April 23

Reflection

Humankind must be a steward of the Earth;
Caretakers for all that dwells upon it;
To be of one heart with all things.
Human beings must learn to share
the tears of every living thing,
To feel in our hearts the pain
of the wounded animal,
each crushed blade of grass;
Mother Earth is our flesh;
the rocks, our bones;
The rivers are the blood of our veins.
We are all children of God.
Traditions are open to anyone
who wants to learn.
Huichol Holy Man

Prayer

We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
Iroquois

Action

Do a Google search on the relationship with and respect for earth among the native people on this continent and others. Reflect on what we need to regain.

Suggested Reading

Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.
Native American Elder

The Great Spirit is in all things: he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our father, but the earth is our mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us.
Big Thunder

The land is sacred. These words are at the core of your being. The land is our mother, the rivers our blood. Take our land away and we die. That is, the Indian in us dies.
Mary Brave Bird

The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors.
Plenty Coups, Crow

We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.
Qwatsina, Nuxalk Nation

When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.
Chief Standing Bear

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
Chief Seattle

The time will soon be here when my grandchild will long for the cry of a loon, the flash of a salmon, the whisper of spruce needles, or the screech of an eagle.
But he will not make friends with any of these creatures and when his heart aches with longing, he will curse me.
Have I done all to keep the air fresh?
Have I cared enough about the water?
Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom?
Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?
Chief Dan George

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