By Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ
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 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 interested 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.
Participants 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.”