FIRE: A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions Posted August 17, 2023 by admin@interfaith

Off Fernando Astasio

A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

The devastation in Hawaii has shocked the World and broken our hearts. Too many people in the World know firsthand the horrendous destruction of wildfires. Once again, Paradise has been scorched as people lose their homes and livelihoods, if not their lives.

While there is no one single cause for such a catastrophe, climate change is a major contributing factor. Several reflections come to mind.

Devastation anywhere is the responsibility of everyone everywhere. We live on Earth as members of one human family in communion with the splendor, beauty, and terror of Nature.

Our ability and willingness to grieve over the plight of others reveals the depth of our ability to love and come to the aid of one another.

We live in a World where the forces of destruction do not discriminate. Rich and poor alike suffer the ravishes of climate change in ways never before imagined.

It is unfortunate that partisan politics has infected the analysis and understanding of climate change and its causes and effects. While the weather has always fluctuated with more or less intensity, the current situation is exacerbated by human irresponsibility. Our traditional methods of production and consumption wreak havoc on the environment endangering life as we know it. As Pope Francis writes, Everything is connected, and as a family of nations we must have a common concern: to see that the environment is cleaner, purer and preserved. And take care of nature, so that it takes care of us.” (video message to PACE, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, September 2021)

The destruction in Hawaii underscores the interrelationship of humans with the environment. Nature is no longer experienced as a reality “out there.” We are part of Nature. We live because of the environmental forces that cause life to exist. We must live responsibly, simply, if not, lovingly and generously.    

Think of Jesus, who said, “Consider the birds of the air and the flowers of the fields.” If we are not careful, there may be nothing left to see or consider.

Hopefully, we will reach out in any way we can to assist the people of Hawaii. Hopefully, this latest disaster will be a rallying call to care for our common home.

Blessings to you, Holy Community, for striving to live so as to bless other people. Thank you for coming to the aid and assistance of the people of Hawaii. Let us continue to care for and cherish one another in all the affairs of our lives.