The Catholic Committee of Appalachia’s People’s Pastoral, “The Telling Takes Us Home,” reads:
[W]e urge a politics that serves
people and Earth,
In the spirit of Pope Francis,
we are calling for a politics
of what we might call ecological mercy.
Today, Pope Francis discusses the need to show mercy to creation in his message “Show Mercy to our Common Home,” issued on this first World Day of Prayer for Creation.
In the message the Pope again urges people of faith to make an ecological examination of conscience, and then goes on to suggest that Christians add a new “work of mercy” to the traditional seven Works of Mercy:
The Christian life involves the practice of the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. “We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness… But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.”
Obviously “human life itself and everything it embraces” includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home.
As a spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a “grateful contemplation of God’s world” (Laudato Si, 214) which “allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us” (ibid., 85). As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world” (ibid., 230-31).
Read the entire message, “Show Mercy to Our Common Home,” here.