Confession on the Feast Day of St. Francis

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Holy God, spark of Creation and fire of Love, you who created the cosmos, who shaped every living thing uniquely in your image, we have sinned most grievously against you.

 

Whole species, creatures who are our brothers and sisters, are dying.  We have systematically destroyed them because they interfere with the production of crops and livestock.  We have poisoned them with the waste of our industries. They do not matter to us because they do not fit our narrow criteria for beauty or worth – or they frighten us.  We do not understand, and so we kill.

Lord God, forgive us.

 

Whole ecosystems give way as we build new neighborhoods, new malls, new industrial complexes, new roads.  All our brothers and sisters suffer as they cannot find the food and clean water to sustain them. They come into our neighborhoods and raid our trash, kill our pets, and burrow into the sides of our homes because we have destroyed their worlds and they have no other way to go on.

Lord God, forgive us.

 

The poorest among our human kin suffer first and most profoundly when our abuses of land and water bring catastrophe.

Lord God, forgive us.

 

Forgive us the arrogance of looking around us and seeing “natural resources” where we should see our kin, the tree people, the stone people, all creatures whom you watch over with profound love. Forgive us the pride, the tunnel vision, and the insecurity that lead us to believe that we can own land and water and do what we want with it.

Lord God, forgive us.

 

Forgive us the short-sighted ignorance that leads us to see waterways and harbors and the great ocean itself, as places where we can dump our waste.  Forgive us our ignorance of the wholesale destruction that polluting groundwater causes.

Lord God, forgive us.

 

Forgive us our wars, with our increasingly more destructive weaponry.  Forgive us for believing we can solve our disagreements through destroying our enemies.  Forgive us for once again building our Towers of Babel.

Lord God, forgive us.

 

Help us, Creator God, to grow in understanding and love.  As Saint Francis guides us to do, help us to embrace Lady Poverty and to let go of our need for security.  Help us to rely on you, for you have promised to care for us. Help us to remember that we belong to you. Following the example of St. Francis, help us, at any cost, to nurture and protect the poor among us through living fully into our freeing dependency on you.

Amen.

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Kenrick Francis by
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Very soothing

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