It is the hottest week of the year thus far in Washington, D.C. I consider myself blessed to understand how important seasons and diverse climates are to crop cultivation, species, and habitats. Working on climate change issues throughout the world this summer makes me realize that seasons are under threat, meaning all of Creation is in danger.
Recently, climate change has impacted countries that Columbans serve. For instance, a major mudslide occurred in China’s Sichuan province due to heavy rains. A small village in the interior region of Ba, Fiji was destroyed by a land slide last year and continues to suffer the devastating aftermath. The United Kingdom is currently experiencing record heat waves. Here in the United States, we have also felt the effects of climate change with increased occurrences of hurricanes and more devastating wild fires—a result of changing weather patterns.
Columban Father Sean McDonagh has written and researched extensively the issue of climate change and how our human contribution to the destruction of Creation is affecting ecology and the environment. He has called on Pope Francis to make environmental issues a priority of the Vatican, as much of human suffering has to do with an ever-changing climate.
It’s easy to feel powerless in the effort of climate change prevention, yet we are called to take action by the traditions of our faith. Making small decisions in our daily lives and supporting efforts to curb pollution and support sustainability go a long way. When we get discouraged, we must remember closeness and connectedness to God is seeing Him in Creation. “Light and darkness, wind and fire, water and earth, the tree and its fruit speak of God and symbolize both God’s greatness and nearness.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1147.