As a deeply spiritual and environmentally conscious individual, Francis of Assisi would likely have a profound appreciation for Earth Day and its focus on promoting environmental sustainability protection of our natural planet and world. If he were alive today, Francis might speak about Earth Day, by emphasizing the importance of respecting and caring for all of God’s creation, including the earth and all of its ecosystems.
He might encourage people to see the interconnectedness of all living things and recognize that our individual and communal actions do have a significant impact on the health of this planet, this planet that is God’s gift to us all. Francis might also call for a return to a simplicity into a deeper connection to nature. He believed in living a simple life and practicing sustainability long before it become a popular concept, he might remind us that by reducing our consumption and our waste that we can live in harmony with earth and preserve its resources for future generations.
Overall, Francis of Assis’s message about Earth Day 2023 would likely be one of love, respect, and gratitude to God for the earth in all its inhabitants. He would inspire us to work together towards a more sustainable and just future for all God’s people, all of our brothers and sisters. Guided by our faith, our hope, and a deep reverence to the natural world as a gift from God, to you, to me, and to us all.
Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv., is director of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of Our Lady of the Angels Province.