April 22

Earth Day
Reflection

We are the first people who have viewed our planet from space and been awed by its integrity and beauty. We have realized how fragile it is in the vastness of the universe. Yet, even as we are awed by the wonder of our planet, we realize that our own insensitivity to its nature is causing irreparable damage to its ability to sustain the lives of the other creatures with whom we share this planet and ultimately of our own. Earth Day reminds us of our responsibility and challenge in the crisis we are facing. It calls us back from accepting gross economic gain and self-indulgence in the misuse of Earth’s resources to respect and protection of the riches of Earth’s gifts on which we all depend and in which we all share.

I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si

Prayer

We thank you. O God, for our life-giving Earth.  May we be zealous for the Earth not just today, but every day of our lives.

Action

Go to Earth Day

Earth Day 2019’s Campaign is Protect Our Species

Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.

The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are far reaching.

If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy. Here are some quick facts on the current wave of extinction and additional information about this problem here.

Suggested Reading

Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a
wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures
and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.
Laudato Si, 92

Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for
subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations.
Laudato Si, 67 

The Great Work, now as we move into a new millennium, is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner. The deepest cause of the present devastation is found in a mode of consciousness that has established a radical discontinuity between the human and other modes of being and the bestowal of all rights on the humans.
Thomas Berry

Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.
Barry Commoner

The earth is what we all have in common.
Wendell Berry

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
Gandhi

He that plants trees loves others beside himself.
Thomas Fuller

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Native American Proverb

If we are ever to halt climate change and conserve land, water and other resources, not to mention reduce animal suffering, we must celebrate Earth Day every day — at every meal.
Ingrid Newkirk

I had assumed that the Earth, the spirit of the Earth, noticed exceptions — those who wantonly damage it and those who do not. But the Earth is wise. It has given itself into the keeping of all, and all are therefore accountable.
Alice Walker

To treat all parts of Earth as sacred and Earth’s beings as our neighbors to be respected and loved…
Land Ethic Statement, Sisters of Saint Joseph, Brentwood, NY

 

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