Issues to choose from abound in our current world. I would like to propose that we look at climate change in the light of the La Salette charism of reconciliation. In spite of the deniers that still exist, climate change presents a huge challenge for humans. The indifference of many, in the face of the problems associated with climate change, also puts the earth, our home, at grave risk. The recent withdrawal of the U.S. From the Paris accord on climate change illustrates this. Too many in our society put financial gain, or a strong economy, ahead of any other consideration. As a consequence, species of all kinds continue to disappear from our world at an alarming rate. In that process, humans become impoverished, along with the earth.
In his book "The Christian and the Fate of the Earth" Thomas Berry describes humans as becoming autistic in relation to the natural world: "We live in a world of computers, cell phones, digital photography, television, highways and automobiles, supermarkets, and trivial playthings for our children-all fostered by inescapable advertising aimed at stirring our deepest compulsions to buy and consume. Our education is focused on producing skills associated with the production, distribution, and use of such a multitude of objects with none of the exaltation of soul provided by our experience of natural phenomena. We no longer realize that the universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects--subjects to be communed with as divine manifestations not objects to be exploited solely for economic gain." (pp 74+75)
To the many reasons given as to why young people grow more absent from formal religion, we could add Berry's comment: "As the grandeur of the natural world declines, the primordial manifestation of the divine is progressively diminished." (p. 80)
In the face of all this, Berry challenges religious communities "to accept a new role, the most difficult role that any of us has been asked to fulfill, that of stopping the devastation that humans, principally those in our commercially driven societies, are Inflicting on the planet." p. 68
Sadly, he goes on to add that “At the present time the protest of the pillage of the earth, compassion for the earth, and commitment to the preservation of the earth are lest mainly to ~ secular environmental organizations as though the matter were too peripheral to be of concern to Christians." p.71
Perhaps, in all of this, La Salette Missionaries, and anyone else interested in La Salette, can find an opportunity to broaden our understanding of the charism of reconciliation. We can find much said and written about the need for reconciliation of human with human. Likewise about the reconciliation of humans with God. Maybe the time has come to show more concern about reconciliation of humans with the earth.