The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice.” (Psalm 72:3)

The glimpse that Sister Carlette provides into the colonization of Belize opens our eyes and minds to the lasting impacts of colonization everywhere. Countries that have taken conquest over foreign peoples and lands have violated land and human rights by not only commodifying God’s invaluable creation, but by also devastating future development and equality in those lands. The effects of continued violence and conquest on behalf of the developed world seep into nearly all areas of life in the developing world, including the environment. Today, developed countries are responsible for 79% of historical carbon emissions, though developing countries bear more of the effects of a changing climate.

What role has your country played in colonization? How has that role influenced your perspective of power and justice? How can our spirituality go deeper to account for our painful histories and pave the way to a future of opportunity for all?

Please reflect on the following poem: “This Land Belongs to No One” by Hila Ratzabi

This land belongs to no one but God. The Earth was here before us and will endure after we are gone. Let us walk gently upon this precious earth, taking only what we need to sustain future generations.

We acknowledge the history of pain, disease, and bloodshed the Native peoples’ endured when they were colonized. Though we can’t reverse the course of history, let us not ignore it. Let us look history in the eye and accept its painful truth. 

Let us honor the memory of those who died on this land, who lost their sovereignty. Let us honor the Native people who, to this day, keep their sacred traditions and culture alive and seek to reclaim, reassert, and revive their sovereignty.