cuts and policy changes to the EPA and issued an order to dismantle President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (2).

We can bemoan the federal government’s actions and think that all our previous efforts have been wasted, that hope for Earth is, if not lost, then well on its way to being so.  Or we can remember the words of several of the world’s leaders who at the end of the Paris talks admitted that they were moved to action by the considerable efforts of faith communities, that they rely on public pressure to motivate them!  We also need to remember that Earth, though a global reality, acts locally! It is local effort that moves the greater whole. Even after President Trump’s election, many states continue to move forward on renewable energy efforts, even to enacting their own Clean Energy Plan.

Energy and enthusiasm for grassroots efforts and for massive climate marches has not waned. Witness plans for the April 29, 2017 Climate March.

Act:

Google People’s Climate March and find out what events are scheduled in your area. Join your efforts to make it a success, in whatever capacity you have: If you can’t physically attend:

  • Let your legislators know you support climate action
  • Talk to friends, families, others about the need for climate action
  • Pray, plan prayer vigils or services, ask others to join you for a time of prayer to support the event
  • Become more knowledgeable about the effects of climate change on your local area
  • Read those sections of Laudato Si’ that pertain to climate change and the ramifications for the poor and vulnerable
  • Remain positive and hopeful!

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Of water flowing, rising and falling,
Sometimes advancing, sometimes receding.
May the stream of your life flow unimpeded!
Deep peace of the running wave to you!

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Which fans your face on a sultry day,
The air which you breathe deeply, rhythmically,
Which imparts to you energy, consciousness, life.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you!

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Who, herself unmoving, harbours the movements
And facilitates the life of the ten thousand creatures.
While resting contented, stable, tranquil.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you!

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Which stay invisible till darkness falls
And discloses their pure and shining presence
Beaming down in compassion on our turning world.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you!

Traditional Gaelic blessing
(1) Signed in December 2015 and ratified in October 2016, the Agreement commits nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) of pre-industrial levels by 2050.

(2) Each state is required to incrementally reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from power plants 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. Regulation is implemented by the EPA under the Clean Air Act.

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Sixth Day of Climate Change Novena

Post Card Campaign, April 26, 2017

Pray: 

Listen to: “Love Song to the Earth” on You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBEGxqJKup8

Be with the sentiment: “Earth: You are no ordinary place.  You are a diamond in the Universe and Heaven’s poetry to us. “  Let yourself be moved to prayer.

Study:

Watch the following brief segment from Morning Joe featuring economist and Director of the Earth Institute, Jeffery Sachs speaking about Decarbonin ziation.  http://jeffsachs.org/2014/07/a-low-carbon-economy-by-2050/

If you wish review the Executive Summary of the Report at: http://deepdecarbonization.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DDPP_EXESUM1.pdf.

Note: There is a lot less reading than appears to because of introductory comments and multiple graphics.

Act:

Send a post card to The President at:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500

President Trump needs to know the reducing carbon emissions can help build the stronger economy he has promised, even if he doesn’t believe in climate change!   Send him the following post card.  You may even wish get multiple copies of the post card made and leave them in strategic places where others can pick it up and mail it to him.

Dear Mr. President:
Low Carbon policies are good not only for the planet,
but also for the economy.
Please act accordingly.
Thank You!

Your Name
Your Address

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Fifth Day of Climate Change Novena

Outreach to Investors and Communication to ExxonMobil – April 25, 2017

Prayer:

Let us align ourselves with ever present HOLY WISDOM who, “roaming from one end of the Earth to other, seeks to order all things for good.” ( Wisdom 7:26)  

Silent Reflection: We remind ourselves of our place in time and our connectedness with those who have gone before us, and those who will come after us, as well as those living now.

Readings:

“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.  We are coming of age on a finite planet and only just now recognizing that it is finite.  How we make a transition to a stabilized and still prosperous relationship with Earth and each other is the story of our time.”

Our faith traditions and sacred texts call upon us all to consider the spiritual dimension of the crisis of climate change, to exercise leadership in putting the long-term interest of humanity and the planet—the common good– ahead of the short term concerns.

“ Love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness. “ – Wendell Berry

Silent Reflection

A Litany of Life 

We live in relation to all things, all things live within us.
We live by the sun, we move with the stars.
We eat from the Earth, we drink from the rain, we breathe from the air.
We share with all creatures; we have strength through their gifts.
We have the privilege of seeing and understanding; we have responsibility of caring and protecting; we have the joy of celebrating.
We are full of the grace of creation.
We are grateful; we rejoice in all life.
Amen, Amen. 

