The earth is the Lord's and all that therein is;
the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein.
The compass of the world - the translator is featuring the world's round-ness. And here's this neat NASA picture of our round planet gently and so beautifully rotating morning into night, into morning again. I'm thinking while watching the earth turn: what an invitation to prayer! As they come into view, pray for the places you've perhaps visited or about which you know something. See what thoughts come to mind.
I see Florida and I know the LaLeche shrine is there - where couples pilgrim, asking for the gift of conceiving.
I ask the blessings of conversion over my own country where there is hatred, bigotry and violence. Contention in this political time.
I ask for the gift of rain where I know terribly destructive fires burn in the western states.
I see Mexico, the Guadalupe's home. Giving thanks for my visits to her shrine, I ask blessings for the beautiful Mexican people, and the healing of fears and hatred where I see the border between Mexico and the United States.
I see Central America, aware of its unrest and poverty. A terrible hurricane is sweeping across the Caribbean island-countries.
I see South America and Brazil with its threatened rain forests which give the planet so much of its oxygen.
I see the great Pacific Ocean and ask for us to be wise in our treatment of the earth's waters and all they contain. That we would be healed of our greed and exploitation.
I see Japan through the clouds and ask that the world would put away all the bombs. No more Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis.
I see Australia - "down under" and pray that no one would be forgotten because they are out of sight.
I see Africa and remember discovering the wonder and beauty of this continent in 3rd grade when we were introduced to the encyclopedia. The difference between African and Asian elephants! Oh God, keep me in the mind of discovery!
I see Egypt where Coptic Christians suffer, and the Middle East so troubled with violence, and now the twisting-up of Islam in many places. Give us new hearts!
I see Israel of the Holy Land. If you will, Lord, that I would visit Bethlehem some day.
I see Europe and where Medjugorje is and recall my visit there at the end of the terrible and costly war. Heal that land; heal us of our preparations for more war. Forgive and convert those who make huge profits off of war.
I see where Lourdes is on the Pyrenees Mountain line between France and Spain. Prayers for pilgrims everywhere. We're all on a pilgrimage to goodness, conversion of heart, to eternal life.
I see Russia and my 1996 visit to Kizhi Island in the center of Lake Onega. Waking up and putting my head out the portal of the river ship and seeing the cluster of silvery-wooden, medieval churches. My boyhood dream come true.
And knowing that as the globe turns there are children being born and others who wake up to more bombs and hunger, fear and worries. Oh God, that they would all begin the new day in peace and safety, healthy and fed, with parental love in their lives and a happy school to attend.