Scuba diving on the coral reefs off the Florida coast reveals an ecosystem like none other on the planet. Each animal, plant, and organism on the reef lives because of some other reef inhabitant. Each plays an essential part in the life. Coral reefs are of vital importance to humans. They protect shorelines, provide food, jobs and even medicines. Sadly, it is we humans who pose the biggest threat to this LIVING marine majesty. Pollution, overfishing, rising water temperature caused by the burning of fossil fuels, have left parts of reefs greatly compromised and, in some cases, destroyed. Our decisions and actions have broken the chain in this interconnected life system. In his encyclical on “Care for our Common Home,” drawing from sacred scripture, Pope Francis reminds us of the essential interconnections between human life and the life of the earth, our home. To neglect any part of our common home is to neglect all parts.
By Christian Morris, OSB.
Photo: Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash