February 25. Mrs Beatus continued her sharing. PRAISED BE YOU, my Lord through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste. PRAISED BE YOU, my Lord through Brother Fire, through whom you light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong. Both water and fire are gifts of creation without which there would be no life on earth and yet they are dangerous hazards as well. Scripture describes their positive qualities and also how they were used by God as punishment as found in the stories of Noah and the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. In the context of climate change their positive and negative properties play a very significant role of which we have to be extremely conscious.
Water is absolutely essential for life throughout creation and has been throughout the earth’s history.
In bygone days large herds of animals would migrate, following the water sources known to them. Although most desert locations appear devoid of plant life, with even a small amount of rain the land surface will suddenly become green. Plants that have been dormant or seeds that have lain ungerminated will spring to life. Water is found in the great oceans covering 2/3 of the planet, in natural streams, rivers, lakes, manmade dams and canals. Glaciers and snow-capped mountains hold water while ice-caps cool the poles. The water cycle draws water into the atmosphere and circulates it in the form of rain. The bodies of humans and animals consist of 70% water.
Devastating floods result from climate change but many parts of the world are water-scarce affecting sustainable life for all the families of nature, plant, animal and human. Safe drinking water is a universal right that should not be restricted or privatised. The poor are most often deprived of access to safe water for drinking and sanitation while a large amount of water is wasted.
Fire has existed in nature and its discover by humans as early as a million years ago was a turning point in evolution. It provided warmth, a method for cooking food, creating tools and protection. Its role in creation changed dramatically from providing energy to superheating in technological applications today. Its benefits as a source of energy and dangers as weapons of war and destruction are clear. Harnessing fire from lightning and volcanoes is still an untapped resource.
In the context of climate change and ecological conversion fire is a major concern. Deliberate burning and wild-fires
are ravaging vast areas resulting in the loss of biodiversity, property and lives and affects ecosystems everywhere.
Water and fire have vast symbolic and spiritual significance in all cultures.
God said to Noah “I establish my covenant with you that never again shall flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. This is the sign of the covenant for all future generations. I set my bow in the cloud. Genesis 9:11-13 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven and he overthrew those cities and all the inhabitants and what grew on the ground. Gen19:24.
Pope Francis: The problem of water is partly an educational and cultural issue, since there is little awareness of the seriousness of water issues in the context of inequality of peoples. LS 30. Someday after mastering the winds, the waters, the tides and gravity we shall harness for God the energies of love and then for a second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire. T de Chardin from The Phenomenon of Man.
Reflect, share, act, pray. As family members research, read up and share on the issue of water and fire in creation and how their use is manipulated today. Are our own actions just, in line with God’s plan in creation?