Inspired by Pentecost, we pray for the diversity of people and gifts in our movement.
“Each of us has his or her own personal identity and is capable of entering into dialogue with others and with God himself.” (LS 81).
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, You are God’s presence in our hearts, bringing life, love and joy, like a caring Mother.
You are in singing birds, hidden in vegetation, in the subtle fragrance of inconspicuous flowers… You are a Mystery, invisible, but powerfully influencing our life. We open our hearts to You.
Please inspire us and give us wisdom, courage, and hope. Let us make use of our various talents and Your gifts. Please teach us patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Guide us the right way and teach us to love You, others, and ourselves. Please help us to work together in peace and respect every person, regardless of all the differences between us, but also to respect nature and everything else you have created for us. Last but not least, let us always remember about our dignity of being Your children and about our freedom to serve others, like Jesus. Amen
by Sylwia Ufnalska, Laudato si’ Animator, coordinator of Rogalin Ways of the Holy Spirit and of the project “Tree of Life” – Rogalin, Poland)
Harness the power of love
Fr Jacek Orzechowski O.F.M., Franciscan Action Network, Poland
On the fifth Sunday of Easter, the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles describes a big problem faced by the early Christian Church. Their community was diverse. Some members claimed their Jewish identity. Others came from the pagan, Greco-Roman culture. The two groups had a long history of mistrust, prejudice, and even hatred directed toward each other.
It was a miracle that members of these two antagonistic groups were able to forge a new religious identity. Still, their efforts at first were not always fully successful. The poor widows from Greek culture were neglected.
So what did the members of that Church do? They came together, analyzed the problem, recognized the diverse gifts and talents among them. And they put them to use with imagination and creativity at the service of the Church’s mission.
We too are a diverse community of disciples of Jesus. Some of us may be more traditional, others progressive. Some are more contemplative; others love to get involved in direct action. There are Catholics who in good conscience differ on matters related to politics, or on what might be the best approach to safeguard our common home and protect the most vulnerable. Even when we disagree with some of them, we must not demonize each other or fall into the us-vs-them mentality.
Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ reminds us that, “Each of us has his or her own personal identity and is capable of entering into dialogue with others and with God himself.” ( LS 81). Building the civilization of love, responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth must go hand in hand with a promotion of the culture of encounter within the Laudato Si’ Movement.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells his followers (John 14:12) that, with the gift of the Holy Spirit that will come upon them, they will be able to do the things he did and even greater. At this critical juncture in human evolution, we face the unprecedented challenge of climate change emergency and massive species extinction crisis. To avoid the collapse of the life-support system of our planet and a climate that is hostile to life, the human family must harness not only the power of the sun, wind and oceans. We must harness the power of love to survive.
This is the most important and urgent religious moral issue of our time. Jesus believes in you and I, and in the many diverse gifts God had bestowed on the human family. Together, through this divine-human partnership, the face of the earth can and will be renewed. Do we dare to believe in God’s promise, the way Mary did?
Questions for reflection
- Do I recognize the gifts that God has put in me?
- How can I put my gifts to service for God, for others, for our common home?
- Recall or imagine a situation of a serious worldview/ideological disagreement – what would you do to forge this disagreement into a thoughtful, respectful and fruitful dialogue?
Aleksandra Ćwik-Mohanty, Laudato Si’ Animator – Warsaw, Poland
The Laudato Si’ encyclical kept me in the Catholic church, or any church, as a matter of fact. Before reading it, I had been like many young people in Poland (by the time in my early 20s), slowly parting with regular Holy Mass attendance, starting to question the relevance of the Church’s teaching in the time of climate catastrophe and countless other atrocities concerning people and animals all around the world. I thought: “The world needs to focus, and our priests are being petty!” I was lucky enough to travel during my studies, and I quickly realised how little I’d known about human impact on the planet. Although I am not an environmental scientist, learning about climate change and animal welfare became an important part of my life. But life wasn’t complete without faith. It is easy to spiral and lose hope without strong fundamentals. And then it happened. First, the encyclical, as one of the readings about environmental justice, then the Lent retreat where I heard that it is good to join a community, then the Laudato Si Movement as a community of my choice. Good choice, I would say. With years of experience sharing knowledge about sustainable development, I have learned that the worst one can do is to be condescending toward people who may not be on board with the ideas I am trying to share. The best approach is to assume that they do not know yet and that they have the right to learn. Our responsibility is to listen and share an example rather than impose ideas. I see grassroots change every day. Things will be alright.
Hearing Creation’s Cry
Hearing Creation’s Song
Laudato Si’ Week 2023 is coming!
A new edition of Laudato Si’ Week will be held from May 21 to 28 to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the publication of the encyclical Laudato Si’. “Hope for the Earth. Hope for humanity”, will be this year’s guiding theme.
The film “The Letter” – which tells the story of four “social poets” affected first-hand by the climate crisis who travel to Rome to meet Pope Francis – will be the main resource guiding the week’s events, encouraging people to organize community screenings.
The event is organized by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and facilitated by Laudato Si’ Movement together with other partners.
For more information visit the laudatosiweek.org website, and fill out the form to register your interest and receive the latest news.