As May flowers remind us of Mary’s title as the new Eve, Mother of the Living. we mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si Pope Francis’ encyclical on care of the earth. Challenging us to consider what sort of world we wanted to leave our children, Pope Francis called for reflection and action to preserve “our common home,” arguing that the “cry of the poor and the cry of the earth can no longer be ignored.”
With the pandemic causing widespread closing of commerce and travel, some cities have reported noticeable improvements in air quality, but this experience should not cause us to categorize human productivity and care for the earth as binary opposites. Instead, as we plan our “new normal” and design ways to repair infrastructure and open the economy, care for the earth can be a guiding principle, part of our traditional pre-Pentecost prayer, that the Holy Spirit renew the face of the earth.