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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

How Well Do You Know Planet Earth?

April 22, 2018 is Earth Day. In honor of this great day, I am giving you a little quiz. How well do you know planet earth? Here are 10 true or false statements about the planet we call home. Decide: Is the statement true or false? Then check the answers below.


  1. Earth is the third planet from the sun.
  2. Earth formed about 4.5 million years ago.
  3. About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water.
  4. A year on earth is 365.2564 days.
  5. Earth has more than one moon.
  6. Only 3% of earth’s water is fresh; the rest is salted.
  7. The earth tilts at roughly 66 degrees.
  8. The rotation of the earth is gradually speeding up.
  9. An estimated 80% of the creatures on earth have four legs.
  10. There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on earth.

*                             *                             *                             *                             *

Here are the answers:

  1. T
  2. F – Earth formed about 4.5 BILLION years ago.
  3. T – That’s why the astronauts dubbed earth the Blue Planet.
  4. T – That’s why we need a leap year every four years. We tack on an extra day in February.
  5. F – Earth has only one moon BUT earth has two asteroids locked into co-orbital orbits with it. Astronomers have even given them names: 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29! These asteroids do not orbit the earth. They orbit the sun with the earth.
  6. T – And of the 3% of fresh water on earth, two-thirds of it is found in icecaps and glaciers. Another one-third is ground water. Only .3 of earth’s fresh water is found on the surface in the form of rivers, lakes, and swamps. I live in Chardon, OH which is 10 miles south of Lake Erie. Those of us living near the Great Lakes are living near a gold mine. Some historians say, “Today’s wars are being fought over oil. Future wars will be fought over water.”
  7. T – And the tilt of the earth gives us our four seasons. Depending how far you are from the equator, those seasons can be quite beautiful and dramatic.
  8. F – The rotation of the earth is slowing down—approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years. Eventually our days will be longer, but it will take 140 million years before our day will increase from 24 to 25 hours!
  9. F – 80% of earth’s creatures have SIX legs. Yes, insects rule!
  10. T – There are more stars than grains of sand on earth. Earth has about 7 quintillion, 500 quadrillion grains of sand. The known universe contains about 70 thousand, million, million, million stars. That means there are approximately 10,000 stars for every grain of sand on earth! Whew! When God was making stars, God really got carried away!

Let us conclude our reflection with a short prayer:

Creator of our beautiful Blue Planet, thank you!

Thank you for this incredible home you have given us.

Thank you for the miracles we experience every day.

Thank you for the mysteries that surround us,

Mysteries waiting to be pondered, known, and appreciated.

Give us a greater love and respect for our earthly home.

Help us to be good stewards of all you have given us.

Give us a genuine respect for all human beings, our fellow earthlings.

Give us a greater respect for our fellow animals and all living things.

Help us to share the goods of earth with one another.

We ask these things through Jesus,

Who walked our dusty roads, drank our water, and gazed in wonderment at the stars.


For reflection/sharing:

What aspect(s) of planet earth fascinate you the most? Why?

What are some of the ways you show your gratitude for our Blue Planet?

PS: Retreat Cruise: Speaking of our beautiful planet, I will be leading a retreat aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, February 7-12, 2019. The ship leaves from Fort Lauderdale, FL and makes two stops in Mexico. During the cruise I will be giving four conferences and leading us in prayer as we sail the sea together. Although it says it’s a women’s retreat, men are welcome too! Cost starts at about $500. For more details click on the link below to see or print the 4-page brochure:

Retreat Cruise CC19_C_020719

I chose an instrumental for today’s video. The 5 minute video is called “God’s Beautiful Creation” and features stunning photographs from all over the world. I hope you enjoy the music and the pictures.



Is there anything you would like to say today? We always love hearing from our readers!

22 Responses

  1. What about earth fascinates me? Oceans. Mountains (especially those of the American West). Rainbows. Owls and other unexpected birdlife. I’ve seen cardinals and bluejays in very urban sections.

    I like early mornings (as might be evident from the time-stamp!), and I like fresh air. I like “transitional” seasons, autumn especially — but who could not be “implicated” (Marianne Moore’s word) by the exuberant floral beauty of spring?

    Will check out the video shortly! Thanks, Sr Melannie!

  2. Beautiful prayer Sr. Melannie!

    I almost bring a cloth bag with me when I shop and refuse the plastic. I also refuse a plastic bag for smaller items. My little way to help our Blue Planet.


