This Week's Reflection

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I mentioned last Sunday that this last week has been Christian Aid week. Along with campaigning and working for vaccine justice across the world, one of the key areas of Christian Aids work at the moment is with people who are most affected by climate change. As such they challenge us to be aware of the reality of climate change and how the things we do, consume, bye and throw away impact the planet on which we all depend.

It’s always important that we think about the impact we have on the planet, and alongside that it’s good to think about why it matters.  One key reason, that Christian Aid flag up particularly, is the disproportionate impact climate change has on the poorest in our world. There are other reasons why we do this that sit alongside that: the fact that we all depend on our earth and the deep desire to have something to pass on to future generations. People of faith will also talk about caring for that which God has given us and to love what God loves and to love how God loves.

I also believe that the earth is holy. It is a part of God, not just something that God made. To love and cherish the earth is the love and cherish something holy. I also find it really helpful to consider my connection with the planet on which I walk and whose air I breathe and I find it good to take time each day and consider my deep connection with the world around. St Francis and St Clare of Assisi spoke of sister moon and stars and brother wind and air. They saw themselves as related to the natural world. I find this way of thinking and speaking as it reminds me daily of my deep inward connection with the earth and it challenges as idea of controlling the earth and taking things from it simply to satisfy my own greed. It gives a strong foundational reason for caring for the world: it’s my brother, it’s my sister.

One of the things I find help this is when I am out in nature and allow myself to simply feel a connection with the birds and the wind and the sun and the earth and the rain and whatever else I experience while I am out. The natural world is not something I have to battle with, or control, or try to escape, it’s something I live alongside and with whom I share a creator and a deep connection.

Ilia Delio, a modern follower of the teachings of Francis and Clare says this: “we cannot jump over this world, or its woundedness, and still try to love God. We must love God through, in and even because of this world. Only prayer, the Spirit of God breathing in us, dwelling in our hearts and joining us to Christ, can lead us, like Francis, to the contemplative vision of God’s goodness in every creature and in every living thing.  The God within us is the God who permeates every aspect of our world—the One who is the source and goal of creation.”

If you’d like to explore more about St Francis and St Clare and our holy connection with creation you can follow this link:  https://cac.org/a-cosmic-mutuality-2020-10-06/

Anne Sardeson 16th May 2021