Since Pope Francis offered the world his reflections in the encyclical Laudato Si’, my consciousness of caring for creation has been notched up. I have always thought that by not littering, by recycling, reusing, reducing, composting, and not wasting food, etc, I was doing my part. But apparently, my actions were only a drop of water in the ocean.
We have to awaken to humanity’s role in climate change and the disruption of the homeostasis in the earth’s cycles. What more evidence do we need than to watch the news of the fires burning hectares of forests around the world and/or the mega-storms, tropical and land-based, to have a sense of the imbalances that we, as a species, are creating?
It has been six years since Laudato Si’ was distributed. It has created dialogue and controversy. Has it really provoked the consciousness that is required to decrease carbon emissions and the care needed for the only habitable planet that we know of in the universe? The only groups that I see and hear trying to evoke change at the global level are indigenous peoples and some young people. Do we value breathing fresh air and drinking clean water more than driving our cars or climbing the corporate ladder for money and position? Indigenous peoples do! Young people do! I do. Do you?
Jesus, your attention to the earth is obvious when we recall the times you use examples from nature in your teachings. Help us to make the leap from thinking about climate change to loving the earth, our planet home, enough to act on ways to limit the harm done to our planet. Inspire us to work collaboratively with the youth and the indigenous peoples. “Consider the lilies of the field…they neither sow nor spin yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as these…” Help us then, Creator of all good things, to stand in awe before your creation, to love it and protect it as your precious gift to us. Amen.
Pat Carter, CSJ is a disciple, a teacher and an advocate for the poor. She has been a Sister of St. Joseph for more than half of her life and loves to use words to inspire faith and laughter. She is a cantor at her parish of St. Jerome’s in Sault Ste. Marie.