As the Season of Creation draws to a close the journey continues. Despite the terrifying signs of climate disruption, Amazon fires, melting of Arctic ice etc, whether or not we hope for success, we must continue the journey. There are signs to encourage us: one is the recent document from the Vatican, `Journeying towards Care of our Common Home – 5 years after Laudato Si.’ It is a work of co-operation between different Vatican dicasteries calling for a new vision for the world, a time to choose what matters; and the pandemic has given us an opportunity to look again at what really matters, it has also shown us that things can change. The document reiterates the theme in Laudato Si, that everything is interconnected, health, environment, economy as well as the spiritual, moral and ethical. There are many examples of practical initiatives and good practice in the fields of education, food production and use ,it encourages a circular economy where nothing is wasted, and in the field of finance examines investment strategies and clearly encourages disinvestment from fossil fuels. Not least, it gives a report of all that has been done in the Vatican State to practice what is being preached. It seems that the Church, in all its varied and wonderful ways , along with so many other people of good will, is beginning to gather momentum on this all important challenge to humanity, which is already affecting, and will continue to affect the lives of us all. Not only will it affect us but also the creatures, plants and animals, the earth beneath our feet the seas and seasons, and generations yet to come. It is worth looking at.
How are we to live with the agonising uncertainty of today? Wither is the pandemic leading and what of government responses? Lockdowns again? fear of loss of livelihoods, employment, infection and possible death? And behind all that the huge challenge coming ever more into focus of an uncontrollable climate change and environmental loss. But there is something to be discovered in all this. This radical uncertainty can be a gift, inviting us to live in the present moment. We still have the power to choose, the intention to care for the common good, the welfare of all, to engage regardless of how hopeful or hopeless it all seems. It is OK to feel the rage, pain and grief, the engulfing fear of what we are doing to our world. We will know by this that we are connected to our world, as part of earth, a communion with all the living; we are in solidarity with the family of life forms, all the living. Let us rest in this still point where there is a centre of creative Life, an inner Light which will lead us on. God is with us.
We have just had the Feast of the Archangels and the Guardian angels, the spiritual world is working with us, we are not alone, the ancestors, generation after generation, are willing us on: all forms of beauty and strength, our brothers and sisters in creation too . As Joanna Macey exhorts us, `feel the ancestors’. It is an important time to be alive and we do what we can in our small sphere. `We have work to do’.
Jessica Gatty r.a. October 2020