70. In the story of Cain and Abel, we see how envy led Cain to commit the ultimate injustice against his brother, which in turn ruptured the relationship between Cain and God, and between Cain and the earth from which he was banished. This is seen clearly in the dramatic exchange between God and Cain. God asks: “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain answers that he does not know, and God persists: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground” (Gen 4:9-11). Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbour, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with others, with God and with the earth. When all these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tells us that life itself is endangered. We see this in the story of Noah, where God threatens to do away with humanity because of its constant failure to fulfil the requirements of justice and peace: “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them” (Gen 6:13). These ancient stories, full of symbolism, bear witness to a conviction which we today share, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.
Reflection: This paragraph looks at ruptured relationships – between ourselves and God, between us and our neighbors, and between us and the earth God created. “Everything is interconnected,” and all relationships are connected. What relationships in my life – with God, neighbor, or the earth – have I neglected or left untended? How might I care for those neglected relationships so that justice might dwell in this land?
Action: Choose one relationship – with God, with yourself, with another human, or with part of nature – and make a deliberate effort to heal or strengthen that relationship. Share your experience with someone else.
Prayer for Ukraine and for Peace
Georgetown University’s Initiative for Catholic Social Thought and Public Life held an excellent online dialogue last week on “War in Ukraine: Human Agony, Global Crisis, Moral Principles” with over 1500 people participating. You can view the full video of the dialogue here.
Don’t forget to register for the workshops “Breaking the Silence” by Sr. Patty Chapelle and Sr. Anne-Louis Nadeau SNDdeN. See more information in the body of the Friday newsletter.
Environmental Racism is real. Learn more about how environmental degradation disproportionately affects neighborhoods of color. Watch this short video “Environmental Racism is the New Jim Crow” from the Atlantic here, and another report here. about a study on environmental racism in Camden, NJ.
The Power of Big Oil is a three-part video series on Frontline (PBS). Watch the trailer here, and then watch Part One: Denial here. This week watch Part Two: Doubt here. The threat of fossil fuels to our planet was known and hidden/denied. Plan to watch it with someone or create a group to watch it and discuss it afterward. All three parts are now available free and online.
All change begins with one small step. Commit yourself to reading the Laudato Si’ reflection each week. One paragraph at a time you can stop and reflect on what we are all called to as a Laudato Si’ community!
If you were able to attend the Online Child Exploitation webinar on Wednesday night, please talk to at least one other person about what you heard and what you learned. If you were not able to attend, please email Mary Carter Waren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange to see the video of the presentation (we are not able to post it on the website). Every child protected is one more who doesn’t experience this trauma.
Justice for Immigrants
Anti-immigrant sentiment appears to be on the rise, according to a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Read more here. Pope Francis writes in Laudato Si’: “Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbor, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with others, with God, and with the earth.” (#70)
How might you be part of the solution? Share this article and your thoughts with someone else.
Haiti Partnership and Justice for Immigrants
Read the latest Haiti Partnership Updates on Education and Teacher Training Click here. Be inspired to participate in this great work!
This report, “Pushed into the Shadows: Mexico’s Reception of Haitian Migrants” released last week, tells the story of Haitians directly affected by Title 42 and Remain in Mexico policies. It is a very powerful read that links Haiti, justice for immigrants work, and migration spurred on by ecological and environmental devastation. It is long but very much worth the read.