Sunday, April 26, 2009
Francis, Our World and You
By Joy Wallace
If St. Francis were alive today, he would be an active leader of the environmental movement and he would be celebrating Earth Day … maybe every day. He is a wonderful example of someone who loved all of creation and mindfully cared for his environment. He chose to live simply and to use only the resources necessary for his austere lifestyle.
The Franciscan Spiritual Center is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia who believe that Jesus Christ came as brother to all created reality and acknowledge the oneness of the universe. They call themselves to proclaim in a viable and tangible manner their belief in the Cosmic Christ. Therefore, they commit themselves:
• To reverence all that exists
• To preserve the integrity of the land entrusted to our care
• To dialogue and explore with others the implications of eco-spirituality
• To promote positive environmental behaviors
• To celebrate our oneness with the universe
On April 25, the Franciscan Spiritual Center co-sponsored “Cool Congregations: Climate Change and the Common Good” at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall. This event afforded teams from parishes the opportunity to gather to learn strategies to address the issue of climate change. The goal of the event was to encourage individuals and parishes to change behaviors in order to better care for the environment.
It is important that we all look at ways to increase simplicity in our lives … to live more sustainable lives. It is only by analyzing how we live and how we can change behaviors to preserve our environment that we can become one with the universe. I challenge you to consider:
• Ways to reduce solid waste, both garbage and recycling;
• Ways to reduce the use of water;
• Ways to reduce the use of hot water;
• Ways to reduce furnace and air conditioning use;
• Ways to decrease car driving; and
• Ways to reduce the use of electricity.
As a first step, select one of the items above and come up with a plan to change a behavior for one week or one month. For instance, in order to reduce solid waste, one might only buy food items that can be purchased in bulk, or that have packaging that can be recycled. Or, one might decrease the number of showers taken in a week or decrease the time one takes in the shower in order to reduce the use of water.
Each small step you take is important. Each small step taken by a faith community is important. The earth is counting on us. God is counting on us. Please do your part.