An 8-week Integral Ecology Reflection



What do you see in this image?

  • How do you feel as you look at it?
  • What new or deeper awareness do you have as you perceive it through the lens of Integral Ecology?
  • What is missing?






Relationship is the essence of existence.
Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme, The Universe Story

The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC 2022) highlights the remarkably high severity and numbers of people in Crisis…The number identified in the 2022 edition is the highest in the report’s six-year existence.  – World Food Program

Is there a connection between these two quotations?



O human being, this is what God desires for you. That you do justice. That you love kindness. That you walk humbly in the presence of your God. Micah 6:8

Pray with this Scripture passage this week.




From Let Us Dream, page 31, Pope Francis

…a missionary in the Pacific told me of when he was traveling by boat and saw a tree sticking up from the water. He asked: Was that tree planted in the sea? The man steering the boat told him: No, that was once an island. And so, through many encounters, dialogues, and anecdotes like these my eyes were opened. It was like an awakening…that was my process: serene and calm, through information, I gradually became aware of, until I became convinced of the seriousness of the thing…It was a concern I began to talk about with others. That’s how my ecological awareness came about. I saw that it was of God because it was a spiritual experience…I started to see the harmonious unity of humanity and nature, and how humanity’s fate is inseparably bound up with that of our common home.

Write your story of ecological awareness and share it with someone.




See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Is 43:19

The question is how do we see and what are the lenses that allow us to understand our lives and the world more deeply…How do we understand where and how the divine, where God, the Holy Spirit operates in our lives, our institutions, and the world around us?
Edited from CAC podcast, “Learning How to See” by Diana Butler Buss




Justice for the Earth is a work of the heart – a falling in love with the divine voice that summons us to become one with the beautiful and oppressed Earth.
Taken from Geo-Justice, The Emergence of Integral Ecology, by Jim Conlon

What is your understanding of “the common good” and how do you live this as a goal in your daily life?




In our time, secular and ecclesial organizations strive to bring about justice for whales, for forests, for battered wives ad abused children, for the poor, for victims of oppression – all these causes are worthy. Yet most of these efforts have remained fragmented, isolated from each other…through integral ecology we begin to see in our present moment of cultural collapse and ecological devastation, the Earth itself as a source of divine wisdom…
Taken from Geo-Justice, The Emergence of Integral Ecology, by Jim Conlon

An example
Make the connections: Gun violence
-#1 cause of deaths for youth 2022
-17% of youth live in poverty
-25% of high school freshmen drop out
-7.5 % of high school dropouts were unemployed
-67% of mass shootings were by 15-24 yr. olds in 2021
– 44% for households with income above $90,000 own a gun
– African-American youth are more than eight times more likely to die from firearm homicide than their white counterparts are.




For your reflection:

Each great turn of history introduces a new paradigm. This means that new forms of perceiving and interpreting reality emerge, that we are obliged to redefine the fundamental concepts that orient our social and personal lives including our concepts of God, human beings, history, the meaning of existence, and the universe.
Leonardo Boff (forward to From the Stars to the Street, 2007)

What “fundamental concepts” serve you/us as guideposts for the way we think, act, and plan?




As biological beings how do we see ourselves and the living world around us as part of the “greatest story ever told”?

Put your thoughts into words – or drawings.





Integral ecology is a concept recently popularized in 2015 by Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si’. It refers to an integrated and holistic approach to political, social, economic, and environmental problems by recognizing that many of the issues we face are interconnected and need to be looked at as a whole, and not just in part. To familiarize yourself with this important term and its use, we have developed a list of resources.