December 6. Pope Francis’ call for Ecological Conversion. It is really only in the last 50 years that we, as the human component of creation, have gradually become conscious of our negative impact and abuse of the natural areas of creation. From the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 18 -19th centuries the increasing use of fossil fuels has been a primary cause of climate change. Science and religion have taken up the cry of the earth in their own ways and continue doing so more and more loudly. Awareness has grown in the Church especially as Pope Francis has become the great protagonist of how to CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME. As he acknowledges, Laudato Si’ borrows much of its foundational thinking from Franciscan spirituality. He outlines what is happening and the human roots of the ecological crisis experienced as climate change, global warming, pollution of water and air, and loss of biodiversity. The evils of greed, excessive wealth and consumerism as well as indifference and denialism are laid out. He repeatedly calls for the need for an integral ecology affecting all aspects of life. He highlights the common good which includes the poor and marginalized as core components for future planning.
For reflection and sharing: Keeping in mind the MARFAM December theme “Families, hope for the Future,” we can see the world as a family of families, human, animal and plant. In the needed future planning, God, as Creator of this world, and the role of religion and spirituality are essential, in recognizing social sin and the call to love as the Scripture readings for today already did. Pope Francis: “What they all need is an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.“ LS 217. In calling to mind the figure of St Francis of Assisi, we come to realise that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures and leads to heartfelt repentance and a desire to change. LS218