Querida Amazonia 58-60: Ecological Education and Habits

Count me a skeptic on putting too much hope in “education.” Without internal motivation and curiosity, information often goes in one ear and out the other.

Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation discusses “ecological education and habits” in the three paragraphs that follow. This will conclude his “Ecological Dream,” chapter three.

What is optimal:

The best ecology always has an educational dimension that can encourage the development of new habits in individuals and groups. (QA 58)

The reality on the ground:

Sadly, many of those living in the Amazon region have acquired habits typical of the larger cities, where consumerism and the culture of waste are already deeply rooted. (Ibid.)

Change is needed, not just in the hearts of profiteers but also in persons who have been forced into urban environments and into adopting unhealthy lifestyles.  Moving beyond a physical ecology …

59. Indeed, “the emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality… Our concern cannot be limited merely to the threat of extreme weather events, but must also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction”.[Laudato Si’ 204]

Pope Francis pledges the wealth of church tradition–education, spirituality, social justice–to the cause.

This document is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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