Tag Archive | Encyclical

Care for Our Common Home during Lent

Lent (which begins February 10) offers the perfect time to connect the Sunday Scripture readings with Pope Francis’ “urgent appeal … for a new dialog about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” (Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, par. 14)

laudato-si400Laudato Si’, the Encyclical

News reports (and gossip) about this document often select isolated elements without appreciating the interconnections stressed throughout Laudato Si’. The Pope’s vision of the world is inclusive. Underlying his call to care for people within the context of our planet is his conviction that nothing can be considered apart from all else. Pope Francis is unfailingly hopeful about the possibility of change for the better.

Laudato Si’, Reflection Resource 

Laudato Si’ Reflection Resource offers help for anyone 100_1392interested in participating in this dialog. (The encyclical is addressed to everyone, any religion.) This resource integrates the Pope’s words with Lent’s Sunday Scripture readings. Pertinent videos and music enhance the content so that the words reach both head and heart.

Laudato Si’ Reflection Resource requires five sessions and participants’ desire to learn what Pope Francis really says in his first Encyclical — and why. Devoting the first of the five sessions to the Introduction establishes a solid foundation for accepting the full document. Practical weekly action suggestions lead to lasting commitments.

100_1324Participants who have already used this resource have proven that this program results in understanding, appreciating, and implementing Pope Francis’ words. This results from memorable prayer, thought-provoking discussions, and joyful community-building.

Loreta N. Castro, Executive Director of the Center for Peace Education and a Professor at Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines, writes:

I love both the content and process! I think it gives a great balance between knowing about Laudato Si’ and its core message and feeling the love, empathy, and connectedness with Mother Earth. I also appreciated the last section on “Suggested Actions.”

This free 8-page, five-session resource
is available now:

About Pope Francis’ Encyclical, “Laudato si”

Pope_Francis_receives_a_gift_of_a_bas_relief_of_St_Therese_of_Lisieux_from_journalist_Caroline_Pigozzi_of_Paris_Match_Jan_15_2015_Credit_Alan_Holdren_CNA_6_1_15WHEN: The Pope’s highly anticipated first encyclical is expected to be published June 18th, 2015.

TITLE: The title is “Laudato Si” (Be Praised or Praised Be), from St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation praising elements of creation and naming them as kin. (How prescient for one untaught in modern science!) Users of my Advent and Lent resources have found quotes from this prayer on most cover pages. See the entire prayer below.

Pope Francis’ encyclical is also expected to be given the Italian subtitle: “Sulla cura della casa comune” (On the care of the common home).

IMPORTANCE: “Laudato si” will set a key ethical framework for discussion and policies surrounding climate change ahead of the Pope’s address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 24 and his address to the United Nations Special Summit on Sustainable Development Sept. 25.

The Pope’s words will set the moral standard for everyone concerned about climate change, the issue that affects all living beings. He is sure to link Scripture references, care of the poor, and religious responsibility to act to protect creation. Media coverage has already been extensive, with articles and reports both pro and con.


Among the resources for those wishing to explore the Pope’s encyclical are these two:

  • In keeping with the Lent material I have been writing since 2004, I shall provide a 5-session program – “Praised be: On the care of the common home” — for those who wish to integrate Lent’s 2016 Scripture readings and the encyclical. It will be available free by November 1st: https://ecospiritualityresources.com/lent.
  • RENEW International, GreenFaith, and Catholic Climate Covenant are collaborating to produce an in-depth 12-session resource available in English and Spanish this fall: http://www.renewintl.org/renew/index.nsf/vPages/. I highly recommend this resource.

Canticle of Creation  

O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God, to you belong praise, glory, honor and all blessing.

sunshine_Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation and especially for our Brother Sun, who brings us the day and the light; he is strong and shines magnificently.  O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon, and for the stars  which you have set shining and lovely in the heavens.

Be praised, my Lord, for our Brothers Wind and Air and every kind of weather   by which you, Lord, uphold life in all your creatures.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful to us, and humble and precious and pure.

burning candle isolated on black backgroundBe praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire, through whom you give us light in the darkness: he is bright and lively and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Earth, our Mother, who nourishes us and sustains us, bringing forth fruits and vegetables of many kinds and flowers of many colors.

Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for love of you; and for those who bear sickness and weakness in peace and patience — you will grant them a crown.

Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death, whom we must all face.

I praise and bless you, Lord, and I give thanks to you, and I will serve you in all humility.