A powerful metaphor to express something of
the core of our vocation and mission
in the world of today.
We are called to live and work for
the healing and wellbeing of our Planet Earth,
for the flourishing of our ‘Earth Community’
with all its wonderful creatures.
Yes, we are called to
‘Sow Hope for the Planet’
in the face of a deepening
environmental and social crisis
causing already suffering and even despair
to God’s creatures all around the world.
I like the metaphor of a ‘seed’.
A seed is in itself a metaphor for hope.
It is often very small
compared to what grows out of it.
A seed is full of dynamism and potential for life.
It needs to fall into the soil and be cared for,
so that it can grow into what it is meant to be.
As the plant matures it produces
a multitude of new seeds,
and life continues abundantly.
Like this Brussels sprout seedling: The seed is very tiny, but if we let the plant grow into seed it produces hundreds if not thousands of new seeds.
Generosity and abundance
In nature we observe
that seeds are produced in great abundance.
We, too, are invited to sow abundantly
and not to worry about the harvest.
If only a few of the seeds take root and grow,
that is enough for life to multiply.
Just look at a ‘Stinging Nettle’,
a plant often not very loved by gardeners.
However, it is a plant that produces a lot
of nutritious food for us,
be it the tender leaves in spring, the seeds in summer,
or the roots in winter.
When it goes into seed,
it produces thousands of tiny little green seeds,
ready for us to enrich our daily food.
Seeds of hope for our planet
I believe it is the same with Seeds of Hope.
We are invited to sow abundantly,
knowing that it is our God of all Creation
who gives growth and fruitfulness.
Seeds of Hope for the Planet
come in many shapes and forms.
We all have sown them,
sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly.
Each act of care for our Earth Community
is a seed of hope for the planet.
Over the last months, one of the shapes it has taken for me has been to participate, with another sister, in a weekly, public Prayer Vigil outside the Houses of Parliament here in London. We joined with other members of ‘Christian Climate Action’.
I believe that with our simple presence there, a lot of seeds were sown. If some of them bear fruit in the heart of a Member of Parliament, a member of staff, a member of the Police, a passer-by, a child … this will be a wonderful gift.
For many years, even decades, we have known about the deepening crisis in which our Mother Earth finds herself. We have read more and more stark reports from scientists about the detrimental impact of human activity. We signed numerous petitions, we walked in demonstrations to ask for climate justice, we have lobbied our MPs (Members of Parliament), we have made personal efforts to make our way of living more sustainable… and much more.
What else do we need?
What else if not seeds of HOPE?
What else if not faith-inspired MOTIVATION?
What else if not an ever deeper LOVE for the precious gift of Creation,
for our beautiful Planet Earth,
for our Common Home and all who live in it?
will give us the desire to care for and protect it.’
I receive this Campaign of UISG
(‘International Union of General Superiors’)
like a ‘Seed of Hope’ sown into my own heart.
It inspires, encourages, supports every single Religious
living in every corner of our Planet Earth,
caring for our Common Home and all who live in it.
How did this Campaign start?
For a very long time, many Religious (and of course not only Religious) all over the world have been acutely aware that a crisis for our beautiful Planet Earth is building up and that many populations already suffer the consequences.
The publication of the Encyclical Letter
‘Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home’
by Pope Francis in May 2015
was eagerly awaited and welcomed with joy and relief.
Immediately work at the UISG began,
reflecting on how to put ‘Laudato Si’ into practice.
The fruit of this work was the launch of the Campaign
“Sowing Hope For the Planet”
In May 2019
the theme of the plenary meeting of UISG was:
‘Sowers of Prophetic Hope’
The Assembly endorsed the Campaign whole heartedly
with these powerful words of commitment:
“We commit ourselves to
both personal and communal conversion and
we wish to move forward together
in an orchestrated and coordinated response
in Listening to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the Poor
as we go forth as instruments of hope
in the heart of the world.”
How has the Campaign developed?
Since then the Campaign has evolved and has become a collaborative effort of various other groups like the ‘Laudato Si Movement’ and the ‘Vatican Dicastery of Human Development’.
As it became clearer and clearer that there is no time to lose and that as many people as possible all over the world, all people of good will, need to be involved in a concerted action plan before 2030, the idea of the ‘Laudato Si Action Platform’ was launched: https://laudatosiactionplatform.org
The Laudato Si Action Platform
is an invitation to a 7 year journey
to sustainability towards an integral ecology
based on the above 7 goals of ‘Laudato Si’.
Not only each Religious Congregation
but all groups, institutions, individuals,
all people of good will…
can sign up and commit to this journey.
“… Bring the whole human family together…
for we know that things can change.
(Laudato Si’ 13)”
“We human beings are united as brothers and sisters
on a wonderful pilgrimage”
(Laudato Si’ 92)
This year’s ‘Season of Creation’,
1 September – 4 October 2021,
could be a good moment to commit to this journey.
Registration is already open
(see website above).
On 4 October,
the Feast of St. Francis,
Laudato Si’ Plans will become available.
They can help you discern and implement
your response to Laudato Si’.
God said to his beloved people:
so that you and your descendants may live.”
“Love all of God’s creation,
the whole of it and every grain of sand in it.
Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light.
Love the animals.
Love the plants.
If you love everything
you will perceive the divine mystery in all things
and learn to comprehend it better every day.”
(F. Dostoevsky: ‘The Brothers Karamasov’ 1880)
Together let us choose life and love,
and may we be transformed and changed for
the healing and wellbeing of our Earth Community.
Sr Regula Hug