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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cry of the Earth – Cry of the Poor

There is a link in our Christian spirituality between the defense of the rights of the poor with that of the destruction of the ecological environment. In fact, the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are one. At first glance, this may seem surprising. We must ask ourselves: Are we still capable of hearing and listening to the cry of the poor? Are we attentive to the cry of the earth itself?

“I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering.” (Exodus 3:7) In our spiritual tradition, we know that God is close to those who suffer violence, injustice and poverty. In this regard, we must go on in order to move towards God's salvation which can never be separate from the liberation of all forms of slavery here on earth.

“If my land cries for vengeance against me, and its furrows weep in concert, (...) let brambles grow instead of wheat.” (Job 31: 38-40) This relatively unknown text from the Book of Job shows that even the earth can bear witness against human beings for the violence to which it is subjected. Victims of violence and of destruction, it borrows the voice of humans to declare that it is time for change. “And all the trees of the forest cry out for joy at Yahweh's approach, for he is coming to judge the earth.” (1 Chronicles16: 33)

Excerpted from L'Assemblée des évêques du Québec.
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