Ecology of the Heart

Throughout Laudato Si, Pope Francis returns to the contrast between dominion and domination, of stewardship andownership. He tells us that our concern for the planet is an empty one if it does not take into account ourr responsibility and obligation to our poorest and least acknowledged neighbor. Our call is not to make things better for us, but for everyone. Since God is creator of all, God loves all. So must we.

How can I become selfless enough to call everyone I meet a brother or sister?

God of creation, it is not always easy to see you in others. When people are downright nasty and hard to help, give me a heart to see through their anger and fear to your grace shining in them.

Karma: Fatalism, or Complete Control?

According to the Hindu law of karma, a person’s future is determined by his or her past actions. Some people interpret this as meaning that humans are controlled by fate. We don’t really have control of what happens to us in this life, as the outcome has already been set.

Other people interpret the law of karma as meaning that humans have complete control. If we focus on what we do in the present, we can ensure good things in our future. We also have control of the way we react to things in the present. A negative event may have been caused by a negative act that we committed in the past. If we react to it in a negative way – with anger, for example, or with a selfish focus – this reaction may cause yet another negative event in the future. But if we respond in a positive way, not getting angry but accepting the event as part of life, the future effect may be positive.

Can you identify with either of these ideas of life – controlled by fate or controlled by our own actions? Choose one of these ideas. Write about how this idea of life might affect the way you act.