Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si (#42):
Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.
Loud bells rang for me. I lived near the sea for many years. One of the gifts of the time was that I became more aware of the changing seasons, the recurring patterns and indicators of approaching weather, the movement of the tides, and the beauty of my surrounds. I contemplated the sea daily, I was entertained by the playful bird and animal life outside the window of my quiet space, and I eagerly anticipated the cycle of blossoms and colours in my garden.
I was but one member of this earthly community. I used to say that I lived with a beautiful fox who even ventured onto my front lawn, a black wallaby, an echidna who often visited the back yard, a few koalas, many possums and rabbits, my chickens and my Kelpie companion, Scobie. We were well aware of one another and respected one another’s right to be there: we lived in harmony. And I have not even mentioned the bird life. There is something about the mutuality and inter-relatedness of such a community: sometimes only fleetingly, I sensed our shared life, our communion. Dare I call this shared life God’s life?
Whether in my back yard or in the great national parks that I have been privileged to visit, or the pristine-pure Gordon and Franklin Rivers in Western Tasmania… God’s Spirit of love invites us into deep communion.
Pope Francis’ call for an ‘ecological conversion’ is an invitation to move from seeing ourselves as the ones caring for creation rather to oneness with creation, mutual caring. Heart of Life works to encourage that.