Popes, on occasion, write letters to Christians across the world. These letters are known as Papal Encyclicals. Pope Francis wrote a very powerful Encyclical Letter, titled Laudato Si’: On the Care of our Common Home in July 2019. The Pope wrote this letter in the light of the grave crisis that now faces the earth and the whole of humanity, because of terrible destruction of the environment brought about by blind human greed.
In his letter the Pope presents Saint Francis of Assisi as a model of how we might pull back from the brink. The Pope recalls how Francis reminds us that the earth is our common home and is like a sister, with whom we share our life. The earth is a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. Saint Francis writes, “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”.
The pope goes on “Guided by the Holy Spirit, Saint Francis lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself; he recognised an inseparable bond between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.” He saw “nature as a magnificent book in
which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness.
Just as happens when we fall in love with someone, whenever he would gaze at the sun, the moon or the smallest of animals, he burst into song, drawing all other creatures into his praise of our most loving Creator.” He can teach us that “rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”
From the Ennis Parish Newsletter (Adapted)