Our instilled belief that earth was created for the human species and given to us as masters for its use and abuse has been exploded by both science and theology. With the knowledge we now have, we are understanding that the living earth is sacred and we are all part of one creation. Everything that exists is a reflection of the loving creative Spirit who infuses all beings. With that perspective, our responsibilities become clear. One goal is becoming increasingly obvious: we need to change our attitude and behavior to save our planet.
God of Creation, help us to respect the works of your hands. Before it is too late, may we treasure clear water, shining stars, fertile soil, furry and feathered animals and our unique human brothers and sisters.
Work to grow in sensitivity to and awareness of human laws and behavior which pollute and destroy our earth. Become connected with others through organizations such as The Global Catholic Climate Movement, or Friends of the Earth and become active in opposing all unnecessary destruction of the species and riches of this planet.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things.
We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
The Earth Charter
This movement is humanity’s immune response to resist and heal political disease, economic infection, and ecological corruption…
Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.
We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.
We are all one in the circle of God’s sustaining love. All have a right to be here. As conscious members of this Earth community, we are responsible to act for the good of all.
Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY