Today on Earth Day, I would like to share with you insights of a few ecotheologians I have been reading and a few questions for your own reflection.
Q. How are we to live in our world because of God’s boundless love for creation and presence with and in it?
Q. In what ways can we exercise our responsibility, our solidarity, and our dignity as people and citizens of this world?
Q. What is the connection between caring for creation and social justice?
Jay B. McDaniel proposes that a spirituality of the earth is rooted in a recognition 1) of the sacredness or intrinsic value of physical matter; 2) that the land is an evolutionary and divinely donated gift to be used according to biblical understandings of stewardship; and 3) that the earth, including what is external to our own bodies and what is internal to them is God’s own body. (Earth, Sky, Gods, and Mortals: Developing an Ecological Spirituality, 2009)
According to Dianne Bergant, we ought to develop an Earth consciousness in reading the Bible, that is, an eco-sensitive way of reading the Bible in order to discover what new insights this approach might yield. This sensitivity could lead to our taking an advocacy stand in support of the community of Earth. (A New Heaven, A New Earth; The Bible and Catholicity, 2016)
There is a strong connection between caring for creation and social justice. According to Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, everyday life, a “good life” in the United States, entails consumption, production, and acquisition patterns that threaten Earth’s capacity to sustain life as we know it, and exploit vast numbers of people worldwide, some even until death. Our ways of life and the economic policies that make them possible contribute to severe, even deadly, poverty and ecological degradation on massive scales. (Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation, 2013, p. 3)
Prayer for Today
Creator God, we bless you for your gifts of air and water, earth and fire.
- Unite people of every nation in efforts to secure healthy food and clean water for all people and species. R. Just God, hear us.
- Restore fruitfulness to lands ravaged by famine or drought. R. Just God, hear us.
- Help us to steward our talents and resources with wisdom and care for the environment. R. Just God, hear us.
- Lead your Church to advocate for an ecology that restores wholeness of the earth. R. Just God, hear us.
Happy Earth Day!