Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Laudato Si' - Some Comments

Well, five days after its release, I’ve finished my initial reading of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato
Si’. I’ve made a whole lot of highlights, it is just that chock-filled with good ‘stuff.’ And of course I will study it more in days to come. I am extremely impressed with it. It addresses a wide range of topics; well it addresses all of Creation.

Mostly, it provides me with hope, but there are a number of disconcerting realities. I ask myself what can Pope Francis, the Catholic Church, or all of our Christian brothers and sisters do about all these things? They seem so monumental. But Pope Francis, more than anyone else, has had the opportunity and courage to address these issues clearly. This encyclical is the seed to change the hearts and minds to continue and expand how we look at creation and care for it. That is why we need to read it and know what is in it; so we can pass it on to others, and to inform ourselves as well.

When society is made aware of an abuse or a wrong it can provide pressure so that it may be addressed and corrected. There are so many examples of this. The one that comes to mind first are the foam containers McDonald’s and the other fast-food chains used to use for their products. This is no more. Public pressure forced them to change. So it is our job to make others aware and educate them, and ourselves as well.

I ask myself well, gee, what can I do about that huge mass of garbage the size of some states that are floating in the Pacific ocean? Perhaps nothing. It is so far removed from us, it is in international waters. But we can write our legislators and ask them to explore means that it can be addressed. But an even more effective thing to do, is the next time you are on a boat, or along the shore of a body of water, don’t toss that rubbish in it. And there are so many other things we can do, if we only think about it.

An important point of the encyclical, as Pope Francis turned to Saint Francis, is to consider all of
Creation as our brother and sister. To show them the respect they deserve and to care for them. We can do this in so many ways.

I don’t want to make this very long, I just want to plant some food for thought.

Below is one of the two prayers that closes the encyclical.

A Christian prayer in union with creation

Father, we praise you with all your creatures. They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus, through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes. Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory. Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail. You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good. Praise be to you!
Triune Lord,
wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you. Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made. Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!



Louis M said...

Thanks fratello. You've made me feel better about it. :)

I still think man made global warming is hooey, though. :D

A Secular Franciscan said...

I also like what I've read of it - I did a quick read through.