Typhoons and Ecological Conversion

By Audrey fcJ, from the Manila community, first published 1 Sept 2018, when a few FCJ sisters, Companions in Mission, staff of the FCJ Learning and Development Center, and women leaders joined a crowd of more than 1,000 people in a Walk for Life, to mark the start of the annual Season of Creation.

The Season of Creation (1 Sept. – 4 Oct. each year) is a time when Christian communities all over the world unite in praying and taking action to care for creation. In 2015, Pope Francis, following the lead of the Orthodox church established September 1st as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

In the Philippines we are very aware of the need to care for creation because we suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change. The Philippines experience more than twenty typhoons a year on average, and climate change is set to dial up their intensity. Typhoon Mangkhut, which we experienced last weekend, was strong enough to uproot trees here – and our beautiful bougainvillea plant! – even though we were not directly in its path. It was a humbling experience to see and feel the power of the wind and rain and to know our smallness and fragility before nature. Many people are still suffering from this catastrophic disaster.

In light of this, we recall again Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si to an ‘ecological conversion’, which involves:

  • Recognising that what we have is gift and to be grateful;
  • Knowing that we are connected with all creatures and nature;
  • Living simply and discovering what really makes us happy: friendship and bonds with others, service, developing our gifts, music and art, contact with nature, prayer, etc.; and
  • Stopping our frantic, busy activity and cultivating inner peace in a balanced lifestyle, in harmony with God and nature.

Which of these invitations speak to us at this moment?

May we have the grace this Season of Creation to draw ever closer into true communion with all of God’s creation.