Synopsis & Analysis: Pope Frances’s Encyclical Letter




ENCYCLICAL LETTER ‘LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME [1 – 2]

I have begun to publish sections and segments of the Popes letter on OUR network of blogs as well as on Linkedin & Quora & Newsvine and will add my comments over time. Papa francisco's 180 page letter is much less about religion than it is about nature and the planet earth. He proposes some fairly radical yet simple and understandable solutions for humankind. It is way past time to start paying attention to what we are all doing or allowing others to do.

1. “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”
In the words of this beautiful canticle,
Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that
our common home is like a sister with whom we
share our life and a beautiful mother who opens
her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my
Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who
sustains and governs us, and who produces various
fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.1

2. This sister now cries out to us because of
the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible
use and abuse of the goods with which
God has endowed her. We have come to see
ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to
plunder her at will. The violence present in our
hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the
symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the
water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is
why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste,
is among the most abandoned and maltreated of
our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We
have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the
earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up
of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive
life and refreshment from her waters.

Nothing in this world is indifferent to us
1 Canticle of the Creatures, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents
, vol. 1, New York-London-Manila, 1999, 113-114.

SYNOPSIS & ANALYSIS

Earth can sustain all life on the planet yet we humans inflict harm upon the planet as the few in power irresponsibly harvest nature and unfairly and unevenly distribute natural resources to the masses for profit.

Many humans are taught to think they are superior to nature and most humans irresponsibly use and plunder natures resources for selfish reasons or out of thoughtlessness.

Yet we humans are merely dust of the earth since our bodies are composed of basic elements. As mammals we breath earths air and drink earths waters to remain alive as do all living organisms on the planet.

To avoid extinction we human beings must care-take, conserve and replenish nature and our fellow inhabitants.

 

GLOSSARY

Canticle: noun - a hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service

Travail: noun - painful or laborious effort

Share