Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Prayer Litany for Remembrance Sunday by Tui Bevin

Confession, Thanksgiving and Intercession Psalm written by Tui Bevin

Merciful God:
We confess we live in a world with abuse, bullying and consumerism;
despair, ecological degradation & fake facts;
Lord, have mercy upon us

We confess we live in a world with global warming, hunger and inequality;
jealousy, killing fields and labelling;
Lord, have mercy upon us

We confess we live in a world with military proliferation, nihilism and oppression;
pollution, quackery and religious intolerance;
Lord, have mercy upon us

We confess we live in a world with slavery, terrorism & unprecedented threats to creation;
too many vulnerable, war and xenophobia;
Lord, have mercy upon us

We confess we live in a world with youth underemployment
and zillions of pieces of plastic and rubbish polluting our seas, land, air and space;
Lord, have mercy upon us

Merciful Lord,
We confess we can be part of the problem,
living with insufficient thought
of You, others, our world or the future;

Lord, have mercy upon us


Let us pray.
Generous God:
We give thanks for artists, books and all creation;
dreams and diversity, education and friendship;
Lord, our cup overflows

We give thanks for generosity, health and inspiration;
Jesus, kindness and love and laughter;
Lord, our cup overflows

We give thanks for mentors, nature’s bounty, and the oceans;
pets and prayer, quirkiness and rainbows;
Lord, our cup overflows

We give thanks for sunshine, thinking, and unconditional love;
voting, water and xylophones;
Lord, our cup overflows

We give thanks for youthfulness, zinnias
and all the things that sustain us;
Lord, our cup overflows

Generous Lord, You are the source of all and give us all we need and more.
Help us be grateful and give You thanks and praise.

Compassionate God:
We also pray for aroha, bravery to speak out, and compassion;
     discernment, the earth, and forgiveness;
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for   generosity, hope and integrity;
justice, Kiwi ingenuity and love;
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for   music making, neighbourliness and openness;
peacemaking, questing and resourcefulness;
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for   shalom, thankfulness and unity;
vision, wisdom and expansiveness;
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for   understanding of Your will for us, Your kingdom here on earth,
and zeal for the road ahead;
Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord God, You are the alpha and omega,  before any beginning and beyond any ending.  You have given us all we need ~ and more.   Help us use what we have
to live each moment with the end in mind, Your end.
Lord, hear our prayers both spoken and unspoken


Sermon Opoho Church Sunday 11 November, 2018 Pentecost 25 Remembrance Sunday

Readings:  Hebrews 9:24-28   Mark 12:38-44

We pray:  Loving God, in this time of reflection, may our hearts and minds be open to your word for us today.  May we be strengthened and encouraged in your way we pray. Amen. 

It was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the war they called the Great War was formally ended.  It was a war unlike any other – pulling in nations from around the globe, using increasingly destructive technology in a society that gave orders with scant regard for human worth, where conditions were beyond belief.  It was called the war to end all wars, horror to end all horrors. Not so - we can say 100 years later.  Not only do we understand that the violence, the horror and the pain did not end with the signing of the armistice, we can also list however many wars came after and still continue.  
As the ODT editorial said on Friday – it was an ugly, unnecessary, futile war – as so many are.
There is an awful lot of rhetoric both attacking and defending the process of war. Some seem unable to separate the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought believing they had no choice from the fact that war is an abhorrent and futile act.  Others deride those who went, seeking to lay blame from a distance of 100 years without understanding decisions made in the context of time and culture – and heart.  Let’s stop playing that useless game – let us instead examine what it is that we do as God’s people to stop the avalanche of violence and war.

