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.
243. At the end, we will find ourselves face to
face with the infinite beauty of God (cf. 1 Cor
13:12), and be able to read with admiration and
happiness the mystery of the universe, which with
us will share in unending plenitude. Even now we
are journeying towards the sabbath of eternity,
the new Jerusalem, towards our common home
in heaven. Jesus says: “I make all things new” (Rev
21:5). Eternal life will be a shared experience of
awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured,
will take its rightful place and have something
to give those poor men and women who
will have been liberated once and for all.
244. In the meantime, we come together to
take charge of this home which has been entrusted
to us, knowing that all the good which exists
here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In
union with all creatures, we journey through this
land seeking God, for “if the world has a beginning
and if it has been created, we must enquire
who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator”.
172 Let us sing as we go. May our struggles
and our concern for this planet never take away
the joy of our hope.
245. God, who calls us to generous commitment
and to give him our all, offers us the light
and the strength needed to continue on our way.
In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who
loves us so much, is always present. He does not
abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he
has united himself definitively to our earth, and
his love constantly impels us to find new ways
forward. Praise be to him!
* * *
246. At the conclusion of this lengthy reflection
which has been both joyful and troubling, I propose
172 Basil the Great, Hom. in Hexaemeron, I, 2, 6: PG 29, 8.
that we offer two prayers. The first we can
share with all who believe in a God who is the
all-powerful Creator, while in the other we Christians
ask for inspiration to take up the commitment
to creation set before us by the Gospel of