In his 2015 Encyclical On the Care of our Common Home Pope Francis spoke of “irresponsible use of the earth” and exhorted all people to take heed of Climate Change.
On a regular basis now, we see record-setting storms: tornados, floods, windstorms and hurricanes. The ice caps are melting and oceans rising. NOAA & NASA released their global temperature data: 15 of 17 of the hottest years on record have come since 2000, and 2016 was the hottest ever.
Presently uncontrollable wildfires are raging in our country’s Heartland, in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas over a million acres have been incinerated—this, following years of severe drought. Also this week in New York, windstorms sent trees crashing on homes, cars and power lines.
When will we wake up to the reality of this threat? Our planet is in crisis! The key to our world’s smooth functioning is equilibrium—our careless actions have upset the balance.
Pope Francis’ Encyclical made me think of Psalm 29 in which David was addressing the leaders of his time, telling them to be mindful of the mightiness of God and His great power in nature.
In my contemporary version I change from David’s voice to that of Pope Francis, exhorting our leaders to better care for our Common Home and attend to what is happening with climate change, for we are failing to honor God in Nature.
It begins with a confession—
Psalm 29 (B. S-C contemporary version)
We have not kept your precepts, Lord.
We have not shepherded the earth by your formulation,
We have plundered for private gain
and trampled the lowly to amass profits.
Ascribe to the Lord, O world leaders,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the reverence due his name
and take heed of the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD is heard in Nature,
the God of glory thunders.
The Lord gives us warning as we despoil the earth;
the voice of the Lord breaks the cedars
and howls the winds.
The voice of the Lord shakes the mountains
and strikes with flashes of lightening.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips forests bare.
Look, listen and know!
The Lord sits enthroned over the waters and land,
The Lord reigns King forever.
The Lord gives warning to his people!
Heed his precepts and principles
lest man’s choices bring destruction
to this wondrous earth and all its inhabitants!