In preparing for today, I was sent a reading and prayer of confession penned by Malcolm Gordon intended for Remembrance Sunday. In the dialogue he has two people – one giving thanks for the end of the war and the other suggesting that we learnt nothing from it.  The second reader begins to list the conflicts that followed -  21 years later we were at it again –60 million  soldiers and civilians killed this time – and then the Cold War, the Korean War, the French Algerian War, the Sundanese Civil War, the Suez Crisis, the Vietnam war, the Six day war… and they continue.
As a society we don’t seem to know how to stop – as Christians we confess that we don’t seem to know how to find a different way.
We run the risk of sanctifying this war and the sacrifices made –rather than honouring those who gave their lives in so many ways – soldiers, medics, civilians…  We find it easier to identify our enemies rather than look for the value in those who we disagree with.  We prefer pre-emptive strikes because they can give us some control over our fear.
Hear this prayer from Malcolm
Dear God. 
We are sorry that there are so many wars, both in our past and in our present. Help the future to be different.
We are sorry there are so many people who think that war is a good idea. Please change their minds.
We are sorry that we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes, but keep finding ways to make them bigger and more painful. Can you show us a different way?
We are sorry that in our eagerness to remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought, we often sanctify the whole awful thing. Help us to tell the truth.
In your forgiveness, grant us new eyes to see our enemies as people made in Your image. In your forgiveness, grant us renewed imaginations to find constructive ways to resolve our conflicts.
In your forgiveness, grant us healed hearts that are not so vulnerable to fear, but which hold out hope for Your renewing of all things, of all people, the wiping of every tear from every face.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the prince of peace.  Amen.
On Thursday night we watched the movie Joyeux Noel about the coming together of the ‘enemy factions’ at the front on Christmas Eve 1914.  Two things struck me after watching this story again – one was that this coming together happened not just in one place but spread along the front – in fact, left to the people, peace could well have been declared in that moment.  But we all know it wasn’t – every effort was made to disband and destroy such ridiculous thinking.
The second – the encounter between the village priest who was compassionate, hands on, deeply moved to lead a simple mass that brought together the people of God and, on the other hand, his Bishop, eager to preach the destruction of the infidel and God on our side, to say that the priest had sinned by daring to speak of peace.  One believed he had the authority of the church, the other the authority of Jesus – and they were not the same.

And so, much as Adam was asking us last week ‘what is our response as Christians to the environmental catastrophe before us?’ today we need to ask ‘what is our response as Christians to the continuing use of violence and war in our world?’

In our Gospel reading today Jesus is calling out the priests and the scribes who fail to understand what the kingdom of God is about – who use their power to corrupt and their influence to gain respect for their own sake.  There is very little wriggle room for us in this reading – if you do not walk the path of humility, justice for the poor, generosity of spirit to all people  then be sure of the condemnation of God.

Some of the scribes were, says Jesus, drifting away from the Gospel –and it seems to me that this is the core of our teaching for today.  There are many who claim the name of Christian yet preach and practice aggression and selfishness and superiority – all of which give permission to treat others, especially the vulnerable as the enemy or as the expendable.   And some of the Scribes were doing just that.  Embedded in the gospel reading is the line ‘they [the Scribes] devour widow’s houses…’  And the question has to be asked - is the widow poor because her house was one that devoured by the Scribes?
So as the body of Christ – are there ways we are behaving as the scribes of this reading, where we have developed a Gospel of self importance, of serving ourselves?  And when we see it happening around us, are we doing something about it?

Where and when are we causing harm by our actions?  Are we failing to think of the consequences of the way we live our faith.  Do we prance around rather than humble ourselves to serve others? 
And especially for today - are we aware of the ways in which we condone or encourage division rather than reconciliation –where we prefer to dominate rather than walk alongside, where we oppress and ignore, where we see some as less valued or others as being not worthy of God’s love?  Does ‘God on our side’ creep into our faith understanding at all?
Do we practice economic violence in any way, are we tacitly encouraging a culture of poverty for some and extravagant wealth for others? 
For when we do any of these we are drifting away from the Gospel as revealed in Jesus Christ – and we need to haul ourselves back.

This remembering, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, those who went to war, those who never came back– we honour them by creating a way of living that does not allow war to be a solution, that does not present people of today with that dilemma of should we fight or not. 
This remembering is not about asking for the continuing sacrifice of lives to fight for peace but instead honouring those who have died by doing everything we can to live in the peace of Christ and, where there is conflict, to wage love not war! 
Just like those people at Christmas 1914 – like the priest and the soldiers for whom the presence of the infant Jesus reconciled them to each other and brought hope and peace to place of horror.

