Justice and Peace Through Integrity of Creation (Guest Post)

Justice and Peace Through Integrity of Creation (Guest Post) August 5, 2015

The_Blue_Marble

Ever since Pope Francis released Laudato si on May 24, 2015, we have heard a good deal of both criticism and praise. Most critics, it seems, have tended to focus attention on just one or two aspects of the whole, failing to recognize the inter-connectedness that Francis intentionally and artfully wove together.

Laudato si’ is not so much an environmental manifesto as it is an entirely – and a consistently – Christian one.

Frank Morris has been involved in the environmental, business, and Catholic communities for many years. He has put together a fantastic piece that flows directly from Laudato si’ and our responsibility as stewards of the earth.

As Frank succinctly observes below:

It is our duty as Catholics to care for neighbor and to promote the integrity of creation.

Peace

Justice and Peace Through Integrity of Creation

By Frank Morris

The phrase tikkun olam is part of Aleinu, a Jewish prayer that is traditionally recited three times daily. The Aleinu expresses hope that the whole world will one day recognize God and abandon idolatry. The phrase tikkun olam is used in the longer expression l’takken olam b’malkhut Shaddai, “to perfect the world under God’s sovereignty.” Humanity is instructed to take the steps towards improving the state of the world and helping others, which simultaneously brings more honor to God’s sovereignty.

In the Judeo Christian ethic, the goal of the Common Good plays strong. Christ The Redeemer taught simply to love God, love neighbor, the whole law hangs on this.

To serve the goals (our Greek friends would say the telos) of tikkun olam and the common good, Franciscans, Jesuits, and MANY other groups have established Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation boards and committees. These groups work for restorative justice. The good works of these committees and the persons involved is manifold.

But have any considered that perhaps the only way to reach the goals of Justice and Peace and Restorative Justice (Restoration as Renewal) is to uncompromisingly work for the Integrity Of Creation?

Before Humanity walked the Earth, there was nature. And in nature there are examples of symbiotic reciprocity, harmony, and order. But nature is also cruel, unforgiving, bloody, subtle, and rife with trickery and deception.

Our God is a great God!

Just see, hear, taste and feel His work! Let your senses drink it in! God’s work is extraordinary in all its forms. He has provided humanity with intelligence, will, and grace in a world that is abundant. Humanity is God’s greatest work. I believe to actuate restorative justice and to repair the world, we must build a human political economy based on the integrity of creation.

The old Latin word for integrity meant “intact.”

We Must Leave The Earth, Intact.

Integrity: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”

Now, please compare the concept of integrity, with the idolatry of Mammon. Mammon will buy and sell anything, for a profit. Mammon has no limits. Mammon has no consideration for what it consumes. Mammon Has No Mercy.

The worship of Mammon is probably the greatest threat to Justice and Peace in the world.

And Jesus said it best, “You can not love God, and Money.”

But Jesus also upheld for emulation, the servant that properly invested the masters money in the parable of the talents. To build an economy of restorative justice, our efforts should strive to uphold the integrity of creation, for the common good. Ecological innovations are available, now. Ecological innovation distribute the prosperity of God’s creation. Ecological innovations provide goods at the most local level, in subsidiarity. Ecological Innovations undermine the warping power of exploitative business models that honer only Mammon and the vicious laws of the market.

To make this case, I offer two brief examples which I feel can be extrapolated widely.

PEMEX is the national oil and gas company in Mexico. PEMEX was formed by The Institutional Revolutionary Party (Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) in 1938. PEMEX had 128 Billion dollars in revenues in 2012. PEMEX is a rich company – and Mexico is a poor country. Would an economy based on ecological innovation, better serve the people of Mexico? Would ecological innovation, be a means to restorative justice?

In Germany, in the Village of Feldheim, all electricity their is generated by sun, wind, and pig waste. The villagers have built a micro electricity grid-and sell their extra electricity to the national grid. The villagers are installing batteries to store electricity, and run their vehicles. Ecological Innovations like these are happening globally.

Aleinu in Hebrew: עָלֵינוּ, means it is our duty:

It is our duty as Catholics to care for neighbor and to promote the integrity of creation.

It is our duty to deny Mammon and build an economy that provides without the pollution of sin and exploitation.

It is our duty by precedent and example to serve God and the common good.

Money talks – but the Voice of God speaks stronger, with the strength of the legions of the living and the communion of saints, with the strength of the counsel of pure legitimate faith found in scripture, in sacraments, in deeds, and in the signs of the times.

But mostly the Voice of God speaks in Spirit and in Truth, and in acts of sanctity.

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts,” Psalm 95, for “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.

frank-morris

Frank Morris is a Lector at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Floral Park. He is Father of 11 year old Faith and married to Florence for 15 years. Frank has trademarked the “Earth Index” of companies that pass positive environmental screens.

Earth Image: NASA via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

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