Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A World We All Must Share

 Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Ecology. The recent commitment by China and the US to sign the Paris agreement on climate change is a positive sign but experts say it is too little too late. Former bishop of Oxford John Pritchard in God Lost and Found suggests that our reluctance to face up to such problems has spiritual consequences: “The danger is that as a global community we may not be prepared to learn the lessons. The stuttering progress made at Kyoto, Bali and Copenhagen [climate conferences] on reducing our consumption of fossil fuels for the sake of the planet suggests that nations are not yet prepared to ease back the throttle.
What is true at a personal level appears to be echoed at the international level. The voice of God is being drowned out by the greed in our hearts and the seductive music of the shopping malls. And underneath all the noise is the sad silent fact that Christian believers also are sometimes losing touch with the sacred centre of their lives, finding that a relationship with a credit card more instantly rewarding than a personal relationship with God.”
The bishop is telling us that while the threat to the environment is a global problem and it can only be put right by individuals embracing value systems that look beyond self and who are willing to accept changes to lifestyle that will make things better. Our insatiable demands for more and more from an exhausted planet that has no more to give must go. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it”—not ours.                                                   
                                                                                              Gordon Linney
                                                                                                                                        (The Irish Times)

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