Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Interconnectedness of Creation and our Purpose

In the most recent parish event before our young ones got dismissed from religious education for vacation, we had a great time being with the children of St. Peter Prince of the Apostles.  We had an opportunity to teach them about Laudato Si.  The religious education director Deacon Rich gave us about 40 students.  Our main topic was about the encyclical in short version.  We had the interconnectedness of the creation as our ice-breaker. We only had less than an hour.  With the number of students that we had we decided that we will enjoy the ice-breaker and keep them engaged with this activity that they were enjoying.   We started with a tree.  A child picked up a tree, another child picked up a bee, another picked up a human being, another picked up a flower, another picked up a bird, another picked up a soil, and so on.  The children were so engaging in thinking how the creatures and biome are connected to each other.   If one does not exist, the food chain, habitat, or the source of energy is cut off.   One feeds on another and one needs another to exist.  Everything has a mission and purpose.   One cannot do the job for what it is designed for and such creature has a special purpose or mission.  A lion nor an elephant can replace the worker bees.  Worker bees cannot exist without the mother bee, and mother bee produces the worker bees and male bees.   Knowing that we have an environmental crisis where everyone can contribute, we ask the children how can they take care of the earth.  

Most of the children who participated received a seed. For the question and answers reusable utensils, which hopefully they will carry with them and use to avoid plastic spoon, fork and knife. Some of the children receive a reusable produce net bag.  Everybody was able to stop and ponder, who is this creature and how is this creature connected to another? 

Spiritual Care Department supported the Earth day by being able to raised the importance of advocacy that plastic pollution has become an epidemic in the world.  It is all around our home, communities, parishes, schools, restaurants, streets, rivers, beaches, etc.  How do we stop and be more aware that we are all contributors to this epidemic?  How do we stop our arrogance against nature that we cannot do whatever we want in terms of our shopping, eating, and living practices having the plastics parts of the daily consumption and trash?  By the questions that we gave to the employees in one of our hospitals, it helped to stop people that there is an issue and they too can raise awareness that there is an issue to be tackled.  We sponsored a raffle in one of our hospitals during the Earth Month to raise awareness and ask the people about the three questions:

1. What is the theme of this year’s (2024) Earth Day? Stop Plastic

2.   Plastics are a danger to humanity and all living creatures, disrupting the delicate balance of life on earth. True

3.  United States Health costs this much increase due to chemicals used in plastics: $200 Billion

It was reported that there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish by 2050.  This is how bad the situation is unless something radical is put in place to stop the epidemic on plastic.  Daphne Bramham: There could be more plastic than fish in oceans by 2050 | Vancouver Sun

Pope Francis, through Laudato Si, is teaching us that we are all connected and where everything impacts another creature or entity in the bios.   Pope Francis has been advocating and inviting people of the world towards ecological conversation.  Even further, Yaka in his article “Rethinking Justice: Struggles for Environmental Commons and the Notion of Socio‐Ecological Justice,” argues that with a socio-ecological consciousness we become aware that human and non-human life can co-exist with dignity. 

Everybody has their own way of expressing their care of the earth and perhaps some are not yet aware of how their carbon footprint impacts the bigger picture.  Each of these contributes to the climate change which we all share.   Pope Francis wrote the Laudate Deum as a follow-up on what has transpired since the Laudato Si in 2015. 

Reflection Questions:

·       What have you done differently for Laudato Si or what are you able to do for Laudato Si Care of our Common Home? 

·       How do you see the Laudate Deum of Pope Francis helping in raising the urgency of the Climate Crisis?

·       What are you able to do for your community knowing about this topic?

June 5 is the World Environment Day, let us be mindful that the environment is a common good and deserves our attention to be mindful stewards of it.  Find out more about this event in https://www.unep.org/events/un-day/world-environment-day-2024

Written by Sr. Marylou Rodriguez CCVI.

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