A Catholic Worker Approach to Laudato Si’: Repent! Understand! Pray!

A Catholic Worker Approach to Laudato Si’: Repent! Understand! Pray! June 21, 2015

Stop, or greatly reduce, your use of toxic chemicals on your lawns. Urban areas apply hazardous fertilizers, herbicides, & pesticides at rates that would never be found in farm country. These chemicals are death to the planet and its creatures and hazardous to humans. They destroy the micro flora and fauna in our soils. The chemicals kill beneficial pollinating insects like bees – one-third of our food supply is dependent upon pollinating insects! If we kill off all our bees – say goodbye to most nuts, fruit, squash, pumpkins, melons, chocolate, or cucumbers & 3/4ths of our flowers! Since 2006, the
commercial bee population has declined forty percent! Stop killing bees with lawn chemicals! Never buy a plant contaminated with neoniconitoid
pesticides! Learn more at http://www.bettertimesinfo.org/lawncare.htm . Bishops should mandate organic lawn care methods for all church properties.

Compost! Because a rind is a terrible thing to waste. Brown and dry materials, plus wet and green materials, in a pile, over time change into a wonderful brown earthy smelling material that your plants will adore. No, compost doesn’t stink. Read more about compost at http://justpeace.org/compost.html

Walk, take public transportation, carpool, or ride a bicycle more, drive less. If possible, integrate the geographies of your life so you live close to your work, in an area with easy access to schools, churches, shopping, and entertainment.

Support public and private initiatives that promote public transportation, carpools, bicycles, walking, organic gardening and farming, free-range and pastured flocks and herds, urban agriculture, local food systems, and community capacities for food security. Parishes should provide bike racks to encourage bicycle use.

Be careful how you spend your money. Every dollar you spend is a vote – and you get what you pay for. A purchase may also embody other, costs – environmental degradation, slave labor or other moral evils. Don’t subsidize the work of demons who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls! Buy food from local farmers & locally owned supermarkets, eat at local restaurants. If you buy stuff because of emotional needs, get counseling. You can’t spend your way to prosperity, so don’t try. Your life will not improve if you buy more stuff. Your kids will not be smarter if they wear designer stuff. Remember the advice of our grandparents: Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, make it over, make do. The borrower is the slave of the lender.

Plant trees and bushes! Shade your parking lots, buildings, and houses with trees! Grow some of your food, even if it is only a tomato plant in a pot. Plant fruit & nut trees and bushes in parks. Line your streets and roads with shade trees.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Making small changes in your life over time will bless Creation and reduce the amount of stress, risk, and emotional trouble in your life. Procrastination, however, is the thief of time, so don’t delay, start today.

Start projects – big or small – that will save the world, or at least your little corner of it. Work together with your neighbors to increase the safety, security, health, & well-being of your family & community. Laudato Si is a call to a better life, a world with more justice, peace, equity, and sustainability. If we want truth, wisdom, justice, and beauty, then the best thing to do is to practice truth, wisdom, justice, and beauty in our own lives and neighborhoods. Eventually
we will get good at it.

Nurture blessings and hope in your own life and in the life of your community. Promote solidarity & cooperation. Trust yourself, respect others and God’s Creation. Understand our interdependence with each other & the natural world. Leave nobody behind for the wolves to devour. Turn your back on the demons who without ceasing preach the gospel of Greed – “Buy more stuff! Make more trash! Don’t listen to the Pope!” By Bob Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City, June 17, 2015.

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