By developing an “ethics for the care of life in all its forms,” we are able to contribute to the missionary mandate of urgent questions that we are proposing from the Congregations General Chapter.

Mother Earth is rapidly suffering from the violence of a capitalist society, which is wiping out the creation of God. This violence that is continually taking place and in a variety of ways, can be combated through an ethic of care for life. As humans we have pillaged the planet, and as we humans, we are the only ones capable, at this time, of changing the course of this disaster we have created.

In reality, those who have planned and assume a capitalist economy have more responsibility and should be the first to change their production models, but it is clear that they will not take charge of the disaster they have created, and as we are living in a “common home,” oikos, we cannot close our eyes to this reality that involves all of us.

Lynn White (1967), a historian states in her book: The historical roots of our environmental crisis, says that Christianity is a fundamental part of the crisis in which we are living, as it has philosophical and religious roots, when Christianity places the human being as the “king” of creation and demarcates other values (not ones surroundings) within this relationship: being human-nature. In addition, we must not forget that the Church urges all the faithful to look towards life in the “beyond,” thus focusing Christianity in obtaining a place in “Paradise”, neglecting the life right “here,” that is to say, the space and the time that we inhabit.

After forty years of White’s thesis, I think we have the opportunity to be a prophetic voice of change in our way of life at an auspicious time. When the “green revolution”[1] was born, there was also an extractive capitalism which didn’t take responsibility for the sustainability of natural resources.

Consequently, if religion has been one of the key factors driving this crisis, we must re-create our visión of Christianity, with other values (Laudato Si is a relevant call to this objective) and another spirituality inviting us to this intrinsic relationship to life, a comprehensive and holistic spirituality, to live the spirituality of St Francis of Assisi that identified the heavens; all creatures as “brothers and sisters,” that would be “good news” for our communities, who are the ones who suffer most by the environmental crisis.

From the Andean cosmo-vision, there is talk of a fully connected universe, even inanimate objects have a life and we are in constant interaction, where there are relations in this vital space, which are sacred, therefore, we must care for them. How much can we learn from the indigenous people in caring for the life that has been bequeath to  us? Our Christian spirituality should be attentive to learn and change, as missionaries and “messengers of the joy of the Gospel.” We want to be part of this challenge?

What our Congregation could do specifically today:

  1. To use cars only when it’s strictly necessary, in places where bicycles are a good alternative.
  2. Set aside garden spaces in our houses of formation and parishes for compost plots (natural and organic fertilizer) Develop vegetable gardens for our communities.
  3. Purchasing agricultural products for the community gardens so as to increase organic production.
  4. Plan hands on reunions or gatherings (with care to avoid paper waste and offering natural food).
  5. Offer learning outings for the youths and include catechesis.
  6. Develop a sensitivity to the use of electrical energy as well as the use of wáter in our houses of formation and parishes.
  7. Offer initiatives of recycling that women can teach within their groups.
  8. Consider homilies that have an eco friendly perspective for Mother Earth as well as a holistic approach to the ethic and care of life.

Can you think of any other actions that can be shared?

 

Elizabeth Gareca Gareca[2]

[1] Tthis is the international denomination used to describe the important process for the productivity of caring for the earth during the 1960’s and 1980’s in the United States and would later be accepted in other countries.

[2] She is a Lay Claretian,  specializing in Theology, agronomy and agricultura. Holding the position as the Director of the Ecumenical Net of Theology in La Paz (Bolivia) and assisting in the Biblical program EPABICLA for the Perú Bolivia Province; colaborating in the collective NI UNA MENOS Bolivia.