Our Common Home: Laudato Sí – Pope Francis’ Introduction

  • I wish to address every person living on this planet . . . to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.
  • There is an urgent need for a radical change in the conduct of humanity.
  • We are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation.”
  • “ We are asked “to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing . . .”

St. Francis “shows us how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society and interior peace.”

  • The Book of Creation: “rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”
  • “I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. . . . [Where] all of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation ….”
  • I will point to the intimate relationship between
    • The poor and the fragility of the planet,
    • The conviction that everything in the world is connected
    • The critique of the new paradigms and forms of power derived from technology
    • The call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress
    • The value proper to each creature
    • The human meaning of ecology
    • The need for forthright and honest debate
    • The serious responsibility of international and local policy
    • The throwaway culture and the proposal of a new lifestyle

Our Reality

This study of “Our Common Home” continues the Chapter Directional Statement of 2003:

“We the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael commit ourselves to study and promote those sustainable values implicit in the recognition of our place in the community of creation.

  • Respect and care for the Community of Life.
  • Ecological integrity
  • Social and economic justice
  • A world-wide culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace

This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility.”

Points to Ponder/Our Challenge

Sisters, are we ready to engage on behalf of “Our Common Home?” For Pope Francis himself is leading the way.

Let us each ask ourselves as we ponder the introduction and subsequent chapters of the encyclical:

  • With what do I resonate?
  • What disturbs me?
  • What additional study and information do I need?
  • Am I willing to commit myself to Francis’ universal call by prayer, deeper study and reflection and personal change?
  • Am I willing to engage in communal conversation on the implications of the encyclical?
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