As we conclude this week of reflection on environmental justice and water, you will find prayer experiences below meant as suggestions. Choose one to pray with or allow the Spirit to move you to pray however you feel called.
Note: For artists or writers, feel free to integrate art or journaling into any these prayer ideas.
— PRAYERFUL WATERSHED EXPLORATION —
If you are able, visit and prayerfully explore a water source in your watershed or the source of your drinking water today.
If you are unable to visit one of these places, find an image online or close your eyes and imagine being there.
- Consider how the flow of this water connects you to other parts of creation.
- When water leaves your neighborhood or community, what other communities does it pass through? Where does it ultimately flow?
- How does this water sustain life along its path?
- What other questions or observations arise for you?
Spend as much time in prayer as you’d like. When you are finished, close with a “Glory Be” or with some physical action to express your gratitude for the water in the watershed where you live.
— WATERSHED ART REFLECTION —
Reflect on these paintings by Casey Murano, a young adult Catholic artist, who explores the watershed where she lives through her art and who paints “to engage with the social, political, environmental, and spiritual implications of place.”
What emotions or thoughts that arise as you spend time with these paintings? Share whatever comes up for you with God in prayer.
If you feel so moved, create a piece of art in any medium— using words, crayons, computer code, dance, etc.— to honor the watershed where you live.
— SCRIPTURE —
Pray with the following scripture:
“You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” —Isaiah 58:11
Suggestion for prayer: Take a few deep breaths and then read this verse slowly, softly, and out loud. Repeat it a few times if you feel so moved. What comes to your heart and mind? Share it with God.
Listen to an audio recording of the Examen here.
St. Ignatius of Loyola encourages us to pray the Examen, a prayer that makes space for us to notice God’s movements in our daily lives. The Examen also helps us to explore how God is calling us to live and use our gifts in the world. Use the steps of the Examen below to prayerfully review the past week of the challenge.
- Become aware of God’s presence.
Take a few minutes to center yourself and to remember that you are always in the loving presence of God.
- Review the week with gratitude.
As you think back over the past week as you engaged with the challenge, where do moments of gratitude arise? What were the gifts that you received? Be as specific as possible.
- Notice your emotions.
Let images or learnings from the week pass by like scenes from a movie. Notice them, but let them go as new images arise. What feelings or thoughts emerge, and what might God be saying to you through these emotions?
- Pick one feature of the week.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you to an important moment in your week. Was there a particular resource or theme that caused a strong emotion in you, positive or negative? Lovingly explore it with God.
St. Ignatius reminds us that God speaks to us and shows us what we value through our tears. Did anything you experienced bring you to tears? Examine one of these moments in the loving presence of God.
- Look forward to tomorrow
Ask God for the strength and hope to continue to engage in learning, prayer, and action for environmental justice in the week ahead. How might God be calling you to respond to what you’ve learned or what came up for you in prayer? Do you feel inspired to take a particular action at this point? Has a seed been planted for the future?
Close your prayer session by having honest conversation with God or Jesus about what you felt and experienced during this past week of the challenge or during this time in prayer.
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