Living Laudato Si – An Integral Ecological Journey
The science is clear. Scientists have been warning us for more than two centuries (e.g., German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt 1769-1859) that the capitalist model of economic development, which necessitates overconsumption, means that “our house”, as the young climate activist Greta Thunberg has oft been quoted, “is on fire”. It is clear that responding to these crises demands concerted, revolutionary shifts in our thinking and action at all levels of society. And Pope Francis makes this clear:
“all of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution.” (LS114) He clearly demonstrates how the destruction of one part, has devastating consequences for the other. Pioneering in its communication, Pope Francis corroborates that we cannot respond to ‘the cry of the earth’ (as demonstrated today through climate change, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, desertification, soil erosion, etc.,) without seeking justice for the ‘cry of the poor’ (expressed through the intensification of global conflicts, hunger, poverty, migration, violation of human rights, compounded by the enduring threats to global democracy and peace).
Pope Francis outlines how we have failed in our responsibilities to protect ‘our common home’ and all those that inhabit it. Yet, he remains hopeful that all is not lost, “for we know that things can change” [LS13]. We do, however, have an “urgent challenge to protect our common home … to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development” [LS13].
In Laudato Si, he proposes a transformative approach in how we – that is all humanity – must respond to these challenges. He charts us a new journey of ‘integral ecology’ to ensure the sustainability of our common home and a safe and just future for the youth of tomorrow.
“…nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities” (LS165).
During the month of Advent (2021) AMRI embarked on “An integral ecological journey” in exploring and sharing some of the ways in which AMRI members are “Living Laudato Si”.