A spiritual way towards sustainability-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Saturday, June 9, 2012
SUSTAINABLE development is a crucial issue in the economy. Our economy is built on the logic of unfulfilled desires. Man always wants more and the economy has become a matter of producing and consuming. But the reality is that our available raw materials are limited.
A quarter of the world population consumes 80 percent of the available raw materials. One can understand also that because of the insatiable hunger for always more, social injustice is caused. We have to find a way of balancing the two, our desires and the availability of our natural resources. If not, then we are bound to get an ecological and an economic disaster.
In our society, the myth has grown that the absence of material goods is the worst that can happen to men. To acquire those goods, it has become a purpose in itself. The more, the better. We want to have things only for the sake of having them. We use the things not because we need them but because they are offered to us.
Many of our OFWs go abroad just to be able to satisfy that hunger for more. The sad thing is, this often results to broken families, infidelity of one of the spouses, and always, it’s the children who are the victims.
It is important to fight this consumption mentality. We must learn to accept that enough is enough. How to do that? We Carmelites believe the only way to do that is the spiritual way. We need discernment. We must discern on some important aspects of our life.
1) The roots of the ecological crisis are related to the manner in which people relate themselves to the divine and to nature. The reality is a place where you find the ‘divine dimension’. With this we mean that in creation and in people the all-embracing love of God can be discovered. We Carmelites, and many other religious people, believe that God called man to life in order to relate himself well with what has been created and with God himself. The fact is that we often act contrary to that relationship. Apparently, we never have enough and we expect from the technology that she can fulfill every human need and desire and preferably, without delay.
2) The human heart cannot be fulfilled with anything else than with the eternal. The Carmelite St. John of the Cross has said: “The human desire is never content unless with the Eternal.” We must abandon the belief that one can find fulfillment in gathering always more material goods. Only then will we be able to liberate the earth from the obligation that has been imposed on her by us to fulfill our desires. To bring order into our human desires, we should open ourselves for the empowering love of God. This can help us to direct our desires towards a more simple life-style. This can teach us that immediate satisfaction is not always needed and not even possible. The contemplative way of the Carmelites can help us understand that in our life, only a few things are really necessary and moreover: that little is often enough and small is beautiful.
We must work for an economy which is based on what people really need, and not on satisfying our irresponsible desires for always more. Only a contemplative way of life that is characterized by prayer, by a sense of community and a sense of being of service to our fellowmen in need, can provide us with the proper insights and direct our heart on what makes us happy in our inner self: to live in God’s love.
(For your comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 10, 2012.