There is no doubt that the harshest war currently being waged is that against creation, and if we want to be real peacemakers, and be so blessed as to see God, we really have to take this call of Pope Benedict more seriously than we are doing at present.
A work of justice
Care for our environment is a work of justice, and hence a real obligation and not a mere option. This idea is becoming more mainstream for Christians and believers of all persuasions, and it is becoming easier to understand that we cannot continue treating creation so selfishly without suffering serious consequences ourselves and bringing even more dire results on future generations. It seems we are waging war on ourselves, and there is a certain amount of self-interest in working for peace with creation.
This is an even more pressing call for Christians, who believe that God is the Creator of our common home, and all he created was good. Moreover we believe that God intended creation to be enjoyed and cared for by all, and not only by those who have the means to exploit it more than others.
An ecological conversion
In his letter Laudato sii on care for our common home, Pope Francis does not mince his words by saying that many Christians need what he calls an ‘ecological conversion’: some find it easy to ridicule such calls, others choose to remain passive, sticking to their old habits. Yet, the Pope points out that, ‘Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience‘. (217)
The link between peacemaking and care for creation is seen in the growing number of wars being waged on access to resources, not only for oil and other minerals but also for water and food. It is estimated that soon the number of environmental refugees will soon outstrip the numbers of refugees caused by wars.
There are so many concrete ways to protect creation, from being less wasteful to supporting policies that are more sustainable. Most come at a price, but it is a price worth paying.
‘Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all creation’, said St John Paul. Lord, give me a heart sensitive to this aspect of peace in our times. May I deserve to be called a peacemaker.
Today we bring you two audiovisual aids. The first is a powerful video of Pope Francis’ prayer and invitation to peace during his visit to the Holy Land; the second is a rendition of Handel’s ‘How beautiful are the feet’, inspired by Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”