Friday, 30 November 2018 20:00

2018 World Human Rights Day

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ngo dayofprayer 2018Seventy years ago, in the wake of the barbarities committed against whole races and nations, the United Nations agreed on The Charter of Human Rights. Throughout the succeeding years, some of these fundamental rights have been ignored and tram- pled upon when political expediency has been the motivating force.

Article 21, part 1 states:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including clothing, housing, medical care, and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyong his control.

Let us pray for those who lack the elements necessary to live a basic human life.

In October 1945, governments determined to eliminate hunger and this led to the development of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Let us pray in particular for those who still lack sufficient food to live a healthy life.

(Choose a suitable hymn, perhaps one with a Eucharistic theme)
Psalm 146 - Praise for God’s Help
(In a group, recite this psalm in two sides. Alone, recite it slowly and stop on anything that touches you.)

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them; who keep faith forever,
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!


(Sister Earth) now cries out to us because of the harm we have infli- cted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and massters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air, and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in tra- vail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cfr. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe air, and we receive life and refreshment from her waters. (Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 2)

We must guarantee all human beings the right to eat as much as they need, as well as the right to take part in decisions that affect them and to achieve their aspirations without being separated from their loved ones. (Pope Francis to FAO on World Food Day, 16 October 2017)


What can we do to ensure others have enough to sustain life.

Gospel: Matthew 7, 9-12

Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?
If you then who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.


Take time to refect on these words of Jesus. How can you, as an individual or as a group, have a positive impact on our world and what will you do on a practical level to respond to Sister Earth who cries our to us and to the millions of people who cry out for help?

After a suitable period of reflection, bring the prayer period to an end with a suitable hymn and the closing prayer.

CLOSING PRAYER (Adapted from Laudato Si’ 9)

Let us pray

Gracious and loving God, help us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which entails learning to give, and not simply to give up.

Help us to love and to move gradually away from what we want to what God’s world needs. Help us to be liberated from fear, greed, and compulsion.

We make this prayer through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.


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The Carmelite NGO, a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI) of the United Nations, is comprised of the men and women from around the world who are members of the Carmelite Order or its affiliated Congregations, Institutes and ministries within the Catholic Church.
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