Earth Day is a Christian Day

O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, even our brothers, the animals, to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song, has been a groan of pain. May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life.
~ St. Basil the Great (329-380 AD)

What is a charitable heart? It is a heart burning with a loving charity for the whole of creation, for men, for the birds, for the beasts . . . for all creatures. He who has such a heart cannot see or call to mind a creature without his eyes being filled with tears by reason of the immense compassion which seizes his heart; a heart which is so softened and can no longer bear to hear of any evil offering, even the smallest pain, being inflicted upon any creature. He will pray even for the lizard and reptiles, moved by the infinite pity which reigns in the hearts of those who are becoming united with God.
~ St. Isaac the Syrian (7th century AD)

What could be better, higher more worthy of love and more splendid than Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who created the firmament, and adorned everything, gave life to everything, who keeps everything, feeds everything and loves everything–who is himself love, more splendid than all men! Should you not love God above all things, wish for Him and seek Him!
~ St. Herman of Alaska (1756-1837 AD)

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
~ King David (Psalm 8:3-5)

He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches.
He waters the hills from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the service of man,
That he may bring forth food from the earth,
And wine that makes glad the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens man’s heart.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.

The high hills are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.
He appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows its going down.
You make darkness, and it is night,
In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
When the sun rises, they gather together
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work
And to his labor until the evening.

O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.
~ Psalm 104:10-25

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
~ Job 12:7-10

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About Fr Joseph Gleason

I serve as a priest at Christ the King Orthodox Mission in Omaha, Illinois, and am blessed with eight children and one lovely wife. I contribute to On Behalf of All, a simple blog about Orthodox Christianity. I also blog here at The Orthodox Life.
This entry was posted in Job 12:7-10, Psalm 104:10-25, Psalm 8:3-5 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Earth Day is a Christian Day

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