Sunday, March 27, 2016

Laudato Si: Easter Reflection

Today is the day when we remember that we are Easter People -- that all the evil and darkness in our broken and messed up world can not overcome light and love.

The anointed one known as Christ helps us to realize that we are all children of God, and as such, we are loved beyond all telling. Even so, we are far from perfect, and our planet is suffering from our particular faults -- greed being one of the main. With 7.4 billion of us inhabiting our Mother Earth, the importance of remedying our greed is critically important -- or life will become unsustainable.

None of this is news -- we have known for a very long time about the poverty, pollution, deforestation, war, global climate change and other destructive problems created by the human race. The difference now is that we are reaching the tipping point. I see it as a hilltop where God's creation sits in a little red wagon, and we either steer safely forward for a happy ride, or roll backwards, unable to steer, and end up crashing somewhere.

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home is Pope Francis' letter to the world, his insistence and encouragement to steer our wagon in the right direction. But I fear that, less than a year since its publication, it is being forgotten -- or worse -- ignored.

Fortunately, we have the example of a Good Friday that has never been completely forgotten. We know that resurrection is possible, and that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. So as bleak as our environmental outlook is for the moment, there is hope. Especially if the Easter People of Mother Earth speak up for her every chance that we get.

So here's what we do: we take every opportunity presented to us to make choices that help our planet, and remind others to do the same. We talk to our priests and pastors about our sister, Mother Earth, and our concerns for her. We ask them to share the ideas of Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home from their pulpits (especially Chapter 5, which we will get into next week). We lobby our elected officials to keep creation and all our sisters and brothers in the developing world at the forefront of their minds as they govern. We think, act, and pray for positive changes in the way resources are shared and managed around the globe.

And we always live in the hope of resurrection -- our own and our earth's. We remember always, as Peter Mayer sings below, that everything's a miracle.

To you and yours, a joyous Easter!

A prayer for our earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
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.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.


(A prayer for our earth and all quotations from Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home © Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

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