Dear Brothers, Associates, and friends,
Bro. Edward Driscoll invites all of you to read Laudato Si (Praised Be), Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. Many of you asked if we would respond as a Congregation. For your awareness, we have joined with other members of CMSM in doing so. However, we also want to invite you to send comments and suggestions about what we as individuals or as the entire Xaverian family can do in response. You are invited to post comments below, where we can all share our responses with one another as we all strive, each in our own way, and, as a Congregation, to answer the call of Pope Francis.
As he presents what we are called to do, Pope Francis says, “We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.” He calls us to be engaged in some way as we study and pray about our environment and take whatever action we can.
You can read the encyclical here. For quotations from the encyclical arranged by topic, click here.
Here is one action you can take immediately: Send a thank you note to Pope Francis!
Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns director Gerry Lee and Dan Misleh of the Catholic Climate Covenant are going to Rome for a conference on the encyclical in July. Dan will present these thank you notes from people of faith around the world. Sign the thank you note here.
We thank you for leaving your thoughts, comments, and suggestions below.
In our young marriage, my wife and I have tried to think of small ways that we can reduce waste and live more sustainably. Change is hard, especially changes in behavior that don’t have singular effect, but only cumulative effect For example, refusing plastic bags at the grocery store doesn’t seem like much when I do it once, but over a lifetime…that’s a lot of plastic!
The Pope recognizes that these small choices we make in our daily life are not merely functional, economic, or political decisions. My choice to bring canvas bags to the grocery store can be made at the depth of spirit, it is a choice that comes from a desire to honor all of Creation. It’s small, yes it is a small choice in the grand scheme of things, but what is the spiritual life if not attention to the millions of small choices that we make day-to-day?
So we’ll keep thinking small! And maybe in a few years, a decade, by the end of our lives, we’ll have taken what we needed from the earth (I’m sure a bit more), and allowed her to regenerate from her bounty. This cycle a beautiful symbol of God’s mutuality and gratuitous love.
I’ve read the intro and first chapter of the encyclical and find it very readable. I just came across a reader’s guide to the encyclical which, I think, has some great leading questions on each of the six chapters….One can get it on line by googling “Reader’s guide to Laudato Si by Fr. Thomas Reese”.
I think I’ve always valued mother nature, but with this encyclical I am realizing that I need to reflect more deeply on how worthy of respect the natural world is. Anyway, one little thing I will do is begin again to use my re-usable cloth bags when I visit the grocery store.
I will commit myself to reading one chapter at a time of Laudato Si along with the above reader’s guide, hopefully along with some others. if I can, in a small group setting.