The California Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement calling for prayers for the waters and prayers for the rains earlier this month. In a recent statement Bishop Jamie Soto of Sacramento focused on the impact that the drought is having upon farmworkers through unemployement and fire risk. Bishop Soto was quoted as saying, “As we work toward the common good of the state in this situation, we are reminded of our dependence on the Creator and of the relationship we have with Him to be good stewards,” Soto wrote. “As stewards of creation we can turn to the Divine Master asking that He see our plight and give ear to our plea for rain.”
The California Conference of Catholic Bishops has put together a page with liturgical resources for Catholic Clergy and lay people. This page includes prayers, social doctrine around water and links to resources around the drought. According to social doctrine, “By its very nature water cannot be treated as just another commodity among many, and it must be used rationally and in solidarity with others. The distribution of water is traditionally among the responsibilities that fall to public agencies, since water is considered a public good. If water distribution is entrusted to the private sector it should still be considered a public good.”
Regardless of your faith tradition, this teaching offers interesting reflection around the question of who owns the water. As a person who practices Earth Based Spirituality, I believe that water is a sacred being and that no one can own the water. What do you believe about water? Must water be a commodity in our modern society? How does your faith and understanding of the universe call you to be with the waters?