“The ground you are standing on is holy ground,” says the placard quoting from the book of Exodus 3:5, followed by: NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE—Sisters of Charity, BVM.
This signage posted May 26, 1985, on the Mount Carmel grounds gives us a glimpse of the long-held worldview and commitment of the congregation “into living more consciously our interconnectedness with all creation” and caring for our common earth home. The BVM Directional Statements and the enrollment of the community in the Laudato Sí Action Platform solidifies the idea that Every Day is Earth Day and that we are an integral part of Earth . . . not separate entities.
In Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Sí: On Care for our Common Home, he offers these insights, “Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society” (91).
He continues, “When we speak of the ‘environment’ what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it, and thus in constant interaction with it” (139).
Thinking about this is mindboggling and causes me to re-think how I speak and live with nature. It beckons me to recognize and reverence the people of the Meskwaki nation who were here before us, to walk gently upon the earth, and to consider how my lifestyle (my carbon footprint) impacts the ecological balance and well-being of our common home, Sister Mother Earth.
So, let us celebrate the ONENESS of creation and ourselves on the official Earth Day, April 22—and every day. The ground we stand on is holy ground, so let us celebrate the Divine Spirit’s goodness and beauty wherever we are.