Ecology Reflections from Fr. John Surette, SJ

A reflection by Fr. John Surette, SJ

We humans tend to view Earth primarily as a Natural Resource to be used rather than as an Intimate Presence to evoke its wonder and beauty. If we look to Earth simply as a resource to be exploited for its money value as well as for our human comfort, we will end up with a planet severely damaged in its life-giving capacities.

We need to understand that Earth in its primordial condition nourishes us in our inner spirit even as it provides for our physical needs. Here in America, we have been oblivious of the damage we have been doing by our relentless exploitation of Earth.

We must move to an ever-renewing economy based on renewal energies of the natural world. Only if we take care of Earth, can Earth take care of us.
We begin to realize that Earth is a “communion of subjects”, not a “collection of objects.” Only an organic, ever-renewing, land-based economy can sustain itself and the planet where it dwells. This inner bonding of the human with the other components in what makes Earth, with both its human and its other-than-human components, a single integral community that will live or die, prosper, or be improved. There is abundant room for human technologies but only those that are coherent with Earth technologies. There can be no future for a civilization that bases itself on technologies that plunder Earth.

Apart from the fertility of Earth, we have no other our source for our nourishment. Apart from the atmosphere that surrounds us we have no source for our breathing. Apart from the waters that flow in our streams and rivers, waters that flow up in our rivers, waters from the deep aquifers within Earth, we have no refreshing waters.

So too for the inner world of mind, imagination, and emotions. These faculties can be activated only though the wonders that we observe through our senses here on Earth!

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