The joy of our hope

This article appears in the Digging Into Laudato Si' feature series. View the full series.

run-1321278_1920.jpg

(Pixabay/manseok)

READ

Chapter 6, section 9: Beyond the Sun

While the last section of Laudato Si' may be short, it's full of hope. Pope Francis references the mystery that awaits us when we return to our "common home in heaven" and live eternally, "face to face with the infinite beauty of God" (243). 

Until then, we must use our time on Earth to "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." He adds: "In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God… Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope" (244). 

And remember we are not alone: "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!" (245).

REFLECT

It takes a lot to take care of not only yourself and anyone who depends on you, but also to care for family, check in on friends, and address issues facing your community. On a macro level, there are systemic processes that drive social inequality and environmental ruin, and they can only be resolved when a committed majority cares enough. This is why the message of hope and unifying towards a common goal – to build a more just and sustainable world, where all people live with dignity – is just as important as building awareness. 

ACT

Meditate over this final prayer from the conclusion of Laudato Si' whenever you need some inspiration:

A Christian prayer in union with creation

Father, we praise you with all your creatures. 

They came forth from your all-powerful hand;

they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.

Praise be to you!

 

Son of God, Jesus,

through you all things were made.

You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,

you became part of this earth,

and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.

Today you are alive in every creature

in your risen glory.

Praise be to you!

 

Holy Spirit, by your light

you guide this world towards the Father's love

and accompany creation as it groans in travail.

You also dwell in our hearts 

and you inspire us to do what is good.

Praise be to you!

 

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,

teach us to contemplate you

in the beauty of the universe,

for all things speak of you.

Awaken our praise and thankfulness

for every being that you have made. 

Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined

to everything that is.

 

God of love, show us our place in this world

as channels of your love

for all the creatures of this earth,

for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.

Enlighten those who possess power and money

that they may avoid the sin of indifference,

that they may love the common good, advance the weak, 

and care for this world in which we live.

The poor and the earth are crying out.

O Lord, seize us with your power and light, 

help us to protect all life,

to prepare for a better future,

for the coming of your Kingdom

of justice, peace, love and beauty.

Praise be to you!

Amen.