Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed the need to care for our “common home.” God has given us this world as a great gift and it is our responsibility to care for it.
However, with all the advancements of modern life, it is relatively easy to take a more “passive” approach, letting other people care for creation, while we do nothing.
It’s important to take-up this challenge with enthusiasm, recognizing the fact that every choice we make has an impact on the rest of the world.
We must all make a type of “examen” of our use of God’s creation, recognizing lifestyle choices that need to change in our own lives in order to preserve the world for future generations.
Above all, our guiding principle in our care for creation should be respect for all human life. God gave us this world as a gift, and as we have come to realize, misuse of this gift has led to harmful effects on all humanity.
Here are a few suggestions on where to get started.
- Limit your use of screens – While smartphones and TVs are beneficial tools for society, they also take us away from nature. This has desensitized us to the depletion of natural resources. By using modern technology less, we will more readily see the beauty of creation.
- Take frequent hikes in the wilderness – By taking frequent hikes in the wilderness, we can reconnect with God’s creation and have a greater concern for its destruction.
- Support local farmers – Buying produce at a local level helps support smaller family farms, where the impact on the environment is much less significant. Large commercial farms tend to deteriorate the landscape and use more chemicals that produce more harm than good.
- Choose life – Recent studies have shown the harmful effects of birth control pills. This includes potential damage to a woman’s health and the death of an unborn child. Further, chemicals in the pill pollute local water supply. Thus, Pope Francis has opposed the use of artificial contraceptives.
- Use less plastic – Pope Francis has repeatedly mentioned the need to use less plastic, as it has become a major disruptor of the earth’s ecosystem.
We all need to examine in our own lives and discover what it is that we can do, both in prayer and action, to protect God’s creation.
Philip Kosloski is the Digital Content Manager for the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (USA) and is also a spirituality writer for Aleteia.org and has been featured on such places as The Huffington Post, Crisis Magazine, The Catholic Herald, Catholic Exchange, National Catholic Register and EWTN Radio.