By Virginia Fifield, Mercy Associate

Every morning for generations, the Haudenesaune (Iroquois) people have greeted the dawn with what has become known as “The Thanksgiving Address.”

It begins by saying to the Creator “it is an honor to be a human being and to have been invited into the circle of Creation.”

We then turn our attention to that circle of creation and give thanks for everything that the Creator has given us. We begin with the grasses and the trees, move upward to the other plants, the water, the winds, the sun, the moon and the stars. We continue onward until our choicest words are given in thanks to the Creator who has given, and continues to give, us all we need.

Rapid rate of destruction

Today we are witnessing the destruction of creation at an alarming rate. If the waters are poisoned, the grasses and trees paved over, the fruits and other foods altered from their natural state and the very air we breathe has been fouled, where can we go? How can we greet each day when we know we are complicit in the devastation of our Mother, the Earth? How can we speak to the Creator about honor if we have not acted with honor toward His gift of creation and sustainability?

We know that fracking, pollution, pipeline leaks, fouled air, dependence on fossil fuels, and deforestation are destroying the earth. But have we ever counted the cost of all this to the sacred spirit we all possess?

We see the rise of violence in our world, against the earth but more shockingly, against each other. Our elders tell us it’s because we have cut the cord that connects us to creation and therefore to God.

Reconnecting to creation

The inter-relatedness of all things, the kinship of humanity, and the sacredness of all creation has been the foundational message of God from the very beginning of time. But we have either forgotten those precepts or chosen to ignore them.

There are people who have never known the joy of walking barefoot through the grass. People who have never known the wonder of staring into the night sky full of stars. People who have almost never had enough silence to hear the voice of God. There are whole segments of our global family who have never had clean water or enough to eat. There are people who have lost their very identity because of exploitation of resources and greed.

We need to make the connection. We need to see that if we continue on the path of earth’s destruction, not only will we destroy her, we will destroy each other.

Learn more about the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concern of Earth