With Christ in the Desert: Ash Wednesday

“The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa.”
– Pope Benedict XVI (Caritas in Veritate, 51)

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
– Popularly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

During each week of Lent 2012, FAN features images from a collage by Br. Jeffrey Wilson, TOR.

Br. Jeffrey Wilson, TOR explains the symbolism of this portion of his collage.

Oil-covered lake: The oil-covered lake represents environmental pollution and is particularly inspired by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Three oil-covered birds add to the environmental disaster scene. Instead of offering God the sweet aroma of the fruits of the Earth, a thick, black, toxic smoke rises into the heavens. “Awake, north wind! Come, south wind! Blow upon my garden that its perfumes may spread abroad. Let my lover come to his garden and eat its fruits of choicest yield” (Sg 4:16). “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Cor 2:14-16).

Buffalo bones: The dead buffalo, or bison, adds to the scene of environmental violence. Many believe that, at one time, the buffalo represented the largest population of any wild land mammal on Earth. However, they almost became extinct in the 19th century do to over hunting. In fact, during the wars with the Native Americans, the U.S. Army encouraged the wholesale slaughter of the buffalo in order to deprive the Native Americans of their main food source. The violence against the buffalo represented violence against humans as well.

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Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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