Thursday, April 22, 2010

The REAL Earth Day

In the book of Genesis, we read of how the LORD told man to "fill the earth and subdue it." Such was the original call, not to deplete the resources of the earth, but to be their proper stewards. Naturally, it helps to be able to live to fulfill that task. Such is the right of humanity to life, one which must by definition supersede all others. appears to be succeeding with their own special "Earth Day" campaign.

Meanwhile, in the Eastern Church, the prayer of Great Vespers, as well as the Vigils through the night, begins with Psalm 103(104).

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
    You are very great, O Lord my God!

Clothed in pomp and brilliance,
    arrayed with light as with a cloak.

Stretching out the sky as a tent-cloth,
    covering your lofty walls with water.

You make the clouds your conveyance,
    You surge upon the wings of the wind.

You make spirits your messengers
    and flaming fires your attendants.

You settle the earth on its firm foundation:
    it shall stand unmoved from age to age.

The abyss covers it like a garment;
    waters stand over the mountains.

At your rebuke, they will take to flight,
    at the peal of your thunder they will fear.

They hurdle the hills and run down the dales
    to the place you have chosen for them.

You have set up a boundary not to be passed:
    they shall never return to cover the earth.

Down in the gullies You make springs to rise:
    waters shall go down between the mountains.

They shall give drink to the beasts of the field:
    wild asses will seek them to quench their thirst.

The birds of the sky will abide by them:
    from among the rocks they will raise their song.

From your lofty halls You refresh the mountains;
    the earth shall be fed with the fruit of your works.

You make green pastures for the cattle
    and food-plants for the service of man,

So that bread may be brought forth from the earth
    and wine that gladdens the heart of man.

So that oil may put a gleam upon his face
    and that bread may strengthen the heart of man.

The trees of the plain will be satisfied,
    the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.

The sparrows will build their nests in them
    and the herons will call them their home.

To the deer belong high mountains,
    to rodents the shelter of the rocks.

You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows the time of its setting.

You establish darkness and it is night
    wherein the forest creatures prowl around.

Young lions roar for their prey
    and call out to God for their meat.

As the sun rises they will come together
    and lay themselves down in their dens.

Man will go out to his labor
    and work until eventide.

How great are your works, O Lord!
    In wisdom You have wrought them all:
        the earth is filled with your creatures.

Even the wide and open sea itself:
    within it there are countless creeping things,
        living beings small and large.

Upon it there are ships a-sailing
    and that great beast You made to have fun.

All of them look up to You
    to give them their food in due time.

You provide and they gather up;
    you open your hand and they are full.

You hide your face and they cringe,
    you suspend their breath and they die
        and return to their dust.

You send forth your breath and they live:
    You renew the face of the earth!

May the Lord's glory endure forever,
    may the Lord rejoice in his works.

He looks upon the earth and makes it quake,
    He touches the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live,
    I will praise my God as long as I last.

Would that my thoughts be pleasing to Him
    and I will rejoice in the Lord.

May the sinners vanish from the earth
    and may the wicked be no more.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

The sun knows the time of its setting:
    You establish darkness and it is night.

How great are your works, O Lord!
    In wisdom You have wrought them all.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
    now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

To be a Catholic, is not to praise creation, but the Creator.

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