Sister Joan Brown’s Reflections from Copenhagen, Part 6

Dec 10, 2009 | Copenhagen

Find previous reflections from Sr. Joan Brown.
Find out more about the faith community’s involvement in the UN Climate Change Conference.

Sr. Joan Brown, OSF, Director of NM IPL

Sr. Joan Brown, OSF, Director of NM IPL

Blessings this day!

What a glorious gift sleep is once jet lag wears away. I am back at Bella Center with my thousands of brothers and sisters, part of the Sacred Earth Community.

Last night I did stay for one last “side presentation” which was wonderful and should have been a presentation for everyone to experience. Indigenous brothers and sisters from Bolivia, the ambassador of Bolivia and scientist from S. Africa spoke for a Universal Declaration of Rights of Holy Mother Earth. Bolivia petitioned and passed through the UN that Earth Day, April 22 is now International Mother Earth Day. If we begin to know Earth as other we are less likely to treat her as an object. After all, most people respect their mothers who give and nurture life and Mother Earth does give and nurture life.

Many of us who have looked deeply into our spiritual traditions realize that climate change is a symptom of imbalance and not realizing our oneness with the Creator and with Earth. The human is part of Earth and depends upon Earth more than any other species for life.

In a human oriented world, we have forgotten that Mother Earth has rights and that without respecting the rights of Earth there cannot be true human rights and dignity. The Bolivians have taken action they said, “Because we want to free Mother Earth from slavery.”

Ecuador is the first country to make Earth Rights part of their constitution. Earth Rights is the next evolutionary step into a new paradigm that respects indigenous wisdom, hears the new science and recognizes the deep truths of spiritual traditions.

As I listened, I kept thinking of St. Francis’ Canticle of Brother Sun and the praises of Sister Mother Earth who “governs” us. It is as if we have not really been hearing the wisdom in this prayer.

Leonardo Boff, the Brazilian liberation theologian sent a paper that was read confirming the reasons for a Universal Declaration of Rights of Holy Mother Earth. He is also in the leadership commission for the Earth Charter and both are related.

For now…peace and good,
Your sister,

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