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Mercy to Earth

earth-photo-no-back-webLove, mercy and justice are central to the mission of the Sisters of Providence. The sisters have come to see that mission extending to all creation. As we focus on mercy in this issue of HOPE, several Sisters of Providence answer the question, “What is one way to show mercy to Earth?”

Wilkinson_Denise-web– Sister Denise Wilkinson

“Since mercy is an attitude of on-going respect and love between/among equals, I believe one way to show mercy toward Earth is to stop perceiving Earth as separate from us and to start seeing Earth as equal to humans — to begin living as one united life force, one united manifestation of God’s incarnation.”

Boland_TheresaAnn-web– Sister Theresa Boland

“Mother Earth herself doesn’t need mercy. From the very beginning, Mother Earth has had the divine plan to sustain herself until her life source, the Sun, fails to exist.

If we continue using up the resources of Mother Earth — land, air and water — at the rate we are today, without consideration of our actions, Mother Earth will probably continue to respond in-kind with continued ocean warmings, violent storms and natural phenomenons never observed before by this generation of humans. This is all due to our blatant disregard for her precious ecosystems.

So, I would ask, will Mother Earth show her human children mercy? Merriam-Webster defines mercy as: ‘help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation.’ I am sure Mother Earth will show us mercy if we do the following: teach our young to wonder and observe the gifts of the soil and have empathy for the other living creatures who share this earthly home with us. If we would strive to do this well, we could possibly assure a future for the human species on Earth and truly know the abundance of Mother Earth’s Mercy.”

Terrie-Grasso-web– Sister Terri Grasso

“Let’s think about and practice restorative justice toward Earth. As a human species we have abused and destroyed so many of Earth’s resources. For sustainable living, it is essential that we are more deliberate in our relationship with Earth to use only what is necessary and to restore all that we can for the sake of future generations.

Through our organic gardening at the White Violet Center I think we practice restorative justice when we replenish the soil with essential nutrients as a result of our recycling practices.”

Sullivan_Ann-web– Sister Ann Sullivan

“When we speak of showing ‘Mercy’ toward Earth, it could have a sense of ‘Earth’ as something outside ourselves. We are Earth! That shift in attitude is one critical way to truly understanding our place in the web of life. What we do and how we choose to live in relationship with all of life matters! The degradation of any part of the natural world affects us all in profound ways, especially in the devastation caused to real people and their environments — our environment.”

(Originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Cheryl Casselman

Cheryl Casselman worked as a marketing manager for the Sisters of Providence for twenty years. She grew up in Camby, Indiana and now lives in Sullivan County, Indiana. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Indiana State University and master's degree in Leadership Development from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

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