The Season of Creation is a moment to listen to the cry of the Earth, frequently, the destructive atmospheric phenomena that are consummated in all corners of the world, and the cruel hand of human beings who, driven by the desire for profit and power, continues to extract, exploit and abuse for economic interests, to the detriment of the weakest and most vulnerable.
It is precisely the cry of the people and the Earth that we must listen to, inhabitants of a disfigured land crying out for help. And that is exactly the message we wanted to convey during the July 22, 2022 event, along with the speakers who donated their testimonies for Creation.
During the kick off event, we have listened to the voices of Creation advocates from all over the world who are helping to raise awareness and take action on behalf of our Earth.
Together with to Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon, MI, the Vicar and General Secretary of the Camillian Order and rector of St. Mary Magdalene Church of Rome, we have heard his reflection on “God made the first Garden, Cain the first city”:
1. The garden of Eden represents creation as conceived by God, an ideal map within which man is placed to be its custodian and cultivator.
2. The human being is the homo technicus who is involved in the transformation of matter, and who lives in harmony with creation.
3. The garden of Genesis overlaps with the garden of Easter: the tree of life and the tree of the cross; the cherubim and angels in white robes; redeemed humanity (Mary of Magdala), presenting itself again to its true guardian, risen, to receive fulfilled life.
Sr Sheila Kinsey, a Franciscan sister, JPIC co-executive secretary and coordinator of the Sowing hope for the planet movement, encouraged us to raise our prophetic voice to comfort the afflicted, challenge those who need to change, and promote hope for a more sustainable future.
Following, together with Fr Niphot Thianwihan of the Religious and Cultural Communities Training and Research Center-RTRC, we heard the voice of creation through the wisdom of Thailand's indigenous peoples with the following learning:
1. Our indigenous brothers and sisters of Karen and Lahu have a way of life closely intertwined in three dimensions: their relationship with the Absolute Being, with nature (the environment or universe), and with other human beings (family, community, and society).
2. The rice bank was in fact a renewal of the value of mutual aid and a solution to the problem of exploitation by traders and middlemen from outside.
3. Nature is the giver of life, a life that they must respect and protect. They are aware that without nature, human beings cannot live. On the contrary, nature could exist even if there were no human beings.
Ashley Kitisya, an activist with the Laudato Si' Fuel Movement, helped us understand the views of women in Kenya with respect to the voice of creation. Indeed, women power is taking the lead in fighting against large destructive activities because they have most to lose: when you touch the life of a woman, you touch the life of a home, community and nation.
With Cleng Julve, of the AGHAM movement - Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, we listened to the whisper of the trees, rivers, and lakes, to the cries of mountains, seas, to the roar of super typhoons, of wild fires and drought,
we listened to the screams of environment defenders and the chorus of the people. Because there is no planet B but a better world is possible.
From Peru, Fr. Alex Spencer Ballena Rios, MI, Vice-Provincial superior of Peru, has brought us closer to the Peruvian people, Inca descendants, to reflect on the voice of creation. We need to put on the "stethoscope" and feel the dissonant beats of an earth blessed by God, but where man has not been content to be the administrator, but its destroyer. Creation is crying for clean waters, Protection of natural reserves, Dignity of every human being, responsibility and unity. We need to show then our gratitude for the presence of the Amazonians for helping us to see more closely in their faces, the reflection of this land.
Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ, Professor at the Gregorian University, Rome, has conveyed his message for Creation through poetry, proving that a message can be sent in so many creative expressions.
Finally, Cheryl Dugan, Program Manager, Asia Pacific LSM, explained how can we make all these insights effective. So what we can and must do.
Renewing our thanks for the valuable interventions, we invite you to continue to follow us during the Season of Creation.
In the coming weeks, CADIS will continue to organize promotion, outreach, and advocacy activities during the Season of Creation 2022 and beyond. Our commitment will be unwavering.