10 Praise be to You! - Vera Alvares

posted Oct 3, 2018, 9:52 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 10:04 AM ]
"Where can we find God, if we cannot find HIM in our own hearts and in every living being?" says Karmayogi Swami Vivekananda, greatly respected and followed for his profound philosophy. For the followers of Christ, St Francis of Assisi, the Saint of Nature and animals has marked a trail to walk amidst God's creatures. It is said that Francis could communicate with all of Creation as a result of his empathy towards Nature! His namesake, Pope Francis, walks this talk through his second encyclical, 'Laudato Si' (Praise be to you), calling upon all humans to care for Mother Earth, our common home. The Holy Father's call comes at a crucial time when natural calamities, changing weather patterns, depleting natural resources are playing havoc with human life, urgently calling mankind to put an end to its destructive activities.

As man's search for pleasure and affluence grows, he has exploited Nature without any remorse or moral restraint to such an extent that nature has steadily lost its ability to sustain healthy life on Earth. Invaluable gifts of Nature, such as air, water and food have been either depleted or polluted with disastrous consequences. The irony of it is that pollution causes sickness, death and suffering especially to the poor and weaker sections that contribute least to it! Battalions of green warriors across the globe have begun to sound a clarion call to save the Earth before further damage is done. This call is reflected in the teachings by many religious leaders and social activists who lament that it is irresponsible and morally wrong to destroy Mother Earth that belongs to our future generations.

Pope Francis issued Laudato Si' taking inspirations from the Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St Francis of Assisi. In this song of praise, all elements on Earth are mentioned as our siblings and Mother Earth is mentioned thus: "Praised be You, my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs." We ourselves "are dust of the earth" (Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements; we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters. This sister now cries out to us to stop inflicting harm and pain on her that is caused through our reckless pursuit of wealth and pleasure!