Reflective Prayer: Mercy and the Degradation of Earth
Adele Howard rsm (ISMAPNG): 'Everything is Connected'
Context for the Reflective Prayer
In Mercy we enter into this reflective time with each other as we continue to struggle with the shared global experience of the illness and destructive action of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, we experience the heroism of health care workers, the brilliance and dedication of scientists as they develop a vaccine, the bravery of public leaders holding families, communities and the vulnerable in a social network of care and concern, as well as the selfless dedication of front-line workers and volunteers who are caring for society’s ongoing and practical needs.
We are learning that indeed … ‘Everything is connected. Concern for the Environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ N.91)
As Paul says in our first Reading, …’Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.’ (Romans 8:21)
We hold this in tension with profound hope, based on the belief which we celebrate in these Easter Season days, that ‘the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory…’ (John 1:14)
‘…The point in terms of divine revelation to the world is that through the incarnation the incomprehensible mystery of God acquires a genuine human life, a story in time, even a death, and does so as a participant in the history of life on our planet. Hence [Karl] Rahner argues, “the climax of salvation history is not the detachment from earth of the human being as spirit in order to come to God, but the descending and irreversible entrance of God into the world, the coming of the divine logos in the flesh, the taking on of matter so that it itself becomes a permanent reality of God.”
(Elizabeth Johnson ‘Ask The Beasts’ p. 197)
Everything is indeed connected; care for earth and care for each other are central to the healing energy of the Risen Presence. ‘It is good for humanity and the world at large when we believers better recognise the ecological commitments which stem from our convictions.’
(Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ N. 64)...
Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator
Adele Howard rsm is the Coordinator of Mercy Global Presence for the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG). She works in areas of ecological theology and communication.
Adele was the Producer and interviewer of the VOICES of theologians and scholars video series (MIRP) listed in the Good Reading guide for this theme.
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