Invitation to pray:
L. “We praise You, Lord, for Sister Water,
R. So useful, humble, precious and pure.”
[St Francis of Assisi]
L. Glory be to the Creator, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and
ever shall be. Amen.
Gracious God, present everywhere, may your love, like water, pour over our thirsty spirits, cleansing, refreshing, and renewing us. Be present as we seek to know you, to love you, and so respond to your unconditional love for us. Amen.
Reading: By Linda Gibler: From The Beginning to Baptism
Creation is water-drenched. All living beings on Earth are born of water—in oceans or ponds, within eggs, seeds, or wombs. In even the most arid climates on Earth, all living beings rely on water. Water surrounds and fills the cells of every living thing. It is the circulation of water throughout a being that sustains its life. Even nonliving beings are shaped by water. As we shall see, water cools stars and planets. Mountains are eroded and valleys molded by water’s persistent presence. Without water there is no life; there are no stars, no living planets, no clouds, no mountains, no prairies, and no children of any species.
Water is sacred. Our Bibles overflow with stories of water. The significance of water in baptism is told most dramatically in the stories of creation, the great flood, the crossing of the Red Sea and the Jordan River, and in Jesus’ own baptism. Water’s sacredness has been acknowledged in the Christian mysteries since the earliest days of the church.
Psalm 42: Adapted from Nan Merrill
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so longs my soul for you, O Beloved.
My soul thirsts for the Beloved, for the Living Water.
When may I come and behold your face?
Tears have been my only nourishment day and night, while
friends ask continually, “Why do you seem so lost and forlorn?
All this I remembered, as I poured out my soul;
how I knew your presence within me, as I went out among the throng;
with loud voice we gave you praise and acclamation,
a multitude proclaiming gratitude and joy.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and
why are you disquieted within me?
My hope is in the Beloved, my strength and my joy,
O my soul, open the door to Love!
My soul is cast down within me, yet I remember you
from my mother’s womb to maturity, through all the days of my life.
Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your waterfalls;
all the waves and your billows have washed over me.
By day you lead me in steadfast love; at night your song is within me,
prayer from the Heart of my heart.
O my soul, let not the quagmire of injustice keep me
from radiating your peace, your love and light to the world.
My hope is in you, O Spirit of Truth; be my strength and my guide.
O my soul, let us celebrate the Oneness of all Creation.
Closing Reflection: “When They Find A Way” By Catherine Callaghan, SHCJ
When they find a way, they will charge us for rainfall.
Also, a fee for early morning condensation.
Parents of impulsive six-year-olds who jump into puddles
will be severely fined.
The unwashed will habituate to each other's smells.
Sounds of restless water will be faithfully recorded and safely stored in museums.
For a price, listen to an oar quickly dipped into a stream.
Then the pressured force of water – oh, the water yields to the movement of the oar, but not silently.
What a sound saved for posterity! Posterity?
Imagine life forms yet to evolve with no need of water.
If you can't save water, save memories of water, please.
Not just the sounds, which are infinite.
Memorize her silent depths. Find keepsakes of her sparkling fluidity.
Let your spirit soak in her transparent legacies.
Simplicity. Service. Serenity. Sacrament.
As water memories flood your soul let them quicken and nourish that radical respect
you felt as a child: Dew drops. Raindrops. And squishing socks, if
You ever stood one foot in the gutter as storm water rushed by.
Remember baths? What floats? What sinks?
Or, the texture of bath towels. Dish towels. Paper towels.
Sopping up this treasure. Or the clear expression of disbelief:
"That doesn't hold water."
So, what does hold water? Not the beaches, not the rivers.
Perry Como never sang
"Catch the falling rain and put it in your pocket. Save it for a starry day."
Reverence holds water. Reverence for each drop.
A reverential heart understands Why and flows into a reverential How.