Care for our Common Home

When I think of this often repeated phrase, the first idea that comes to mind is not a global one, I suspect that I like most people, do not think about care of our common home often. When I do think about it, the thought is far more prosaic and immediate. I think of the place in which I live and the people with whom I live. For instance do I make a real effort to: recycle, respect the opinions of others, to pick up litter, when I see it?

Obviously, taking care of anything demands activity and involvement. If it is to be effective the activity needs to be consistent and dependable. With this in mind, how am I doing locally? As a teacher I tend to give things a grade. In all honesty, the grade I would give my effort is a C-. I suspect most of us would fall there.

However, Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato si’ urges all who love our planet to think globally about the important environmental issues facing our world today. The issues of polluting water, air, and soil can no longer be ignored. We are put on notice that we are all responsible. We are stewards of the world, not masters. Our children must be taught by example and education what it means to be stewards. Future generations will hold us accountable for the world they inherited. Because we love them, we owe them our best; not our worst. We/I need to be involved. Essentially, we need to make a commitment to share. This needs to be done every day.

My prayer for all of us is to take a page from the life of St. Francis of Assisi and become more aware of the abundance we possess to share and the peace sharing brings.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Sister Carla Murar