As we continue our reflection on ‘Laudato Si’ there is much that gives us ‘food’ for reflection and thought.
Our oceans are under threat by pollution and over-fishing. Most of the water on this planet is found in the oceans and seas of the world. They also provide a lot of the oxygen for the atmosphere as well as much food.
Many of our forests are under threat. Biodiversity of species is under threat in many places. This has a two-fold aspect to it: a) there is much that can be of benefit to us as humans which is lost as species of animal, insect and plant life are lost. b) all life is precious, and God loves all of creation. We have the ability to live alongside other forms of life and even to enhance them or to destroy them!
In many mega cities of the world the quality of life for human beings and other forms of life is under threat. Very often it is the less powerful who are pushed into slums of various types.
So much communication now happens through the media and the digital world. While these can be useful tools they also can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously.
Information overload can drown the wisdom that has been passed on to us from past and present wisdom of the human family. Media needs to be a source of new cultural and social progress not a threat to our deeper riches.
It is possible to have ‘mental pollution’ where real relationships with others, with all the challenges that it can bring, can be replaced by a certain lack of healthy human interaction. We can become artificially shielded from the complexity of human relations which can even lead us into a melancholic dissatisfaction with interpersonal relations and an unhealthy isolation.
A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach, it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
A minority in the world believes that it has the right to consume in a way in which the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption if everyone was to live like that. Approximately a third of all food produced is discarded!!
Often what is fragile like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a ‘deified’ market, which then becomes the only rule.
Of course there are positive examples of environmental improvement; these show that human beings are still capable of intervening positively. For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us since we are made for love!
God Bless you today.
Bishop of Darwin