Pope Francis, I Disagree: A Tribute to Earth Day

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The original version of this heavily-edited post was first shared last year. The sorrowful effects of the pandemic are on the rise again in many countries and the senseless destruction of our planet continues. The message here becomes more urgent each day.

Since he was first elected, Pope Francis has been my favorite pontiff. I’m not Catholic, but I admire the fact that he’s not afraid to regularly speak out against corruption, specifically the neglect and exploitation of our natural environment for profit, as is common on a grand scale. For these reasons and many others, I feel he is a world leader in the truest sense.

Recently, the Pope expressed his belief that coronavirus could be Nature’s response to climate change. He was quoted in a UK periodical saying, “There is an expression in Spanish: God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the last part of that statement.

In honor of Earth Day, I present my defense of Nature, and therefore, my disagreement with the Pope.

The widespread death and health decline brought about by Covid-19 is unlike any other health crisis we’ve seen in the past 100 years. I’m on board with the idea that much of the fallout may be attributed to the (internal and external) functionings of Nature struggling from abuse and neglect; it’s hard for me to fathom how so many of us ignore the simple needs of our bodies and our Earth. But I don’t agree with the words Nature never forgives.

In my opinion, our external natural environment must attempt an ongoing balance of sorts, similar to our internal Nature’s constant drive for homeostasis. (For example, when we get too cold or too hot, we shiver or sweat, which reestablishes our normal body temperature set point.) The global warming callously caused by our species is like a disease to our planet. As a result, the natural world sometimes unfolds in ways resulting in death and destruction. I believe this devastation is related to rebalancing on some level more so than Nature’s unwillingness to forgive. What do you think?

Hope springs eternal – a revegetated Sunset Crater Volcano, Northern Arizona

In the podcast Food Independence and Planetary Evolution, Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself, talks with triple-board certified Zach Bush, MD, about the wretched state of our food supply. In large part, the conversation centers around the soil-decimating and gut-destroying glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer which is used extensively in non-organic and non-regenerative commercial farming.) Dr. Bush, after speaking more than an hour on the sad and unjust consequences of using glyphosate and other current farming practices, shared the concept of biological grace, which he defines as the ability to heal faster than injured.

His first example of this idea relates to the microbiome of the gut. He talks about some of his clinic’s patients who, after a lifetime of damaging disregard for their health, can make a few simple changes and see health problems improve or reverse in a matter of weeks or months. These changes, including physician-monitored short-term fasting and (largely) ridding their lives of harmful chemicals, give a much-needed break to their biological systems, allowing Nature’s healing force to rush in and restore health, instantly forgiving the former myriad of abuses.

A table at a farmers market in Taos, New Mexico

Dr. Bush goes on to address soil health within the same paradigm. Decades of using genetically modified seeds, applying glyphosate, mono-cropping, and tilling are killing the life in our soils, resulting in, among other calamities, smaller yields with greatly reduced nutrient content. His estimates show that about 98% of the earth’s soils are now depleted in a similar manner. According to Dr. Bush, if these harmful measures are stopped, biodiversity can return to the soil within a single growing season. His team has partnered with the Soil Health Academy, and together, they have witnessed this renewal in over a million acres. In my mind, this, too, epitomizes Nature’s forgiveness.

In light of this information, I would like to say humbly, Thank you, Pope Francis, for calling the world’s attention to our ailing planet during a time of darkness like none we’ve known. But science backed by experience disproves your statement “Nature never forgives.” This clarification could critically impact our ability to overcome and move forward. Although the pandemic continues to rage, regardless of its source, I choose to work daily to achieve biological grace for the health of my body and my Planet.

Blessings for Forgiveness & Grace,


I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. ~Anne Lamott

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

72 thoughts on “Pope Francis, I Disagree: A Tribute to Earth Day

  1. I agree with you, and I too am not a Catholic but have admired Pope Francis very much, but this seems to go against science… I am a firm believer in grace 👍 thank you for your thought provoking post 😃

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Thoughtful and beautiful Earth Day post, Lisa! I noticed that Pope Francis was one of the participants in the Earth Day meeting of world leaders. His support of environmental issues will influence many people to help save the planet. I hope he is wrong about nature being unforgiving. We need nature’s “forgiveness” and an opportunity to make restitution! Take care!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Always love your thought provoking thoughts Lisa and your love and care of our earth so much needed. Your words are poetryf in writing to me.

    I actually loved this “There is an expression in Spanish: God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the last part of that statement”.

    And more over I loved your rebuttal to this. We must remember that nature is powerful beyond measure and man will have a wake up call no matter what and we will be called into action to do our part eventually because there is no other choice. Would be nice not to get that message with such ramifications but we are strong and truth and forgiveness prevails.

