Eighth Day of Climate Change Novena

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


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


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.


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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