“We have moved from a world where everyone said it was someone else’s problem, to one where everyone knows this can only be solved collectively.” (The Guardian-Ed Miliband)
It was a cold, windy day as hundreds of people gathered in downtown Halifax the afternoon of November 29th to demand action to stop climate change. Our deep desires for planet earth were expressed by people of all ages, marching side-by-side with walkers, strollers, and of course, our feet. Our united intentions were creatively expressed in song, creative signs/banners and powerful words from many speakers. As the rally began I was touched deeply by a pre-school youngster with his parents; he tugged at my jacket and excitedly shared “This is my first march!” We marched together and chanted mantras like: “We are unstoppable; another world is possible.” The organizers were “prophets of the new generation” waking us up and reminding us of what we know so well, that we all have a stake in what’s happening with our planet … and that our leadership is needed however and wherever it can be shown in our everyday lives. Are we in Visitation Province unstoppable and making a new world possible?
As the U.N. Conference on Climate in Paris wraps up, we see the positive effects of our advocacy (the fruit of our Congregation of Notre Dame Corporate Stance) as it joined in with that of almost a million others. Over the past year we have been blessed with a Visitation Province calendar that has invited us to engage with the theme of Peace and to reflect on ways that we can be better peacemakers. These two paths of peace work and climate action are now converging in Paris and beyond with the continued work on global cooperation around climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been universally acknowledged as a credible source of climate related news. The latest report of the IPCC suggests that "global warming would have devastating impacts of a social and political nature as well, including economic decline, state collapse, civil strife, mass migrations, and sooner or later resource wars..." They suggest that we should consider the events in Syria and Mali as previews of what is likely to come later in this century on a far larger scale. They follow these dire predictions, however, with an assertion that "The best way to avoid future climate-related strife is, of course, to reduce the pace of global warming. Every fraction of a degree less warming achieved in Paris and thereafter will mean that much less blood spilled in future climate-driven resource wars. This is why the Paris climate summit should be viewed as a kind of pre-emptive peace conference..."
“We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and humanity, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.” - - Pope Francis “Misericordiae Vultus"