Photo from Sister Joicy

“Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world …” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations General Assembly)

Having reliable access to safe and affordable drinking water is a right. All species need water to survive, and a key issue of environmental justice is building systems and infrastructure that support access to this resource for all. Both the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals support access to water as an essential element of living a healthy life. Many people around the world lack access to this resource and continue to lose access as freshwater supplies diminish due to the impacts of climate change. Sister Joicy’s work with the Sisters of Charity in Kerala is a reminder of the attention that is required to equitably distribute this resource, and of the graciousness that we must have with each other to ensure the rights of all are upheld.

How do you interact with water in your life? Do you treat it as a precious resource? Are there ways in which you can hold water more sacred? Reflect upon your movements with water today – appreciate the water that comes from your tap or the water flowing nearby your home. Create a practice in which you honor this resource in your day, then say the following prayer:

Merciful God, 

Thank you for the rivers and oceans,  

Sources of water that fuel our physical world. 

Support me in my honoring this resource today, 

and allow me to hold water sacred every day. 

I pray for the continued work of the Sisters of Charity in Kerala 

as they mediate and advocate for equal rights for all. 

Amen.