Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 14 March
Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth! You mountains, break into happy cries!
In the mountains of Peru, Santos lives with his family. He was born in Cruz de Mayo, and now raises his eight children in the same village.
As a farmer, Santos relies on the land to earn a living. But he has witnessed changes to his home in recent years. The nearby water source, Lake Parón, is drying up.
“It was calm here in the time of our grandparents,” Santos says. “Then over time we started to suffer for water. There is a scarcity.”
This region of Peru is affected by climate change. The tropical ice glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, and water is disappearing.
“We won’t let them exploit us”
Another threat stirs on the horizon. Mining companies want to come to this village to extract minerals from the land.
“We are not in favour of this because they cause a lot of pollution,” Santos explains. “We have seen how other places where there is mining are left sad, how the animals have no real life. We won’t let them exploit us.”
Santos is determined to protect the land, and is supported by CAFOD’s Church partner CEAS.
Yet despite his efforts, Santos is afraid what the future will bring. “When it comes to the water and the mining, we think sadness is coming sooner or later. It’s not just about today, we have to think about our children.”
Today’s reading is a vision of hope. We stand with Santos in the struggle to care for our common home. And we hope that cries of happiness, not sadness, will be heard in the Peruvian mountains.
Living God, you bring joy to our Mother Earth and all your people. Inspire us to water the earth, and nurture one another, so all may flourish. Amen.
During Lent 2016 Ffion, who works for CAFOD, challenged herself to live on just ten litres of water a day for a week. Watch the video to find out what she learned from her challenge and tell us how your Lent challenge is going this year on Facebook and Twitter.