In Chapter Six of Laudato Si, Pope Francis speaks powerfully about the need for an “ecological conversion”.
“The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.
Pope Francis goes on to say that this ecological conversion is not just for ecologists and climate scientists, but for us all:
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.
Yes, we are all being put on the spot here. And our conversion starts with a reconciliation:
…which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change.
And our reconciliation must be followed by concrete actions to lessen our individual carbon footprints while simultaneously advocating for a “community conversion”.
So when will you experience your ecological conversion, your “climate epiphany”? Or perhaps, you already have. Please consider sharing at https://saintfrancisseattle.wordpress.com/laudato-si-in-action/#feedback.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.