- Goal #1: Response to the Cry of the Earth
- Goal #2: Response to the Cry of the Poor
- Goal #3:Ecological Economics
- Goal #4 - Adoptation of Simple Lifestyles
- Goal #5 - Ecological Education
- Goal #6 - Measuring Integral Ecology in the Spirit of Laudato Si’
- Goal #7: Community Resilience and Empowerment
The Cry of the Earth is heard loud and clear as small communities disappear as a result of raging wild fires, heat related deaths climb and animal life losses in the billions are reported in the media.
Goal#1: Response to the Cry of the Earth
(Greater use of clean renewable energy and reducing fossil fuels in order to achieve carbon neutrality, efforts to protect and promote biodiversity, guaranteeing access to clean water for all, etc.)
Reflection: With the extreme heat dome and raging fires in the Northern Pacific Regions of Canada and the United States at this early stage of summer 2021, the need to begin moving away from carbon producing fuels such as oil and gas has never been so evident. The Cry of the Earth is heard loud and clear as small communities disappear as a result of raging wild fires, heat related deaths climb and animal life losses in the billions are reported in the media.
Response: Ask yourself, what actions can I take to lower my carbon footprint?
Interfaith Climate Prayer: We Hold the Earth
We hold brothers and sisters who suffer from storms and droughts intensified by climate change.
We hold all species that suffer.
We hold world leaders delegated to make decisions for life.
We pray that the web of life may be mended through courageous actions to limit carbon emissions.
We pray for right actions for adaptation and mitigation to help our already suffering earth community.
We pray that love and wisdom might inspire my actions and our actions as communities. .so that we may, with integrity, look into the eyes of brothers and sisters and all beings and truthfully say, we are doing our part to care for them and the future of the children.
May love transform us and our world with new steps toward life. Amen. (https://www.faithclimateactionweek.org/prayers-and-climate-blessings/)
*Laudato Si’ Action Platform Seven Goals (https://www.laudatosi.org/laudato-si/laudato-si-goals/)
Integral ecology, a holistic perspective on reality suggests that “human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth itself.”
Goal 2: Response to the Cry of the PoorResponse to the Cry of the Poor (defense of human life from conception to death and all forms of life on Earth, with special attention to vulnerable groups such as indigenous communities, migrants, children at risk through slavery, etc.)
Integral ecology, a holistic perspective on reality suggests that “human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth itself.” As we consider Goal 2, we are challenged to consider how our actions that contribute to climate change contribute to challenges faced by our neighbors, especially our neighbors who suffer the effects of climate change in life altering ways.
May we work toward the fullness of life for all, especially those made poor due to neglect or indifference.
Goal 3: Ecological Economics: Ecological conversion of the economy is needed for a better future for all.
In a recent address to European Forum, Pope Francis stressed that economics ought to become “the expression of a care and concern that does not exclude but seeks to include, that does not demean but seeks to uplift and give life. Reflecting on the impact of the pandemic, Francis continued, “economics in its deepest human meaning as the governance of our earthly home, takes on even greater importance.” He urged that we must strive to develop new understandings of the economy and progress, to combat every form of marginalization, to propose new styles of life and to give a voice to those who have none.”
Goal #3 of the Laudato Si’ Platform for Action, (Ecological economics) calls us to consider the following questions: Do we hold ethical investments, do we divest from fossil fuels, other fuels and any economic activity harmful to the planet and people? Do we invest in renewable energy? Do we purchase our food and clothes from Fair Trade operations? Do we aim to support sustainable production and ethical consumption?
“[Consumer movements] prove successful in changing the way businesses operate, forcing them to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of production. When social pressure affects their earnings, businesses clearly have to find ways to produce differently. This shows us the great need for a sense of social responsibility on the part of consumers. ‘Purchasing is always a moral – and not simply economic – act’. Today, in a word, ‘the issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyle’. (206)
“The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to You.” AMEN.
By Ethel Howley, SSND
Adopting a simple lifestyle is grounded in the idea of sufficiency, and promoting sobriety in the use of resources and energy. Adopt actions that support a simpler lifestyle such as reducing waste and adopting sustainable dietary habits, greater use of public transport, active mobility (walking, cycling), and avoiding single-use items (e.g. plastic, etc.).