  3. Love the video ! This earth is awesome. I try to recycle and re-purpose as much as i can. Thanks for your posts i enjoy them. God Bless You.

  4. Sister Melanie,

    There isn’t a day that I don’t see God’s beautiful planet “bombed” by plastic bags. Often I park my car and pick them
    up myself. Instead of saying that its no use I have decided to just start
    refusing them myself. Why not? Thank you too, Kathleen.

  5. Sr. Melanie:

    Amazing facts and breathtaking pictures! What a wonderful way to start my day! Thank you!

  6. Thank you for the music (music is a miracle substance for the brain) and the pictures. We have a wonderful obligation to protect and share our planet with every living thing, from spiders to whales. Everyone needs to do what they can to do that. It is our obligation to protect God’s creation. Thanks again.

  7. I really enjoy your work you do. I don’t know how everybody can just liter. As I walk, something inside of me wants to stop and clean up these yards as it sure is not to hard to just pick up something each time you pass by. The music and pictures gave me such a restful peace this morning. Just beautiful!!!!

  8. Mother Earth is so precious to me. The environment has been a focus of mine for many years. Not only is our beautiful “blue planet” full of the miracle of life, it is our home… We have nowhere else to go!
    Just moments ago, I learned that a civil rights lawyer/activist self -imolated in Brooklyn, over the weekend, to bring attention to the urgency of our need to address environmental issues….I am saddened and horrified, and I hope others will join me in prayer for him.

  9. National geographic has a new show on their tv channel that is well worth watching. It’s called “One Strange Rock”. Our beautiful earth is more amazing than we could ever imagine!

  10. I read recently about a whale that died because it had ingested 60+ pounds of plastic trash. It couldn’t digest or expel it and died of peritonitis. I was both sickened and saddened. Thank you Melannie for the beautiful reflection on our one and only home! On a lighter note, I would really love to know how those grains of sand were calculated!

  11. Dear Sister Melannie,
    I am reminded of a Native American quote:
    “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors—we borrow it from our children.”
    Sister, Thank you for your fine thoughts and writing. May God bless you.

    1. What an awesome quote that really made me think about the importance & responsibility we all have for Gods planet.

  12. Thank you, Melannie, for again refreshing my appreciation for creation and the beautiful home on earth God has chosen to place us.

    The cruise sounds wonderful!

  13. Good Tuesday to you, Melannie,

    Sorry I’m late! I always feel more enlightened when I read your blog! Whenever my wife and I go out to eat, we try to remember to say to the server, “no straws please.” Evidently, they end up in the ocean and hurt the fish.

  14. Can you book with another travel agent for the Retreat at Sea or do you have to go through the EO Catholic Tours?

  15. Hi again, Melannie….

    I wrote this poem a few months ago, but it speaks to what you taught us about the number of stars in the sky!

    “God counts the number of stars,
    and calls each one by its name.” Psalm 147.4

    Astronomers tells us
    there are more stars in the sky
    than grains of sand on earth.

    An incomprehensible calculation!

    Yet scripture tells us God
    knows these stars by name.

    What did he name ours
    I wonder?

    Poets call it “the day star.”
    In Greek it’s helios,
    but for the most part,
    we call it sun.

    And so we pray:
    God so loved our solar system
    he gave us one of his
    zillion-trillion suns,
    that whosoever weeps
    for the fallen sparrow,
    laments the loss of another hair,
    or cries when the sand castle
    is sucked into the sea,
    need only look up:

    He knows your name, too.

  16. I try to send thoughts but sometimes I am told there is an error. Well not in your sharing. Your reflection in the Living Faith today connects with your thoughts about our earth. I liked the theme of risky business applied to thoughts on planet earth. When we try to do the right by our planet through telling others of their responsibility toward it or just doing something ourselves we risk trials, peril or danger from those who feel that we can abuse this beautiful blue planet forgetting our very lives are at risk by doing so. Those who risk remember that she is an other way God shows Herprence and love. Thank you for your thoughts. You are one of God’s wildflowers whorisks blooming where you are planted.

  17. Just came back from visiting my grand daughter who is studying at Wollongong University in Australia. We also visited N. Zealand with her.
    Nothing makes me more aware and appreciative of God’s amazingly beautiful creation than travel. Also greatful I am still able to do so.

  18. Not sure how old the earth is, or how many grains of sand our oceans and beaches contain, or how many stars light the night…but our God is an awesome God…

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Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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