Laudato Si' #106
The basic problem goes even deeper: it is the way that humanity has taken up technology and its development according to an undifferentiated and one-dimensional paradigm. This paradigm exalts the concept of a subject who, using logical and rational procedures, progressively approaches and gains control over an external object. This subject makes every effort to establish the scientific and experimental method, which in itself is already a technique of possession, mastery and transformation. It is as if the subject were to find itself in the presence of something formless, completely open to manipulation. Men and women have constantly intervened in nature, but for a long time this meant being in tune with and respecting the possibilities offered by the things themselves. It was a matter of receiving what nature itself allowed, as if from its own hand. Now, by contrast, we are the ones to lay our hands on things, attempting to extract everything possible from them while frequently ignoring or forgetting the reality in front of us. Human beings and material objects no longer extend a friendly hand to one another; the relationship has become confrontational. This has made it easy to accept the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology. It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit. It is the false notion that “an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available, that it is possible to renew them quickly, and that the negative effects of the exploitation of the natural order can be easily absorbed”.
In this second section of chapter 3, “The globalization of the technocratic paradigm,” we look at a system of beliefs and thinking habits that impact our relationship with creation. “Men and women have constantly intervened in nature, but for a long time this meant being in tune with and respecting the possibilities offered by the things themselves.” This respectful way of relating is not how our society generally looks at creation; we see creation as a “resource”. We manipulate “resources”; we do not relate to them. Resources are valued for what they give us, not for the value they have in themselves (See #33) “Human beings and material objects no longer extend a friendly hand to one another; the relationship has become confrontational.”
How can we heal our relationship with creation? To quote Pope Francis: “The best antidote against the misuse of our common home is contemplation.” (September 16, 2020)
What do you think? Can our contemplative practice help renew our relationship with creation? Here are a few resources to consider:
- “Care of the common home and contemplative dimension”, Pope Francis’ catechesis at the General Audience, September 16, 2020.
- Paragraph #85 of Laudato Si’.
- A video from the Laudato Si’ Movement, “Can contemplation heal the planet?”
A short prayer
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. … Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. (LS #246)
Time to Apply for the Gospel Fund
The Gospel Fund of the Atlantic-Midwest Province is established for the purpose of assisting in the financing of projects whose goals are consistent with the SSND congregational mandate to reverence all creation and make the concerns of the poor our own. The maximum amount granted to any one project is $5,000 in a fiscal year.
The first funding cycle for 2023 is open for new applications until March 1, 2023. For full information and to access the online application form: https://tinyurl.com/2ef57jaj
Note: Applications for the second funding cycle will be due October 1, 2023.
Ending Human Trafficking
The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking takes place every year on February 8, the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, the Sudanese nun who as a child experienced being kidnapped and enslaved and has become the universal symbol of the Church's commitment against trafficking. Visit the official website for prayers and resources!
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