The following prayer is attributed to Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, who lived from 330AD-379AD. It is a prayer of confession, for the ways we’ve fallen short in our treatment of animals, and of request, for a more God aligned awareness.

The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. O God, enlarge within us the sense of kinship with all living things, our brothers and sisters the animals to whom You have given 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 you in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realize that they live not for us alone, but for themselves and for you, and that they have the sweetness of life.

If you are a visual person like me, you’ll find the impact of the prayer will be greatly enhanced if you visualise both the beauty of your local wildlife and the cruelty it has suffered whilst reading through the prayer slowly three times.

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