A prayer with its roots in words by Stanley Hauerwas
Dear Lord – at our feet lie the dead of our wars – the men and women, the children, the animals, the land.  We ask your mercy on these war dead.  We ask for the same mercy for ourselves, for our failure to be your peace, to be the end of war…We know we cannot will our way to peace, for when we try we end up fighting wars for peace.  So compel us with your love that we might be your peace, thus bringing life to this deadly world.  Amen.

Margaret Garland

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Sermon Opoho Church Sunday 4 November All Saints from Adam Currie

The role of Christian Discipleship in the context of the ecological crisis.

Adam Currie - Opoho Church All-Saints Sunday - 4 Nov 2018

Scripture Readings: Revelation 21:1-6a, Mark 12:28-34

Humanity has a serious problem. We have failed to love, cherish and protect God’s creation. We have not been wise stewards of the Earth’s resources. We have failed to exercise proper prudence, anticipate and mitigate risks, and take adequate precautionary measures. We now face a grave ecological crisis.  Animal populations across the planet have fallen by an average of 60 percent since 1970. Humans have killed off over half of the worlds wildlife populations. To put this number into perspective, if there was a 60 percent decline in the human population, we would be emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. We are running at full speed towards total environmental collapse. I’m sure you know all of this. So I instead post a different question to you today: What is the role of Christian discipleship in the midst of the global ecological crisis? Today is All-Saints Sunday. One of the most celebrated saints among those with a passion for the natural world and ecology is, of course, St Frances - the remarkable, prophetic, transformative 12th century monk who is the patron saint for animals and the environment. St Francis is celebrated by all those with a passion for the natural world and ecology. It is fitting to reflect on what it means to care for God’s good creation – this fantastically rich and varied planet with its breathtaking beauty and grandeur that we are privileged to inhabit.

Such reflection is all the more fitting given the recent IPCC report outlining the perils of even 1.5 degrees of global warming, (let alone the 3 or 4 degrees we are headed for) as well as the upcoming United Nations conference on climate change, where I, along with thousands of academics, diplomats, faith leaders, and activists from all around the globe will come together in Poland at the end of this month to attempt to get as many of the 195 countries of the world as possible to codiy, implement, and ramp up their carbon reduction obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
Today, globally, we face a series of grave ecological crises. According to leading scientists, humanity is exceeding several critical planetary boundaries and time is rapidly running out to rectify the problem.[1] As Pope Francis highlighted earlier this year in his deeply moving Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si, we are failing to ‘care for our common home’. We have not been good stewards. We have not loved and cherished the natural world. Our ecological footprints are too large. Our carbon footprints are now massive. We are borrowing from the future and leaving our grandchildren a dreadful legacy – a huge, unsustainable ecological debt and colossal, irreversible damage. 

How then, as Christians, should we respond? What is God calling each of us to do at this critical time? St Francis of Assisi provides a marvellous role model. His life was marked by integrity, generosity, simplicity and authenticity. He shows us how to demonstrate our creaturely love and care, not only for the poor, needy and marginalized amongst humanity, but also for everything that God has created, everything that is fragile and vulnerable, everything that needs our loving protection. As Pope Francis observes, St Francis of Assisi demonstrated through his life and teaching the inseparable bonds that link ‘concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace’ (Laudato Si, p.10). He reveals how to we are to live – in particular, how we should live in harmony with God, with ourselves, with others and with nature.

For St Francis of Assisi, nature is a mirror of God; it reflects God’s heart, mind, imagination, creativity and passion. As we explore the human genome, for instance, do we not capture a glimpse of the very ‘language of God’ – as one of the leaders of the human genome project, Dr Francis Collins, called it? From this perspective, the ‘book of nature’, as it is sometimes called, serves as a valuable source of God’s revelation. In complementing the scriptures, it helps us see what God is truly like and how we ought to live.

