One of my favorite Sunday routines is to read Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations. This Sunday, he begins the weekly series reflecting on Our Common Planetary Home. In the spirit of Franciscan writings and their role modeling of what it means to be good stewards of the one place we can all call home, Richard Rohr shares reflections on our responsibilities to care for our home.
He opens today’s essay with the following words.
Today, our common planetary home is falling into ruin. We are on the brink of an unprecedented global challenge regarding the sustainability of our common home, which places a question mark on the very future of human civilization. . . .
The reality of these words hits home so deeply. We see the ruin around us. We are also witness to global leaders turning a blinds eye to the challenges we face and further exacerbating the ruin. Profit and hoarding over sustainability and conservation.
However, there is hope because we also see many voices, especially younger voices, crying out for changing our behaviors and practices to align with a more sustainable and equitable way of living. Will their voices echo long and loud enough to influence the masses of people needed to overshadow the power structure focused on profit?
Richard Rohr lays out a challenge for us to live by when he writes:
The contemporary ecological crisis, in fact, lays bare precisely our incapacity to perceive the physical world as impregnated with the “divine presence.”
We have to learn to see the “divine presence” in all living things and Earthly resources. If we are unable to recognize this “divine presence” then we make be relegated to treating the Earth as a marketplace (Rohr’s metaphor). In that case, our home is in jeopardy. But Rohr’s does give us light at the end of the tunnel in his last sentence:
We need to be aflame once again with the zeal for our common home.
The emphasis is on the word common, which to me means equitable. The Earth is not here for the US, China, or any other country to dominate and subjugate. It is here for each and every one of us to appreciate, making the resources available to everyone in sustainable ways so they can be passed along to future generations.
We can start by reading Rohr’s Daily Meditations next week, learning from Franciscan teachings that focused on caring for the poor and our Planetary Home.