‘Hope for the Earth, Hope for Humanity’
Laudato Si’ begins with me and you. Let us together celebrates the anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical and the message to care for our common home. It is a chance to learn, reflect, pray and act on our relationship with all of creation.
Laudato Si’ is the name of Pope Francis’ encyclical about care for our common home. An encyclical is a document intended to circulate among all members of the Catholic Church. Despite being a Catholic document, Laudato Si’ is addressed to “every person living on this planet,” because all of us are responsible for restoring our common home. (Laudato Si’, 3) The name “Laudato Si’” means “Praised be”, an expression used by Saint Francis of Assisi to glorify God.
Within Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls on “all people of good will” to undergo an ecological conversion, “whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (Laudato Si’, 62, 217) An ecological conversion means moving toward a greater love of God, each other, and creation by acknowledging our contribution to the ecological crisis and acting in ways that heal our common home. Ecological spirituality comes from this profound ecological conversion, and helps us to “discover God in all things.” (Laudato Si’, 160) We can discover God in both the beauty of creation and in the sighs of the sick, aware that the life of the spirit is not disassociated from worldly realities. This will help us to “overcome individualism [and] develop a different lifestyle to bring about significant changes in society.” (Laudato Si’, 208)