Towards an Integral Ecology
all creatures are connected.
“Since everything is closely interrelated, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis, I suggest that we now consider some elements of an integral ecology, one which clearly respects its human and social dimensions.” (Laudato Si’, 37)
The metaphysical and anthropological vision of Laudato Si’ is that we “human beings are not completely autonomous” (Laudato Si’, 105). The pope points to the bonds of our cosmic, biological, and human fellowship, enwrapped in God’s infinite love. “Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth” (Laudato Si’, 92).
“Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another” (Laudato Si’, 42).
For Pope Francis, the model of integral ecology is Saint Francis of Assisi himself, for his love for creation, love for the poor, and love for the Creator; the triple loves merged into a sublime unity:
“I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically… He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and inner peace.” (Laudato Si’, 10)