Study:

Many of our Congregations have been working with corporations on climate change since the early 1990s. While we work with companies in all sectors, one focus has been on ExxonMobil, because they funded much of the dis-information (lies) about climate change over the decades.

This year 54 institutional investors (representing $4.5 trillion in assets under management) lead by the State of New York Common Retirement Program and the Church of England are asking the company to engage in scenario planning based on the 2° Celsius commitment agreed to in the Paris Climate Treaty. Seven of the 54 investors are Dominican institutions. The attached shareholder resolution needs your help to deliver greater support.

On a positive note, in response to the Executive Order rolling back the Clean Power Plan, ExxonMobil made public their letter to the White House supporting the Paris Climate Treaty.

Act: 

First, after you have spent some time reading and reflecting, choose one or two principles with which you particularly resonate.

  • What are ways that the principle(s) could be embodied individually in your local area or community?
  • What are global situations that need the application of this principle? How can you speak out on behalf of that principle(s)?

Second, name or learn about a local sustainable development issue in your local community.

  • Which of the Earth Charter principles (and perhaps there is more than one) relates to the issue? How?
  • How would this situation change over time if the principle(s) were practiced as you envision they could be?

And third, can you commit to the spirit and aims of the Earth Charter? Write in your journal some tangible and measurable way you can do that.

Source of prayer:  Thomas Friedman; Canadian Interfaith Call; Irish Catholic Bishops
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Fourth Day of Climate Change Novena

Investing in Climate Justice, April 24, 2017

Pray:

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.

– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’

Study:

In 2015 at our Dominican Sisters Conference Convocation in Chicago, we blessed our sisters who would be traveling to the Paris Climate Treaty as our representatives. This was also a moment of celebration for all 19 of the DSC member congregations committed to investing in Climate Solutions. Some Congregations have already made investments, and the member congregations of the OPSCC expect to launch a Climate Justice Fund in the next few months that will be available to all the DSC congregations.

Despite the discouraging news we hear . . . despite the shift in the government in the United States, climate investment is growing. Here is a short list of resources to assist you in your study so that you and your Congregations can further our commitments.

Resources:

A comprehensive overview of climate finance and the options that are emerging for investors.
http://tricri.org/climate-finance/

World Resources Institute offers a perspective of how investments may support those in developing countries.
http://www.wri.org/our-work/project/climate-finance

The United Nations is celebrating the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All
http://www.se4all.org/decade

Act:

All 19 Dominican Congregations of the DSC committed to Climate Justice Investments. What investments are your Congregations making?

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Third Day of Climate Change Novena

Bringing #Mercy2Earth, April 23, 2017

Prayer:           

In his message “Show Mercy to our Common Home” Pope Francis named caring for our common home as a new act of mercy.  Given Earth Day (April 22) and Divine Mercy Sunday (April 23) happen together on the same weekend, we highlight this new act of mercy as an integral part of Christian life.

As you begin, take a moment to remember that you are in the presence of our loving Creator.  Offer a prayer for the grace to listen deeply to God’s word within you.

Reflection:   Show Mercy to our Common Home
A New Work of Mercy

“Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy, for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in his name.”

To paraphrase Saint James, “we can say that mercy without works is dead … In our rapidly changing and increasingly globalized world, many new forms of poverty are appearing. In response to them, we need to be creative in developing new and practical forms of charitable outreach as concrete expressions of the way of mercy.”

“We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness… But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.”

Obviously “human life itself and everything it embraces” includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home.

As a spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a “grateful contemplation of God’s world” (Laudato Si’, 214) which “allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us” (ibid., 85). As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world” (ibid., 230-31).

PRAY for all directly impacted by the effects of climate change
…for the waters of the world,
…for Earth’s soil
…for all creatures
…for our brothers and sisters around the world
…for future generations
                    God of Creation, help us to respect, renew and show mercy to Earth.

STUDY        Read Pope Francis’ message:  “Show Mercy to our Common Home

Explore the Mercy2Earth website

ACT             Giving thanks for God’s mercy and the gift of creation, choose your act of mercy for our common home.  See 30 Acts of Mercy for our Common Home for possibilities.

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