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Mother Earth Calls Us to Action

Posted on April 5, 2023

Blog by Karen Martens, OPA

Do you realize that April 22 is Earth Day? The first Earth Day was in 1970. Several years later Pope Francis published Laudato Si’ (2015), calling each of us to action in order to address climate change. DSP has embraced this call by responding to the seven goals set forth by the Laudato Si’Action Platform and is in the second of seven years to meet those goals.

I wonder how well each of us has embraced within our heart the issue of climate change and its effect on all living things. Does it play a role in our daily decisions about what we eat, how often we travel, what we wear, what items we use or purchase, and how often we speak out to our elected officials? Does this influence how we live our lives? To do so, it seems we have to identify with it deeply on both a personal and spiritual level.

Laudato Si’ and climate change should affect each of us on a spiritual level. Unfortunately, I suspect we don’t quickly make that connection. One way to help us make this connection is by reflection and contemplation. Recently, one associate group, the Bethany Mutualities, did that by reflecting on quotations from Laudato Si’. There are many to choose from. The ones we chose were:

  1. Our goal is… become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. LS 19
  2. The Spirit of Life dwells in every living creature and calls us to enter into relationship with him. LS 88
  3. Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society. LS 91
  4. Every ecological approach needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged. LS 93
  5. There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself. LS 118
  6. When we speak of the “environment,” what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. LS 139
  7. Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift we have freely received and must share with others. LS 159
  8. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. LS 217
  9. Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption.  We need to take up an ancient lesson… it is the conviction that “less is more.”  LS’ 222

Perhaps others of you may wish to reflect on these privately or in groups.

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