For St Francis, humanity is an integral part of nature. We are not above, outside or beyond the natural realm. We are made from the dust of the earth (Gen 2:7). Our physical bodies consist of the creation’s elements, ‘we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters’ (Laudato Si, p.4). We are creatures. We are a fundamental part of the community of creation.

In his poetic Canticle of the Creatures St Francis saw our planet – our common home – as being – to quote Laudato Si (p.3) – ‘like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us’. St Francis wrote: ‘All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us, and produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs’. In the words of Psalm 145: “All your creation shall praise you …”.

Yet, tragically, as Pope Francis highlights:

 This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Laudato Si, pp.3-4), as St Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans (8:22).

Of course, we must be thankful for the abundant economic growth of the past century. This growth has yielded a dramatic improvement in the living standards of billions of people and substantially reduced poverty and material deprivation. But these benefits have come at a great and unneeded environmental cost. Here in New Zealand our problems include deteriorating water quality, the over-allocation of fresh water supplies, a significant per capita carbon footprint, poor land-use management, weak marine governance and threats to many native species. Since human settlement, we have lost 85% of our indigenous forests, nearly a hundred bird species, masses of valuable soil and much of our wetlands, and we have polluted at least 60% of our rivers.

Globally, the situation is even bleaker. The damage includes: widespread habitat destruction and degradation; air, land and water pollution; ozone depletion; soil erosion and desertification; the over-exploitation of scarce natural resources; climate change; ocean acidification; and massive deforestation. In terms of biodiversity loss, the species extinction rate is now estimated at about 1,000 times above the normal background evolutionary rate. Indeed, we are currently in the sixth great mass extinction event of the past 540 million years. Such events are where more than 50% of the planet's species are destroyed. The most recent mass extinction was about 65 million years ago. But unlike previous mass extinctions, which were the result of massive volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts, the current event is the product of human activity – much of it driven by greed. As the former Pope Benedict XVI observed at his Inaugural Mass in 2005: “The external deserts in the world are growing because our internal deserts have become so vast”.[2]

To compound matters, further environmental harm is now inevitable. This is because of the inertia or long lags in many natural and human systems – the climate system, our energy systems, our transport systems and our political systems. Our carbon emissions today, for example, will have damaging consequences for numerous generations, if not thousands of years. At current rates of emissions, we are likely to exceed within 25 years the carbon budget consistent with the internationally agreed warming cap of two degrees.  Time is running out. Accordingly, quick and effective action is imperative, both globally and locally.

Yet our responses have been muted and reluctant. Why is this? Perhaps it is partially because of what Margaret pointed out in her introduction to the readings: “We tend not to be so confident about the destination stories” - its far easier to look back on the past than it is to consider the future. Unfortunately, the magnitude of what is being lost and the huge risks humanity is running are largely invisible. Many people simply do not see the gravity of the problem. Another reason lies in deliberate moral disengagement: many people choose not see our destruction of the natural world. As Christians we must seek to unmask what is invisible and challenge any moral disengagement.

Bernie Krause, a musician and naturalist, spent four decades making sound recordings of many of the world's most pristine habitats, including some 15,000 species. Unfortunately, the loss of species over recent decades has been so extensive that around half these recordings are now archives – they cannot be repeated either because the relevant habitats have ceased to exist or because they have been totally compromised by human noise. As Krause has put it:

A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening … Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened. [This is the chorus that offers constant praise and worship to God ...]

There has been a massive decrease in the density and diversity of key vocal
creatures, both large and small. The sense of desolation extends beyond mere silence. If you listen to a damaged sound-scape … the community [of life] has been altered, and organisms have been destroyed, lost their habitat or been left to re-establish their places in the spectrum. As a result, some voices are gone entirely, while others aggressively compete to establish a new place in the increasingly disjointed chorus.[3]

These are the kinds of stories that need telling and retelling.

How should we respond?

