Social Justice Bulletin #3: The Environment
Contributed by: Sister Pat Wittberg, S.C.
Last year, Pope Francis wrote an encyclical on the environment, beginning with the beautiful “Laudato Si” of St. Francis of Assisi, the oldest poem in the Italian language. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.” The Pope said that the earth “now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22).
As we enter the holiday season, when we feel we “have to” spend ever more on food, on presents, on decorations than we need or can even afford, when we jettison piles of used wrapping paper, boxes, and knick-knacks into our landfills, are we in danger of forgetting the “reason for the season”? Is there a better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus? See the web page of Catholic Climate Covenant (http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/OurStory# ) for some ideas!