Praying at Home Today: Wednesday 22 September 2021
Praying at home today:
The Season of Creation: The human roots of the ecological crisis
Thinking about the human condition
For four weeks, following the first Sunday in September until the day before Harvest Sunday, we will be focussing on the season of creation, in preparation for the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.
Although we will follow our usual form of prayer, our readings and some other material will follow those given in Daily Prayer of the Scottish Episcopal Church for this Season of Creation.
This is a good time to be grateful for our beautiful, yet fragile world, and to dedicate ourselves anew as faithful stewards to its protection.
A warm welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.
If this is your first visit to this website, then you might like to read about the common elements and the suggested structure for each day’s prayer.
Opening to the Word
You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
From whom and through whom and to whom are all things.
To God be the glory for ever. Amen.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
For God has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in God’s holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek God,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Hic accipiet benedictionem a Domino,
et misericordiam a Deo salutari suo.
Haec est generatio quaerentium eum,
quaerentium faciem Dei Jacob.
Il obtiendra la bénédiction de l’Eternel,
la justice du Dieu de son salut.
Telle est la génération de ceux qui te cherchent,
qui aspirent après toi, Dieu de Jacob!
The Liturgy of the Word
Here is today’s Bible reading.
During these four weeks of the Season of Creation, I’m reading Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato si’, mi’ Signore – Praise to you, my Lord (LS) – and I hope to share with you a few nuggets from the Church’s social teaching on Creation and our stewardship of this planet we call our home.
In this third week, he explores the human roots of the ecological crisis (LS101).
Thinking about the human condition:
The crisis and effects of modern anthropomorphism
Francis finished the previous section about the globalisation of technology, saying that
Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur (LS114).
As it is, modern anthropomorphism – the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities – has paradoxically ended up prizing technical thought over reality, since, as Romano Guardini wrote in The End of the Modern World (1956),
the technological mind sees nature as an insensate order, as a cold body of facts, as a mere ‘given’, as an object of utility, as raw material to be hammered into useful shape; it views the cosmos similarly as a mere ‘space’ into which objects can be thrown with complete indifference.
Francis continues: When human beings fail to find their true place in this world, they misunderstand themselves and end up acting against themselves (LS115).
The tendency to put human beings at the centre of the world militates against shared understanding and any effort to strengthen social bonds; its “mastery over the world”, gives the impression that the protection of nature is only for the faint-hearted, whereas in fact this “dominion” over the universe should be seen rather as responsible stewardship (LS116).
Disregarding the message of nature itself is but one of the signs that there is something very wrong with the world; when we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities, it becomes hard to hear the cry of nature itself: everything is connected. We act as dominators at our peril for the very foundations of our life begin to crumble for, as John Paul II wrote:
Instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the world of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature (cf. LS117).
This leads to a constant schizophrenia, in which a technology that sees no intrinsic value in lesser beings coexists with the other extreme, which sees no special value in human beings. We cannot renew our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself (LS118).
For Christians (and indeed other believers), there is an added dimension: since human beings possess a particular dignity above other creatures, we need to have esteem for each person and respect for others. It is precisely the fact that we can be open to others, knowing, loving and entering into dialogue with them, that gives us that nobility. Our relationship with the world must not damage this social relationship or our relationship with God. This particularly affects our relationships with the most fragile members of society, including the yet unborn (LS119-20).
This misguided anthropomorphism also leads to a misguided lifestyle:
When human beings place themselves at the centre, they give absolute priority to immediate convenience and all else becomes relative… [seeing] everything as irrelevant unless it serves one’s own immediate interests… leading to environmental degradation and social decay (LS122),
in which one person takes advantage of another, treating others as mere objects, as forced labour or slaves.
The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests.
This exploitation is also seen in allowing the market to regulate the economy, with its impact on nature and society seen only as collateral damage. Likewise with exploitation through human trafficking, the drug trade, the selling of children. If culture is corrupt, then no laws will be able to stop this kind of behaviour.
What can we do?
We can reflect on our attitude towards one another and our planet.
Do we care about where our clothes and tech come from?
What can I change in my buying habits today?
The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers;
the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted
under its inhabitants;
For they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt.
Therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled, and few people are left.
The wine dries up, the vine languishes,
all the merry-hearted sigh.
Music for reflection
Creation waits in hope for God’s children to be revealed.
Creation waits in hope for God’s children to be revealed.
That Creation may be set free from its bondage to decay.
For God’s children to be revealed.
Glory to God, Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit.
Creation waits in hope for God’s children to be revealed.
We continue our journey in faith today:
- for all preparing for the COP26 Climate Conference
- for the small steps we take to combat climate change
- for all who inspire us.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for the care of people of all ages suffering mental illness
and for John and Judith Crook.)
For all who have asked for our prayers.
a moment of silence
Pray for us all
The Lord’s Prayer
We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificetur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié,
que ton règne vienne,
que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offenses,
comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation
mais délivre-nous du Mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth,
you created humankind in your own image
and entrusted the whole world to human care:
give us grace to serve you faithfully,
that we might be trustworthy stewards of your creation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect for the Season of Creation
Returning to the world
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Thank you for joining us in praying at home.
Oremus pro invicem.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
* You can find more organ music from Holy Trinity Church, Stirling
on Alistair Warwick‘s website and on SoundCloud
There are several books by Brother Roger of the Taizé Community from many booksellers.
You can buy The Complete Chronicles of Narnia at Bookshop.org
Other worship resources
- Worship resources from Holy Trinity Church, Stirling, Scotland
- Music for reflection
- RSCM: Hymn for the Day and Sunday Self-Service
- Liturgy resources from New Zealand – Aotearoa
- Prayer live from Taizé
- CCC – Christ, Covid, Community (Facebook Group)
- Live-streamed liturgy from Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
The lectionary for weekdays is taken from the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.
In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.
English Bible texts are usually from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.
French Bible texts are usually from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.
This website is free to use but it is not cheap to run.
If you make a purchases by clicking links on this website, these will cost you no more than buying directly from the supplier; we may receive a small commission, which helps with the costs of maintaining and running this website.
Praying at Home (part of The Art of Music) is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
Liturgy | Lectionary | Celtic Spirituality
Amazon Music Unlimited (30 days free)