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Respond to the cry of the poor

This goal is a call to protect those most vulnerable to climate change and ecological injustice. Worldwide, under-resourced communities—migrants, refugees, Indigenous Tribes, communities of color—shoulder the worst impacts of environmental degradation. 

Our actions are connected to this human suffering. Empower your community to respond to the cry of the poor with these resources.

Reflect

Identifying what brings us consolation is not only important in discerning what actions we can take for our planet. This process can also help us reframe who we act alongside. According to Ignatian spiritual director and writer, Margaret Silf, consolation is what brings us toward God and others. They cannot be separated.

As Pope Francis teaches, Creator and Creation are “interconnected.” Yet, our climate crisis is a direct result of our severed connections with Creator, Creation and one another. Powerful countries (those with the highest carbon emissions) have prioritized consumption and convenience, treating Earth and its people as resources for extraction. But it is the powerless—low-income nations, communities of color, Tribal Nations, women, children and senior citizens—who suffer the consequences.

This crisis stems from decisions in desolation—choices aligned with the desires of a few rather than all. In turning away from Creation, we have turned away from God, too.

Consolation, on the other hand, lifts us out of ourselves, directing our focus away from individual concerns and expanding our capacity for love. As you reflect on experiences of consolation, ask yourself: Who do I see as my neighbor? How are my choices connected to the injustices experienced by communities worldwide?

Laudato Si’ Action Plans help us respond to the cry of the poor by realigning our choices, actions and collective identities beyond artificial borders. In this way, our climate actions can propel us toward right relationship with God and humanity.

Discussion Questions

With members of your household, community or institution, discuss the fruits of your prayers and how they might point you toward concrete action. Consider these reflection questions for guidance:

  • How are my experiences of consolation pointing me toward right relationship with humanity?
  • How can this translate into action commitments?
  • What strengths or resources can we offer in response?

Respond

In 2017, 56 upper middle-income countries accounted for 46% of global carbon emissions, while the emissions of 34 low-income countries accounted for only 1% worldwide. Despite this stark disparity in resource use and depletion, low-income countries, particularly those in the Global South, are shouldering the worst impacts of rapid climate change. Unreliable weather patterns are causing drought and low crop yields, compounding food access issues. Extreme weather is also displacing millions of people each year.

Many global Jesuit organizations are working to shore-up climate resiliency. In Nigeria, JRS is helping farmers adapt to changing growing seasons with drought resistant crops.

Brainstorm your action

Take Action with the Interconnected Challenge

Responding to the cry of the poor requires us not only to listen but also to take action. This resource from Ignatian Solidarity Network offers examples of concrete actions that support communities vulnerable to environmental degradation.

Learn more

Go deeper with this podcast series from the Australian Bishop's Conference on Hearing the Cry of the Poor.

How are Jesuit institutions taking action?

Share your actions

Send us a brief email, telling us how you and your community are walking the path of renewal. We may feature your story on this page or on our Twitter, @JesuitJustice.

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