Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Eco-justice & Cosmology – “Networking for a Better Future”

Cosmology/Ecojustice – Networking for a Better Future

The work of justice has always been at the core of the invitation to be a Mercy Sister. Each generation of Mercy Sisters engaged in justice work in ways appropriate to their time. Such work has always been underpinned by a spirituality reflecting the heart of Mercy—the compassionate face of God.

Ecological Justice

Today one of the most important ways of engaging in justice work can be described as Ecological Justice.  Ecological Justice [Ecojustice] is about ensuring justice for the human family and also justice towards the whole earth community to which the human family belongs.  Thus the work of Ecojustice concerns itself with the wellbeing of the earth as a whole. This includes its various ecosystems and life-forms, ensuring that the planet remains a healthy place for life in all its forms to flourish.

The Millennium Sustainable Development Goals, as well as issues like fracking and mining that adversely affect the ecosystems and impact most on the poorest peoples of the world, are addressed. Ecojustice work is particularly concerned about the issue of climate change because this more than any other issue is having devastating consequences on the planet as a whole. Once again this has knock on effects on poorest peoples.

Networking & Lobbying

The method of addressing issues has also changed.  As well as engaging issues directly the work of Ecojustice is increasingly more about networking with other organisations, and engaging with issues together. Networking is therefore at the heart of today’s approach to the work of justice reflecting the interconnected and participatory nature of our world.

Within the Mercy World the congregational Ecojustice group networks very closely other Mercy groupings primarily through Mercy Global Action, which is the justice arm of Mercy International Association.

The work of Ecojustice also supports the range of organisations, NGOs and lobbying/campaigning groups worldwide who are working on issues of concern around the environment and the poor.

This support is expressed through signing the various petitions that come though emails on a daily basis. Lobbying politicians and other public officials on behalf of the earth and its poor, as well as campaigning against the adverse impacts of global corporations is now carried out primarily through email.

Cosmology — A new spiritual context  

We live at a time when we have come to understand that the universe, earth and life itself is evolutionary in nature. This new cosmological understanding impacts on and broadens our spiritual outlook. It allows for a God who is God of the whole earth and universe not just the human community. No longer can the larger reality be omitted from spiritual and theological reflection and expression within the congregation and in the work of ecological justice. The new worldview such understanding offers, therefore also underpins and shapes the work of Ecojustice. The concern is not just with issues but with changing the way we view Earth as a whole: understanding it to be one interconnected evolving reality in an open-ended and expanding universe.

Margaret Twomey rsm
1 November 2016

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