Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Basil the Great

This weekend while doing homework at a local coffeeshop, I read this poem and it brought me to tears. It is quoted by Ellen Davis in her recent book Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture, in an essay on the creation poem in Genesis 1. I hope you find it as meaningful as I did.

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Prayer for Animals

By Basil the Great

O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship
with all living things, 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 humankind with ruthless cruelty
so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song,
has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for us alone
but for themselves and for thee,
and that they love the sweetness of life.

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