Recognizing that life as we know it has changed significantly in the last months, we still join the world in commemorating the 5th Anniversary of Pope Francis' first encyclical, Laudato Si', with a special week, May 16-24. The encyclical, on ecology and climate change, is an open appeal for dialogue and conversation about the future of our common home — a home we all share, regardless of faith or ideology. This reflection is an invitation for you to see and experience God in new ways while being attentive to your own context and lived experiences. Indeed, in giving Francis' letter a few minutes of our attention during this global pandemic, we gain new perspective to how our work and lifestyles fit within a much larger ecology.
INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE, BEAUTY, AND FULLNESS
The following words from the Pope are worth reading in full. "Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness. The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis. We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations" (para. 53).
This passage inspires at least two points for quiet reflection:
First, consider both the ugliness and opportunity in your own lives. How have you shown a lack of awareness of how your actions are not in line with the needs of the present? What do you do today that could harm future generations? [pause] How have you yourself experienced peace, beauty and fullness lately? Or is your well empty? [pause] If you're empty, how are you going to fill yourself with the resources to become a sincere and ready instrument of peace, beauty and fullness to those people and spaces in need? [pause]
Second, an invitation to pray: ask God to help our culture and to inspire our leaders to confront the crisis we face in the world today. Pray that they might be willing to strike out on new paths and meet the needs of the present. We need leaders who are willing to confront strife with peace; ugliness with beauty; and lack with fullness. [pause]
Let us pray:
Creator, you give us life.
Help us to honor you
as we care for your precious creation.
Redeemer, you give us hope.
Help us see new ways of living
as we turn from the path of destruction.
Holy Spirit, you give us unity.
Help us find strength in the love between us
as we seek healing for the Earth.
Session 6 of 9