But how, as Christians, should we respond? Surely, our first reaction must be one of lament, deep sorrow and repentance for the harm we have inflicted upon God’s good creation. Our trashing of the planet is sinful. Rather than preserving life, we have ‘become death, the destroyer of worlds’ (to quote the ancient Hindu holy book, known as the Bhagavad Gita – which translates to ‘the song of the Lord’). 

Second, we must be alert to the power of evil, including the sway of materialism and neoliberalism as well as the urge to leave environmental problems for others to fix. We are all responsible before God for our stewardship of the planet. We are also responsible to one another. Free-riding has no place amongst Christians. Nor is there room for complacency, denial or evasion of the truth. We must heed the best available scientific evidence and respond appropriately. But in so doing we must avoid the temptation to play the role of God – such as the desire to free ourselves from the proper limits of our creatureliness. For instance, we should avoid expensive and highly risky technological fixes. We should avoid masking or merely treating the symptoms of the problems we have generated; we must tackle the root causes.

Third, we need a broader and deeper conception of what loving our neighbour means, as we reflected on in today's Gospel Reading from Mark. Surely, our neighbours include not only those alive here and now, but also all those in the future who will suffer harm because of our actions and inactions today. Similarly, we need to apply the golden rule to all spheres of life – for instance, emitting unto others only as we would have them emit unto us!

And in taking a broader view of what neighbourly love means, we should follow St Francis of Assisi in seeing humanity as an integral part of an amazing community of creation. Hence, our compassion, like God's compassion, must extend to all forms of life, not only human life. We are called to love the world that God has made, treasure its resources and protect everything that is endangered. We should be slowing the pace of evolutionary loss, not dramatically increasing it.

Sadly, not all Christians share such views. As part of Generation Zero, Aotearoa New Zealand's youth climate advocacy group, I’ve engaged with a wide variety of church groups in the hope of building consensus and solidarity regarding climate change. But a depressingly large amount refused to talk to us, arguing that saving the planet was not part of the Gospel. Protecting the environment, they said, was not relevant for Christians. Such attitudes persist. Sometimes they reflect a denial of scientific evidence. Alternatively, they result from a certain kind of eschatology, namely the idea that Jesus will soon return and rescue believers from the coming doom, transporting them safely to Heaven. From this standpoint, the primary aim must be to save souls; being good stewards of the Earth is irrelevant. After all, the Earth will soon pass away.

But such an eschatology fits very uncomfortably with our Lord’s prayer: this highlights God’s desire for His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Equally, various scriptures suggest that God will ultimately redeem and renew the whole created order, not destroy or replace it. There will be both continuity and discontinuity. St Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1: 15-20 is instructive in this respect. St Paul speaks of God in Christ ‘reconciling all things’ to Himself in Christ, not only human beings.

But surely, it might be argued, God will not let humanity destroy the Earth. Surely God will intervene miraculously to change the biochemistry of the planet, thereby tempering the destructive forces which we have unleashed. The passage from Luke’s Gospel about Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee might be used to support this proposition. Hence, as the Earth’s ecological storms intensify – when the planet is about to be overwhelmed and ‘capsize’ – God will suddenly awake and calm the storm, saving humanity from its folly.

There are many reasons for doubting this interpretation of the passage from Luke’s Gospel. First, notice that it is Jesus who prompts the disciples to get into the boat and cross the lake. They do so at His beckoning. By contrast, there is no divine calling for humanity to cause ecological havoc.

Second, the storm on the Sea of Galilee was not the result of the disciples’ own actions or ineptitude. It came upon them from outside, unexpectedly. By contrast, the current ecological storms are of our own making. Moreover, the likely consequences of our actions have been known for decades. We are not destroying our common home in complete ignorance. We are doing so with open eyes and in the face or repeated warnings from the world’s leading scientific authorities. Greed, selfishness and powerful vested interests have prevailed over prudence and responsibility.

Third, in the current ecological storm it is not Jesus who lies asleep, but ourselves. We are sleep-walking to destruction.

Finally, it is true that Jesus’ calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee revealed his divine power – the power to control all the elements of nature, instantly. Understandably, the disciples were full of awe, wonder and fear. They marveled: “who is this who commands the winds and the water and they obey him?’

