… whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Cor 9:6-8
This reading struck me yesterday because, if I read it correctly, whatever abundance Godde gives us in our life is to be shared with others, some of it, at least, to be given away. The word ‘abundance’ brings back memories of my reading, and saying, years ago affirmations like, Every day in every way I become more prosperous…
This passage stopped me in my track and had me wonder how much of my ‘abundance’ do I share?
Today, Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change, Laudato Si, Praised Be, is to be released. Much noise has been made already, for it and against it. I will read it as soon as I can lay my hands on it.
Until then, what dawned on me this morning is the link between our abundance and the climate change. Our abundance comes basically from the grabbing by the First World of the natural resources in the Third World. As you may already know, if everybody in the world lived the way most US citizens live, it would take seven ‘earths’ to maintain that lifestyle.
Our abundance comes from the Industrial Revolution and this Western sacred cow which capitalism is for some of us. Our planet is being raped again and again, so that we can drive gas-guzzling cars, eat salted almonds, turn on our A/Cs, enjoy strawberries at Christmastime and buy cheap goods made and sold by exploited workers.
I expect some people to rave about Pope Francis’ encyclical. But will those who rave be willing to change their way of being? Will I be able to live with less so that others can live with more, all that without destroying our Mother Earth?
Of course, some people are going to fight tooth and nail the reflections and recommendations proposed by Pope Francis. Strong political anti-bodies are going to react violently to a reality they prefer not to see, because this reality is too deeply challenging to the way we are.
Today’s situation is fascinating: Are we truly followers of Christ and willing to save both our poorer brothers and sisters while saving the earth as well? It is in our power, in our own interest even, to do so, but is it also in the realm of our will?
May Godde give us the grace to change.
Photo: ICCG’s tweet, 9 June 2015