Recently, Pope Francis released his Encyclical Laudato Si “Praise be to you, my Lord” which is taken from the invocation of St. Francis in his Canticle of Creatures. The Encyclical has 6 chapters: “What is happening to our common home;” “The Gospel of creation;” “The human roots of the ecological crisis;” “Integral ecology;” “Lines of approach and action;” and “Ecological education and spirituality.” The Encyclical ends with an interreligious prayer for our earth and a Christian prayer for Creation.
The Encyclical has generated a great deal of discussion. The purpose of the Encyclical is to generate reflection, discussion and action on the environment we live in. It extends out toward social issues that affect the world around us leading people to question the meaning of existence, that is, the purpose of our life in this world; the goal of our work and our efforts; and the earth’s need for us to protect it.
Pope Francis invites everyone, individuals, families, local communities, nations and the international community to take on the responsibility of “caring for our common home.” Pope Francis recognizes that there is a “growing concern, for what is happening to our planet.” The Encyclical is a message of hope. “All is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”
May the Lord be praised.