Lynette opened with a reflection on Mother Earth as our common home, using the words of Pope Francis. If we see the earth as our home, we will become pilgrims and not just be tourists. The Earth is the daughter of the universe.
Lynette then invited the Brothers to reflect on a prayer sheet entitled Earth and People are Suffering a based on the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Sí wherein he talks about how we mistreat the earth, causing massive climate change. Pope Francis says that the earth is among the most abandoned and maltreat of our poor. The prayer went on: “May all I do today be for the healing of the earth.”
Lynette went on to show how we humans are exploiting the earth and the way we use its resources for our own needs or wants.
Tony said that cosmology shapes our attitudes. What’s the cosmology that’s leading us to destroy the earth? What’s the attitude that shaped this vision of the earth? Where in the bible is the justification for abusing the earth? In Genesis, we read, ‘Subdue the earth’. So, many people with this cosmology seem to think that we can use the earth without concern for the welfare of the earth. But we are called to be in right relationship with the earth community and not to abuse our Mother Earth.
Tony then explained how our consumerist attitude has impacted negatively on the health of the earth. He invited the Brothers to get in touch with what they were feeling when they viewed the diagnosis analysis of the health of the earth.
The Brothers were then invited to leave the Formation Centre and examine how ‘our home’ is being cared for, how she is being treated and how she is being neglected.
Lynette then invited the Brothers to reflect on their area back home and see how the local environment is being cared for. Brothers shared their reading of Laudato Si, again linking what they read with their situation back home.
The Brothers were then invited to participate in a ritual where they shared how Mother earth was being endangered in their home area. They dropped a stone into a bowl of tears, praying ‘Mother Earth, hear my prayer’ to which the other Brothers responded: ‘We hear you.’
Then, the Brothers were challenged to examine what practically they could do to change the way we interact with the concerns of the earth. The video that was shown emphasized the power of one where each person can do something to make a difference.
Lynette then shared what the Presentation Sisters are doing in six countries to make a difference in preventing the death of the earth.