“Laudato Si”

butterflyPope Francis’ Encyclical  “Laudato Si, (Praise Be): On Care for Our Common Home” has generated a lot of publicity.  As is common with many media reports involving our dear Pope Francis, I am certain many things will be twisted and portions will be taken out to suit specific agendas.  I decided to give it a read myself and highly recommend it to everyone!  It is a wonderful document filled with praise for our Creator and an urgent pleading for the greater care of all His creation.  I encourage you to read it for yourself to truly appreciate all the Pope has to say instead of just the bits and pieces the media might pull out.  You can read the full encyclical here.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the document (it was so hard to choose just a few!):

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps 33:6). This tells us that the world came about as the result of a decision, not from chaos or chance, and this exalts it all the more. The creating word expresses a free choice. The universe did not emerge as the result of arbitrary omnipotence, a show of force or a desire for self-assertion. Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” (Wis 11:24). Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world. Even the fleeting life of the least of beings is the object of his love, and in its few seconds of existence, God enfolds it with his affection.

The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment.

In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.

Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology and for the common good because, lived out authentically, it is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life. Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to them amid constant noise, interminable and nerve-wracking distractions, or the cult of appearances?

It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation. Grace, which tends to manifest itself tangibly, found unsurpassable expression when God himself became man and gave himself as food for his creatures. The Lord, in the culmination of the mystery of the Incarnation, chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter. He comes not from above, but from within, he comes that we might find him in this world of ours. In the Eucharist, fullness is already achieved; it is the living centre of the universe, the overflowing core of love and of inexhaustible life. Joined to the incarnate Son, present in the Eucharist, the whole cosmos gives thanks to God.

The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists. The Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary. The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways.

Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast.

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9 thoughts on ““Laudato Si”

  1. SR June 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this with us all, a wonderful post! I have heard quips and quotes from the media, but have not had the chance to really sit down and here what the Pope had to say.

    I being a “nature person” myself cannot see why we want to destroy everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING!

    I love, “The world came about as a result of a decision.” What an awesome thought! God put so much of Himself in that “decision.” Beauty, color, shapes, forms, and love. His earth is a gift to us, and we need to realize that, as it sustains our lives.

    Great post and God Bless, SR

    • rosesnearrunningwaters June 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm Reply

      Thanks SR. I wanted to read it since I am definitely a “nature person” too and am so glad I did. It’s one I’m going to have to go back to I think as I’m sure there were many gems I missed the first time! Love & Blessings to you my friend!

  2. reinkat June 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm Reply

    I intend to sit down and read it all tonight.
    How joyous it makes me feel to know that at last my Church is officially pronouncing what I have always known to be true, in my heart.
    I am just so glad to see this document.

    • rosesnearrunningwaters June 18, 2015 at 4:56 pm Reply

      I think you will really enjoy it Reinkat. Pope Francis really gets to the heart of the matter and presents it in the light of faith and love while urging us all to take better care of God’s creation. Let me know your thoughts after you read it! God Bless!

  3. "Laudato Si" | Christians Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 8:59 pm Reply

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  4. reinkat June 19, 2015 at 2:24 am Reply

    Hi roses–you’re right: I love this encyclical. I am about halfway through it, will finish it tomorrow. It is wonderful the way he pulls in the teachings of the bishops from all over the world to support his very strong statements. I think that (so far, at least) there is nothing actually NEW, but it is now articulated so clearly and eloquently, with no room for misunderstanding. Pope Francis speaks both boldly and humbly. What a great quote–and strong statement–from Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”.[15] For “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God”.
    May God bless our Holy Father and grant him courage and strength.

    • rosesnearrunningwaters June 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm Reply

      So glad you are enjoying it. I agree, nothing came across as “new” but it was all presented in such a beautiful and clear way. It saddens me to hear in the media people ripping it apart when it is clear from their comments that they have not read it. I pray that more people will read it with open hearts and put politics aside to get to the truth of what Pope Francis is saying.

  5. Joan June 19, 2015 at 1:27 pm Reply

    Hello! Thanks for sharing the link to the encyclical – that was a nice lunchtime read! 🙂

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