By Sister Donna Zwigart
Pope Francis’ recently-released encyclical on climate change, “Laudato Si” (Praise Be to You), is factual and inspiring. It is an excellent action plan for protecting Mother Earth, our common home.
“Laudato Si” is addressed to every human being on Mother Earth and reminds us that we are all in relationship, or kin to one another and our environment, in this kindom of God. When we harm the earth, we forget about our kin, especially the poor and underprivileged because it is more difficult for them to overcome the effects of climate change: extremes in weather that cause drought and flooding that impact food supplies and availability of drinking water.
The Holy Father’s solution is an “integral ecology,” where all of us, no matter our political, social, economic or religious affiliation, have a role in preserving all creation and life, since “everything is connected.” Everyone can do some small thing to cut down on our consumption of the earth’s resources, whether it’s composting, recycling, using a rain barrel or planting trees. We need to respect all of creation, from the dirt and the trees to the air we breathe.
I think every person who is concerned about Mother Earth and its people should read the encyclical. Study it, it is beautifully written. It will make you more aware of creation and our interdependence on one another in this kindom of God.