THE GREEN WINDOW
Reflections from the Federation Ecology Committee
The Federation Ecology Committee would like to introduce
you to its new section of the Federation Newsletter. It is
dedicated to reflecting upon the critical issues of our day
through a green perspective or an ecological lens. Attentiveness
to our charism’s call for the formation of the holistic
communion of all beings is heightened by our growing grasp
of new scientific understandings and insights. The CSJ spirituality
strongly aligns with the fostering of sustainable development
and right relations with the earth.
For many in today’s highly technological world, the
first thought that comes to mind with the mention of windows is
Microsoft’s Windows Operating System rather than the
historical, transparent, openings in buildings. Either of
these two meanings of windows might aptly
apply to our use of the metaphor window.
Today’s society is caught up in its reliance on new
technologies. Industry, economics, and habit often dull us
to the negative impact our ways have on the life of the planet
and its myriad of living inhabitants. Many believe that society
is in need of an upgraded “attitudinal operating system”.
This new way of operating would provide space for fresh thinking,
a common language and workable strategies to address the
vast issues of the present ecological crisis.
When we show an interest in traditional windows,
we are following in the spirit of Mother St. John. It is
told that she desired that large windows be installed in
the renovated building that was to be the home of the reformed
Sisters of St. Joseph. Her wish was vehemently opposed by
the local ordinary. However, through biding her time with
the local bishop she eventually got her wish. Whether it
was her desire that we, as Sisters of St. Joseph, not close
ourselves off from the dear neighbour or her gratitude for
nature and sunlight after her experience in prison is uncertain.
No doubt, she would be in sync with the aspirations of the
contemporary Sister of St. Joseph. It is quite appropriate
that her descendants endeavour to be more ecologically minded.
We use the image of the green window to symbolize the desire
we have to invite and allow God’s Spirit to inform
our minds and hearts, as we engage in meaningful ways with
the most critical issue of our times. In truth the very survival
of life on the planet rests on our choices and our actions.
We, the 21 st century CSJs, desire to behold earth anew,
wonder at it, celebrate it, and take practical steps toward
healing and preserving it for future generations. We, as
religious, have an important role to play in the survival
of our planet through our choices and our advocacy for environmental