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Praying for rain in a drought, other water issues

Being in drought conditions in our part of Indiana makes me think about water quite a bit – usually when I’m watering our garden.

Farm Manager Jeremy McKenzie tills the Sisters of Providence cropland at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. Forty-seven counties in Indiana are currently under a burn ban due to lack of rain.

My meanderings take me to Scripture – Hebrew and Christian — and all the references to parched ground, the desert blooming or conversely the grass withering. I think about Jesus at the well and his conversation with the Samaritan woman.

I reflect on a mission trip to Mexico and listening to women from a very tiny village describe how they had a severe shortage of potable water because it had been diverted to a luxury hotel built nearby. One woman cried as she told us of watching hotel employees hose down horses as her children longed for drinking water.

Reading I’ve done regarding privatization of water vs. public administration, or public-private partnerships in the delivery of water occupies some of my thoughts. I am intrigued by the phrase “blue gold” to describe Earth’s water resources and sources and troubled by the implications of that phrase as well.

A June look at the CSA garden at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The CSA is a program of White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence.

I am aware of our own CSA gardens and our farm fields; I can picture the farms all around us and how much soaking rains are needed in all of these.

As we pray for rain during Eucharistic liturgy or in our communal or individual prayer, I get going on “what exactly are we praying for?” An end to global warming, to global deforestation, to the desertification of vast areas of Earth? God to change the cold fronts and warm fronts and atmospheric conditions necessary for rain? To divert rain from Minnesota and its flooding to Indiana? Or are we simply laying the recognition of our need before the Holy One, aware of our place in the vast created cosmos?

Well that’s what I’m pondering today. I will continue to water our garden and to pray for rain and to “trust in that Providence that has never failed us.”

And you?

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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1 Comment

  1. Monica Hayden on June 26, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I pray that wisdom prevails in the minds of Americans when it comes time to elect who will lead us for the next four years. I pray that Americans realize that electing the wrong person will not only undo the little that our present leader has been able to achieve–thanks to the obstructionist politics of Congress–but it will set us back several years; not only economically, but environmentally as well. When politics is dominated by special interest groups, by those who stand to lose their sacred profits if they even think to put the interests of the land before their own, then everyone loses (Earth included). When one hears the outcry of those who still want to wishfully think that “there is no global warming,” among other outlandish platitudes, when common sense fails, one can only hope that Providence prevails in the end. That’s what I pray for.

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