Earth Day: Hope

April 22, we celebrate earth day. I was at the original Earth Day in Philadelphia in 1970. Since then, so much good has been done to heal our environment. But we still have a long way to go to heal our home of all the ills caused by pollution.

Image source: Kasturi Laxmi Mohit on Unsplash

In his landmark encyclical Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis writes:

There is a growing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet… Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. (#19)

We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature. (#139)

Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. (#202)

All is not lost. Human beings… are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start… and [embarking] on new paths to authentic freedom. (#205)

Laudato si’, Pope Francis

All is not lost. Therein lies our hope for healing, for peace and prosperity, for life and love. Let’s rededicate ourselves these days to doing what we can to heal both our physical and social ecology. Let’s ask God for the grace to be good stewards of our planet and our communities fostering life for all.

Years ago, Marvin Gaye sang “Mercy, Mercy Me: The Ecology,” calling us to care for our world.


Fr. Rick Malloy, S.J.

Meet and Greet Information Tours: Saturday, March 25, 2023. Please call to register for a session.