    I’m not catholic either but fear always was the card… maybe that is the message he’s trying to instil? Idk… I’m just sayin

    Have a great weekend!!! 💖💖💖🌷🌷🌷

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, sweet Cindy, and thank you for your very kind comment! You’re right: we will pay the piper one way or another. Environmentally speaking, I think many of us believe that there is no way back, so why try. That’s the reason for my post. I find it hopeful that we can make things better. Hope your weekend is going well too! We are just back from a long hike in Sedona. Lovely weather here! (But snow is forecast for Tuesday!) 😘🌞🌵

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That was a smart post and we can only hope to continue to raise awareness. Oh so nice to hike those beautiful mountains. Lovely~~~!
        I sure wish we would get some rain but loving the sun, I can’t lie. Lots of clean up going on and finally getting my newsletter out. 👏👏👏👏 Have a great Sunday! 💖

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Dear Lisa and Cindy,

      Thank you, Lisa, for your timely and excellent post, and Cindy, for your commendable comments.

      The words of the Pope can be quote problematic at times. Perhaps some of us could take comfort in the fact that in recent years, the Catholic Church has had to accept evolution, though on a theistic basis. There is an excellent remark from someone eminent:

      For those who do believe, no proof is necessary.
      For those who don’t, no proof is possible.

      Acknowledgement is due to Lisa for thinking and writing about the Earth and for featuring Nature and the edible bounty of Earth so commendably.

      Indeed, Earth Day is so special and important that every day is Earth Day because we are so dependent on Mother Earth and owe her everything. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of this special day with the contents of your post.

      I have also taken the opportunity to improve and update my expansive multimedia post about Earth Day at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/soundeagle-in-earth-day/

      The said post is best viewed on a large screen of a desktop or laptop computer, since it could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately. Please enjoy my Earth Day offering!

      May both of you find the rest of 2021 very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, reading, thinking and blogging whatever topics that take your intellectual fancy!

      By the way, Cindy, I have already replied to your comment that you recently submitted to my blog.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are very welcome, Lisa.

        Thank you for liking my post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity“. I am very keen and curious to know what you think or make of the said post, and look forward to your submitting a comment there.


      2. Hi Sound Eagle,

        Yes, Lisa does an amazing job on her site and pictures as well. She is a great friend and such a caring woman of being a bright light in our community.
        I went to your link and it looks very comprehensive. Nice job!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Dear Cindy,

        I have checked thoroughly and there is no comment from you there.

        This multimedia offering comes to you in my dramatic attempt to bring the Full Moon alive, so to speak, in the form of Music Animation with Dynamic Visualization presented in high definition and imbued with a scintillating full moon surrounded by eye-catching astronomical phenomena and stellar activities!

        In order to see all of the animations, please make sure that you view the post on my blog and not via the WordPress Reader. Please enjoy to your heart’s content the mixed-media offering of “If My Name Were Moon Tonight…” and its beautifully rendered Music Animation with Dynamic Visualization on the big high-resolution screen of your desktop or laptop computer. Switch the video playback to full-screen mode. The animation starts calmly and will gradually climax. There is also the opportunity to savour my own rendition of “Clair de Lune” recorded on the organ.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you SoundEagle.. I’ll check again tomorrow. it sounds lovely but I do’t want to wake anyone up atthe moment. I’ll def go to the site. i did hit the last link and have tried to comment. 💖❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      5. such a beautiful poem and song. I actually don’t subscribe to any sites through email so this is what our problem might be… only in reader so if you activate that, I can make a comment. (I have too many emails for personal and business) so I keep these separate. Beautiful! 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Dear Cindy,

        It is imperative that you do not rely on the Reader to view other people’s blog posts because you will consistently miss out on a lot of details and features. By the same token, since your blog has a new look, those who use the Reader will not be able to see the new look of your blog at all. Worse still, the Reader cannot properly display blog posts and pages that contain advanced styling, image manipulation and multimedia components plus animations. Therefore, it is highly recommended to read my posts and pages directly in my blog so that you will be able to see and experience all of the refined and glorious details. Hence, it is prudent to refrain from viewing my blog in the WordPress Reader, which tends to ignore or strip away some styling and formatting components, and also fails to display animations, all of which are aplenty in my posts and pages, which will look very different and even improper or amiss in the WordPress Reader.

        Furthermore, contrary to what you just stated, submitting a comment has nothing to do with email or with activating something. To submit a comment, simply scroll down to the comment section of a post or page, then type your comment and click the button to submit the comment.

