Distinct Voice: Mercy and the Degradation of Earth
Margie Abbott rsm (ISMAPNG): '“We are in Need of Respirators Urgently!” Thus cry out the Oceans of the World'

In her reflection for Theme One, Faith Traditions and Mercy, Elizabeth Davis reminds us “of the call to contemplation to dare us to find anew our passion for mercy…Each major faith tradition holds mercy as essential to its life…In Buddhism, the Bodhisattva, Kwan Yin is a spiritual figure associated with compassion. Her name means One Who Hears the Cry of the World.” (Reflection for Segment Two, Theme One: Faith Traditions and Mercy)

In this reflection on earth degradation, I awaken myself to a deeper consciousness of the plight of the oceans of the world, suffering both from climate change and the reckless tossing of surgical masks into their depths.  Compassion and mercy are needed right now. The oceans of the world are crying out for mercy.

To assist the reflection on the theme earth degradation, I have chosen the video Storm which the Rahamim Ecological Centre in Bathurst NSW Australia created for The Season of Creation last year. There was a different video available for each of the Sunday themes, and this one, using quotes from Laudato Si’ superimposed on ocean scenes, alerts the viewer to ‘climate emergency’ as a worldwide issue.  Let’s hear the cry for mercy and justice from the oceans of the world.

And now the oceans are further affected by another worldwide issue which emerged in the past months with COVID-19.

A pandemic of unknown proportions, COVID-19 has strengthened the notion that we are one big cosmic web.  If we never gave it a thought before this, we can now see how intimately we are all interconnected with one another and with the rest of the natural world.

Just this week I saw an image of thousands of surgical masks being lifted from the ocean. This both appalled me and inspired me to role reverse with the Oceans of the World. Becoming the ocean I feel the choking sense of refuse from cruise ships, plastics killing the species dwelling within me, my cultural value to all Indigenous Peoples of the world, my sacred identity is all being disturbed and livelihoods created from my waters are being denied.

This month we have a wonderful opportunity to reflect in as many ways that we can think of, on the plight of the oceans of the world - to role reverse with the different oceans of the world wherever we live, and listen to their cry. They help us to breathe and yet they are having difficulty breathing themselves, as pollution mounts and their waters heat...

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Public domain

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Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator

Margie Abbott rsm is a member of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG). She has been offering retreats in Eco Spirituality since 1990. Margie’s qualifications in education, spirituality, theology, and counselling, as well as psychodrama, create a foundation for spontaneity and creativity. Her publications include Cosmic Sparks. Her ritual on the theme ‘Web of Life’ produced for the 2019 Season of Creation can be accessed here 

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