Don’t look now but we are just two weeks away from Easter. If you’re like me, there is still room for improving the fruitfulness of this Lenten season. This includes spending time more in the next two weeks reflecting on our call to repentance and to examine where I am being called to conversion.
As we consider the ways we are called to conversion, care of creation may not at the top of the list (or even on the list). However, I think the question “Are we living in right relationship with God’s creation?” can reveal our need for ecological conversion, both as individuals, communities and institutions.
All the way back in 1991, the USSCB released a pastoral statement entitled, Renewing the Earth, which helps illuminate the connection between care of creation and repentance:
“Grateful for the gift of creation…we invite [people] of good will…to consider with us the moral issues raised by the environmental crisis. … These are matters of powerful urgency and major consequences. They constitute an exceptional call to conversion. As individuals, as institutions, as a people, we need a change of heart to preserve and protect the planet for our children and for generations yet unborn.”
This “exceptional call to conversion” has only increased since 1991. I would venture a guess that it has also become more difficult on an individual level because of the way our culture of consumerism and convenience is so engrained in our daily lives. As a result, it’s important to take this dedicated time of reflection and repentance to consider our relationship to God’s creation. What change of heart of heart is needed “as individuals, as a people”? How must we make changes for the better on an individual level and advocate for changes on a broader scale?