        Therefore, if you have not indeed liked and/or commented on someone’s post or page, then there is no proof at all that you have visited the post or page let alone showing your appreciation of what the person has done for the post or page.

        I look forward to your submitting a comment to my said post.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Hi SoundEagle,

        I haven’t had any trouble responding back and forth with my followers and mine is pretty straight forward as are most so going to my site isn’t imperative nor is it with most sites I follow.

        I did find my response on your moon post and just commented again so hopefully you get that.

        All the best to you always and again nice job!

        Have a great night!

        here was my prior post:
        12 Votes
        Beautiful poem SoundEagle with amazing music to go with it!!!! The pictures and visuals are gorgeous. Good to see you posting! ❤️ Cindy

        Liked by 4 peo

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Dear Cindy,

        First of all, congratulations to you on successfully commenting on my much improved, extended and animation-intensive post entitled “If My Name Were Moon Tonight…with Clair de Lune“!

        I would like to inform you that many of my followers and commenters do not just visit and comment on my new posts; they also visit, read, like and comment on old posts and pages, many of which I regularly improve, extend and update. I also often do the same by visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on some bloggers’ old(er) posts and/or pages, not just waiting for their new posts to appear. How limiting it is to only read their new posts!

        As for “responding back and forth”, I am being caring and responding to your apparent blogging and commenting issues with useful information and suggestions on improving your situations.

        I strongly recommend that you do not always rely on the Reader to view other people’s blog posts because you will consistently miss out on a lot of details and features, and because of the many limitations of the Reader, as elaborated in one of previous comments.

        Besides, if other people, like you, have also been relying heavily on the Reader, then they too will never be able to see and experience (m)any improvements and changes that you have done to your own blog, including its new looks and features. And they also cannot see and experience various features and contents contained in bespoke posts and pages.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Thank you and you’re so welcome!
        I have gone on to many of your old posts and liked them but haven’t gotten to visit all of them yet.

        You raise really good points.
        Thanks so much and have a great rest of your day or ev evening.


        Liked by 1 person

      10. Dear Cindy,

        There is a much earlier comment that you submitted to the said post six months ago, when the post was quite different from its current form. Just to be clear: our conversation conducted over here pertains to your second attempt at providing feedback to the now much improved, lengthened and far more visually arresting post six months later — an attempt with which you have had some difficulties initially but finally resolved. Thank you.

        May you and your family have a wonderful evening and a rejuvenating sleep to wake up on the final day of April!

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Dear Cindy,

        Lisa would also have benefited in some ways from our conversation, as many of the issues broached are useful and relevant to all bloggers and visitors.

        To avoid the much stripped down, generic look of what is presented in the Reader, I would strongly encourage you and others to start going directly to people’s blogs more frequently to actually see and experience how they present their ideas through their posts and pages.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! This was a great post with great examples of nature’s ability to forgive. It’s easy to say there is nothing we can do, and avoid the issue. It is difficult to recognize and admit our mistakes and make changes. I hope your post finds its way to the people who need some encouragement to take the more difficult option.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi, Suzanne, and thank you for the encouragement. You are right: it is too easy to say things are hopeless & there’s nothing we can do. But that’s just giving up on the planet, which is ridiculous! (And yes, I realize I am preaching to the choir here!) It is my hope that those who feel that way can find a reason to change their hearts. Again, thanks for your support & for being a good environmental steward! 🌞

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Nature endures, I think. And that’s an interesting idea: ” I believe this devastation is related to rebalancing on some level….” I could see that that is probably true. The best thing to do is to flow into the universe instead of out or against it, is what I think.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Happy and Beautiful Earth Day to you too, Lisa. Such a profound and wonderful post. At this time of the pandemic when our whole world is suffering is all because of human errors and destroying our environment. This is all because of man’s folly.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hi Lisa!

    Wonderful piece! If Pope Francis read it he would agree with you 100%.

    Mostly he is being invocative to the importance of changing the scaler mindset from hyper-consumption to coexistence to eventually equal relevance (all the earth groans in pain, Rm 8:22).

    IMHO, he is focused on the orbit of: (1) Immediacy – dreadful impacts that initially are devastating before nature can adjust sufficiently to repair, (2) Permanence – some damage is irreversible, i.e., extinction, radiation pollution of massive scale; and (3) Painful – we inflict pain upon nature and humanity without good cause.

    I love your writings and look forward to every piece.

    Blessings and thank you!
    Dcn Gerry

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Deacon Gerry for this kind, well-considered and erudite comment. You have made great points here. We should be counting our blessings for the measure that Nature is willing to forgive! Thanks again for your support! Hope you’re looking forward to a great weekend! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

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