But this incident does not mean that God will miraculously save humanity from a self-inflicted ecologically disaster. To quote Rowan Williams:

… to suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as unchristian and unbiblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of individual folly or sin. This is not a creation in which there are no real risks; our [Christian] faith has always held that the inexhaustible love of God cannot compel justice or virtue; we are capable of doing immeasurable damage to ourselves as individuals, and it seems clear that we have the same terrible freedom as a human race.[4]

Does that mean that all is lost? No. There is no reason to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task or paralyzed by fear or foreboding. For in Christ, there are no grounds for defeatism or fatalism. “Behold”, Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). To quote Rowan Williams again: ‘God’s faithfulness stands, assuring us that even in the most appalling disaster, love will not let go”.[5]

Moreover, we must never conclude that our efforts to conserve, heal and restore God's creation are worthless. Doing what is right, responding to the Spirit of God, is important and valuable, regardless of the apparent outcomes. When St Paul remarks that ‘our labour in the Lord will not be in vain’ (1 Cor 15:58), he does not imply that our strivings will inevitably improve our current circumstances. Rather, he means that they ‘will have effects that will be preserved in the new creation’.[6] The nature of these effects we may never know. But we must be faithful all the same.

In the face of unprecedented environmental challenges, Christians are called to act, both individually and collectively, and at all levels – as citizens, congregations, in our local communities, within our businesses and places of work, and in our wider contributions to public life. We should be setting an example and providing leadership, not dragging the chain.

Individually, we must prayerfully consider what God requires of us in the urgent and demanding task of creation care. Everyone can contribute, drawing on their experience, expertise, resources, talents and connections. This may be costly, but that is the nature of Christian discipleship. All of us should be reducing our carbon footprints: taking fewer overseas trips and domestic flights, buying more fuel-efficient cars or electric cars, and divesting of shares in companies whose activities are irresponsible environmentally.  But perhaps more fundamentally, we must reject secular environmental individualism, and instead stand and rally together as a community.

As citizens we have a duty to engage in debates about the policy changes that are essential for a more secure, sustainable and resilient future. Currently, many governments around the world are failing to take the measures necessary to protect properly the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, to reduce pollution levels, protect biodiversity and ensure prudent stewardship of scarce natural resources. They are bowing to the power of vested interests and often ignoring their scientific advisers. Such governments need to be challenged, not by the person sitting next to us over there, but by me and by you, in whatever form that may take.

Finally, in the midst of the demanding tasks that await us, let us rejoice in the awesome God we worship here today. God has not abandoned us. He has not forsaken His loving plan or repented of having created humanity. Moreover, our incredible God calls us and gives us the ability to work together, to build bridges across divided communities in the common task of healing and restoring this afflicted planet, our common home. Let us all pursue this important calling with perseverance and with joy. Thanks be to God!

Canticle of the Creatures (St Francis of Assisi)

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, all praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all you have made, and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and through whom you give us light.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor; Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, bright, and precious, and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers wind and air, and fair and stormy,
all the weather's moods, by which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten up the night. How beautiful is he, how cheerful! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us, and produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy are those who endure in peace, By You, Most High, they will be crowned. All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death, From whose embrace no mortal can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your will! The second death can do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks, And serve him with great humility.


[1] See, for instance, Johan Rockström, et al., “A Safe Operating Space for Humanity’, Nature, 461, 24 September 2009, 472-475; John Rockström, et al., “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity”, Ecology and Society, 14, 2.
[2] Pope Benedict XVI, Inaugural Mass, 24 April 2005.
[3] Quoted by John Vidal, The Guardian, 3 September 2012.
[4] Rowan Williams Faith in the Public Square London, Bloomsbury, 2012, p.190. See also Rowan Williams, “The Climate Crisis: Fashioning a Christian Response”, 13 October 2009.
[5] Rowan Williams Faith in the Public Square London, Bloomsbury, 2012, p.190.
[6] Richard Bauckham, “Ecological Hope in Crisis?”, p.3.