Jesuit Institute South Africa Publications

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This weeks article is called The Season of Creation by Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

As the days move into springtime, there is the familiar joy of seeing new peach blossoms on the trees and the heady smell of white Jasmine as we await the lilac wisteria. The warmth of the sunlight and the lighter early mornings lift our spirits as we begin to emerge from the long hard winter of the third wave of the pandemic. God the Creator is still at work creating and sustaining and bringing to birth the newness of springtime.

At the same time, we are aware that we have seen a constant stream of natural disasters caused by global warming around the world in recent months. There have been floods in Germany, heatwaves in parts of the US, Europe and Northern Africa, wildfires raging on multiple continents of increasing scale and intensity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last month, scientists are observing changes in the earth’s climate across the whole climate system. Some changes (such as the rising sea level) would take hundreds of thousands of years to reverse. The threat of extreme weather events has escalated dramatically.

If, as a global community, we do not find a way to reduce carbon emissions drastically, we are on course to making our common home unliveable within decades. Pope Francis highlights the urgency of the crisis we find ourselves in as the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are becoming increasingly serious and alarming,” and invites us to pray for creation and to turn “towards lifestyles which are simpler and more respectful of the environment.” (Sunday Angelus address 29 August 2021)

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