Goal 4 - Adoption of Simple Lifestyles
Please Read: 10 Ways to Live Simply (Laudato Si’ Movement)
Please Watch: How can we live simply (5 min, 3 sec)? (Eco-Catholic)
“Such sobriety, when lived freely and consciously, is liberating. It is not a lesser life or one lived with less intensity. On the contrary, it is a way of living life to the full.” (Laudato Si’, no. 223)
A simpler lifestyle affords more intentionality and less distraction. We can take delight in the things that truly matter and learn to let go of what may be holding us down. By learning to let go, we learn to live more deeply. Our consciousness is deepened to the wonders of God’s creation – which remains hidden due to our blindness from consumerism. A simpler lifestyle can be the seed that God plants within our hearts to foster an ecological conversion.
What small action(s) can I take to live more simply?
- In striving for simplicity, how is my spiritual life deepened?
- How can I foster the SSND charism of making one by adopting a simpler lifestyle?
Caring God, we pray that our institutions, especially our hospitals and health care centers, may grow in the capacity to care. May we understand and value how simple gestures and simple lifestyles simply make it possible for others to simply live.
Goal 5: Ecological Education
(Re-think and re-design educational curricula and educational institution reform in the spirit of integral ecology to create ecological awareness and action, promoting the ecological vocation of young people, teachers and leaders of education etc.)
Chapter 6 of Laudato Si’: Ecological Education and Spirituality (especially 202-215)
Integral Ecology Practice Guide: Journey Towards Care for Our Common Home, PDF-Document [4.6 MB] Chapter 1, especially pages 45-91.
“It takes educators capable of developing an ethics of ecology, and helping people, through effective pedagogy, to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care” (LS 210)
“The ecological conversion of the community requires a shared and co-ordinated educational commitment between different social actors, aimed at ‘creating an ecological citizenship’ (LS 211). This means encouraging the spread, especially among young people, of a new model of relationship between individuals, society and the environment, one that is characterized by the overcoming of individualism and by lifestyles inspired by solidarity, responsibility and care.” (Integral Ecology Practice Guide, page 68)
How does this call to ecological education relate to the educational vision of the School Sisters of Notre Dame? (See https://gerhardinger.org/ministry/educational-vision/ )How are you challenged? To what are you being invited?
God of Virtue and Knowledge, assist us to “grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.” May our educational institutions and each of us help to restore “harmony within ourselves, with others, with nature and other living creatures, and with God.” May we be your instruments to transform the world through education.
Goal# 6: Ecological Spirituality
Measuring Integral Ecology in the Spirit of Laudato Si’
(Recover a religious vision of God’s creation, encourage greater contact with the natural world in a spirit of wonder, peace, joy and gratitude, promote creation-centered liturgical celebrations, develop ecological catechesis, prayer, retreat, formation, etc.)
Reflection: Results of climate change are affecting the spirituality of peoples in all areas of the globe. Suffering from the effects of climate change, communities lose their homes, churches, sacred spaces, burial grounds. They become separated from religious rites and rituals associated with their traditional culture and spirituality.
It is disheartening to lose a home and become separated from family, neighbors, and friends. People find themselves fleeing their native lands from fires, hurricanes, rising sea levels or extreme heat to become migrants, often unwanted in developed countries. Their security is lost as they are on their own, without religious leaders and prayer groups, often mourning the loss of loved ones. They become disenchanted and hopeless living in a world that has suddenly for them become joyless.
Response: How can I increase awareness of the effects on spirituality of climate change? How can I work to bring about a more inclusive vision of created life and the natural world?
Interfaith Climate Prayer:
“A Blessing for Responsibility” by Daniel McGill, author of Forty Nights, Creation Centered Night Prayer (2006).
May God bless us not with clean air alone, but the will to keep our air clean
May God bless us not with a vision of a healthy planet alone, but with the will to do all in our power to restore and maintain our planet's health.
May God bless us not with a change of heart in the great world leaders alone to save our planet, but with a change in our own heart to use our own power to save the planet.