“Without the light of faith, the entire universe finishes shut within a tomb devoid of any future, any hope.”
These are words in this years Message for Lent by Pope Benedict XVI. The term ‘ecological conversion’ has been widely used in Catholic environmental discourse, hinted at in Pope John Paul II’s 1990 World Day of Peace Address on the Environment, and then definitively coined in 2001 in a General Audience. That has been echoed later in other world international events, here and here.
But an ecological conversion presupposes a conversion to the source of ecology (the maker of the oikos, house); the conversion that a human ecology demands: the conversion to God. Lent is a special time for this, and Pope Benedict XVI drives the point home:
“In synthesis, the Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us “the pattern of his death” (Ph 3: 10), so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives;
…By immersing ourselves into the death and resurrection of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are moved to free our hearts every day from the burden of material things, from a self-centered relationship with the “world” that impoverishes us and prevents us from being available and open to God and our neighbor. In Christ, God revealed himself as Love (cf. 1Jn 4: 7-10). The Cross of Christ, the “word of the Cross”, manifests God’s saving power (cf. 1Cor 1: 18), that is given to raise men and women anew and bring them salvation: it is love in its most extreme form (cf. Encyclical Deus caritas est, n. 12).”
Conversion starts, and conversion ends, with Christ. God alone can deliver us from all of the worlds problems.