LAUDATO SI WEEK 2022-INDIAN PROVINCE
LAUDATO SI’ (PPRAISE BE TO YOU) “Earth our common Home”
“LAUDATO SI,’— “Praise be to you my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful Canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common Home is like a sister with whom we share our life and the beautiful Mother opens her arms to embrace us. Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains, protects us and produces various fruits with colourful flowers and herbs and provides us with all our needs such as water, air, plants, fruits, medicines and so on.
More and more we are aware that to care for our ‘Common Home’ is a personal responsibility and an urgent call. The selfishness of human beings does a lot of harm, destruction and exploitation to the eco-system and affects its balance and harmony. The bounty of the earth is to be shared by all persons and communities. At the same time, it is our call and duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations, because, “the earth is the Lord’s (Ps 24.1).” to him belongs “the earth with all that is within it” (Deut. 10.14). Our ownership is not absolute.
We, the Indian sisters along with our collaborators and beneficiaries celebrated the bounty of God with gratitude and praise. We are happy to share with you what we have lived, experienced, exchanged in caring for our ‘common Home’ during this week in different communities of India.
We work hand in hand with the church, other like-minded people to safeguard our ‘common home’. In some places the government provided seedlings at a cheap prize and at times they offered them free especially to schools, institutions and to persons who like to take care of the environment. In some schools, care of the environment is part of the school curriculum.
A few of the activities which we implemented is a continuous process as mentioned below. We had conducted Awareness classes for the Novices, Postulants, co-workers, beneficiaries of our institutions and social centres. Some of our communities planted some seedlings, distributed the seeds to the women and children, did replantation, cleaned the surroundings and had a prayer service in nature. We discussed and exchanged our views, challenges of today especially on climate changes, natural calamities, migration and other strange things that are happening which led us to think of ways and means to grow closer to our mother earth. We explained to the students and women about the meaning of Creation in the spiritual sense and encouraged them to plant more trees.
In some of the other social centres ‘Laudato Si’ week was celebrated with the village women, children, farmers and other groups with awareness programme, input sessions, exchanges, planting medicinal plants and evaluating what had been done last year. Some of them stay in government land, take care of those places by cleaning and planting vegetables or other plants. We continue to visit the villages and literacy centres to encourage them for their simple and innovative initiatives.
Many of the communities read articles connected with environment. Nature prayer, nature walk and conversation with plants were specific ways of worshiping the creator God through the created being. Also, the sisters planted trees and vegetables, cleaned their surroundings, took care of the land and produced maximum yield from it. Each one is interested in cultivating and beautifying the garden. Bio-fertiliser is used for cultivation, plastic milk covers and other plastic waste is washed, dried and disposed to the municipality. Conscious efforts are made for the use of electricity and water which is a daily reality.
The celebration of ‘Laudato Si’ week challenged the sisters and others to become care takers of creation. It was a time of praising and thanking God for His wonderful creation. Once again, we became aware of the responsibility to protect our nature and preserve the natural resources. Let us pray that we grow in this conviction so that our life becomes pleasing in the sight of the creator, as we become aware of the triple relationships, with God, with neighbour and with the earth/nature. Let us grow in this awareness that away from nature we do not grow, but perish.
Collated from the reports of the communities
Deepti RA, India