Posted On 2020-06-27 In Laudato Si, Something to think about

We have a lot to do and we must do it together…

By Bettina Betzner, Germany  •

Dear Pope Francis, I would like to have a personal conversation with you about ‘Laudato Si’. I would like to seek your warm closeness, to look into your eyes, to be captured by your warm gaze, to be moved by your spiritual depth and your authenticity, to make your concern my concern… I had this experience when I saw the film “A Man of His Word” by Wim Wenders. —

 

Meeting you has changed something in me.

After your message in the film I became pensive, very pensive about myself, about my lifestyle, about my daily life, about the way I treat things in life. I found myself taking many things too naturally. The clean water in the morning when I turn on the tap and get in the shower, the light switch that I turn on and my apartment becomes bright and luminous, the heating that provides heat in the winter, my garbage that an industrious person has to remove on a fixed day, the packaged groceries and, and … yes, I take so much for granted and at the same time I feel that I live at a distance from these things and everyday actions that allow me to keep my life in order.

Your film, with its very moving and indescribably human message, left its mark on me. I was affected by the images of a landscape, God’s creation, totally destroyed.

How do I really live?

When I began to rethink my actions and what my role in the preservation of creation would be in the future, I asked myself different questions:

How do I really live, what do I use and how do I use things, where do I buy and what do I buy, what do I eat from and why do I eat this way and not that way?

I soon realized: I am part of creation; after all, I am God’s creation. I am even the crown! Then how do I treat God’s creation, in solidarity with humanity and for the future of planet Earth? Or do I use it only for my needs, without having a reference?

The film’s images of a sea polluted by garbage surprised me. Poor people in tattered clothes, earning their living in miles-long dumps, looking for food or useful things and having to live off my garbage. I saw the images, I saw the people and within time I heard the unpleasant buzzing of thousands and thousands of flies and smelled the stench in the air – a degrading injustice crying out to the heavens! I was ashamed of the fact that people have to survive on my garbage.

 

The preservation of creation does not begin with “those at the top”

I soon realized: the preservation of creation does not begin with those above, or with anyone else, or with “one should”, but with me at home, in my very simple daily life. So I began to think and I began to turn my life around in small steps, to concentrate on my consumption. For some it will probably be insignificant, but for me it became a change in my perspective, in my point of view and in my lifestyle.

I began to take an interest in second-hand fashion. Later, I went shopping more consciously with a basket instead of using plastic bags.

Immediately, I bought Fair Trade products. I would like to be in touch with the coffee farmer in Colombia or the farmer on the plantations where my bananas grow, because as part of this creation, I would like to see a more socially just salary for everyone. In the times of the coronavirus, we know more than ever the meaning of globalization: we are growing together, even if now, we all have to distance ourselves.

I started looking at my meat consumption, and for half a year I have been eating mostly without meat. I discovered the importance of meal preparation and developed a new love for cooking and baking. I started taking care of my household cleaning products and started buying natural-based products without chemical additives. In this “conversion process”, my old washing machine had to believe in it too, as it uses too much electricity and too much water.

 

We are all responsible, all of us without exception!

Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, in your film I came into contact with your vision of planet Earth, of creation and of me as the crown of creation.

Too slowly I understood that not only do others have to change in order to preserve creation, but I have to start with myself. My eyes were opened when you said: we are all responsible, today no one can say that they have nothing to do with this. We are all responsible, all without exception!

I felt through your insistent words, through your look, which was deeper, that everything I do is about the heartbeat for a greater love for the Creator, for creatures and for planet Earth.

The will to change comes from the center of the heart, from the inner center in the encounter with God in me and in the other. To enter into relationship with the things, situations and people around me, and to seek and recognize God in them, is your message that became mine.

Yes, dear Pope Francis, we have a lot to do and we must do it together.

 

Seek God in all things, people and situations.
If we can’t find him, there’s no need to worry. God will find us; we just have to let him! J.K

Original: German 09.06.2020. Translation: Maria Esther Aragón, Monterrey, México

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