"Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it.” Lao-Tze, Chinese philosopher.
Much has been written about water. This precious liquid is essential to growing crops and, therefore, plays an significant role in our efforts to end world hunger.
Water is also a powerful symbol of cleansing and renewal, more often associated with baptisms and Easter. The powers of renewal are just as relevant in the Advent and Christmas season. Think of water as a mountain stream that turns into a beating heart awaiting the birth of Christ.
So as we approach Christmas, I would like to share this prayer, a gift from Franciscan Sister Joan Brown. Joan, a good friend of Bread for the World-New Mexico, wears many hats in her service to the poor and God's Earth. Among other things, she serves on the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council and the Ecological Ministry at the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and is involved with Pax Christi. She was recently elected to the national board of directors of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.
Prayer of Water
"Be praised my God for Sister Water who is useful, humble, precious and pure."
As St. Francis prayed in great gratitude for Sister Water,
we pray in thankfulness for her life sustaining generosity.
Oh, water, in your mysterious beauty you cause the desert to bloom.
One tiny drop spread collected with thousands of drops
waters seeds and future harvests to feed us and all creatures.
One tiny drop multiplied quenches our burning thirst.
Our bodies, like the body of earth, are over 75% water.
We are a water people.
We are a water planet.
Oh compassionate God, Creator who breathed over the waters
we seek forgiveness for our mindless use of water.
We beg for wisdom to know how to conserve and cherish water,
We ask healing for the ways that we disrespect and contaminate our sister.
In this drought time we wait and watch for the gift of rain upon earth.
We watch and wait for the rain of grace into our souls.
Come free us from hatred, greed, fear, and our lack of love for your gifts upon earth.
Transform us into living streams of water
flowing green and moist with life, hope and love for earth and all peoples.
We pray this prayer in the name of God who is gracious Creator, Jesus who is
Eternal Word, and Spirit who is Wellspring of Wisdom.
Joan Brown, OSF, Ecological Ministry of the Social Justice Office, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
[Note: The above image is the cover for the book Water: Life Force, Wet, Wonderful and Life-inspiring, authored by Maggie Black. The book celebrates water – its history and its many roles in the human and natural world. The author delves into literary, historical and folkloric sources for extracts and quotations that highlight and complement more than 90 photographs demonstrating the majesty of water. These images range from natural wonders, such as oceans, mighty rivers and snow-capped mountains, to everyday scenes of people interacting with water; planting seedlings, boiling kettles and jumping puddles].