“The Lord God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.”
Laudato Si’ #67
“We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man “dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church. Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations. “
The livesimply award is an opportunity for parishes to work together to respond to Laudato Si’ and explore how they can live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. To obtain the award a parish needs to plan activities in the 3 different areas living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. These can include a variety of activities from recycling to reducing the use of plastic to collecting for the local food bank. It can also include activities that the parish already undertakes for example CAFOD Lent fast day collection, walk to church Sunday, or selling fairtrade. In the diocese we have 5 parishes who have achieved the award and 3 more working towards it. Wouldn’t it be great if every parish achieved the award!
So take action and respond to Laudato Si’ by becoming a livesimply parish all you need is a small group of keen parishioners and support from your priest. Contact me today for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org .