Friends in Christ,
Over the past 50 years, we have been challenged to realize our share in the devastation of our planet. Given stewardship over creation (Genesis 1), we failed to notice when that “stewardship” had been subverted by economic forces, human greed and an attitude of complacency. We answered God’s very first call to us with neglect, disregard and denial.
We only began to pay attention when ecological devastation started to affect our daily lives. Today our failure of stewardship affects us through climate change. Shifting weather patterns warm the planet and oceans, breaking delicate links in our food chain and melting polar ice. This melt, which further confounds Earth’s weather patterns, is already devastating the livelihoods of Indigenous people in the North.
In my lifetime we have incrementally addressed environmental concerns: recycling, pollution regulations and low-energy appliances have all been presented as meaningful ways for us to address the warming of our planet. While helpful, I fear incrementalism has allowed us to hide—to pretend the damage is not as bad as it is and deny the radical changes we need to make in our personal and corporate lives. The time to hide is now over; there are no rocks left for us to crawl under, no shelter large enough to conceal us from this crisis in creation. The changes needed are urgent! The only time we have to change is now. What will we do to see and respond?
I pray we will listen to the call for action and begin today—in our own lives and in our parishes—lifting our voices in our communities. May God grant us courage to see and to act!
Cover photo: Christopher Michel/Flickr