SAU CFDD
Sep 032015
 

To the Editor:
Pope Francis is the leading teacher in the church. In his ecology encyclical he doesn’t expect people to simply jump in line and follow his message. Pope Francis expects us to be thoughtful students in studying the encyclical titled “Laudato Si” (Praise be to you). That’s why so many footnotes are listed in the document. As students of faith we are to be thoughtful, to question and to fact check in reflecting on the document’s teaching.
Taking this approach, the pope himself is demonstrating the goal of fostering proper relationship with one another, with God and with the earth.
Contemplate the theme running throughout the encyclical. The letter directs us to make corrections with our relationships. It highlights the self-realization of St. Francis of Assisi: all created things are our brothers and sisters in our relationship with God the Creator. This viewpoint has long been held by the church. Our pope is placing this belief into a modern context.
In applying the message of the encyclical, a big caring feeling is to go out to butterflies, birds and every living creature. The encyclical says this caring is supposed to include the most vulnerable human beings. How can we not care for our own human beings? How can we ignore our duty of being stewards of the environment when doing so causes suffering to humans? This is what the pope is pointing out to us.
The encyclical says all of our relationships are meant to be intertwined and inclusive and simultaneously in being with God.
When you take that vision of faith, everything around us is God’s miracle. We are living right in the midst of it. We experience God’s power and loving energy visible in every living creature. We are surrounded by it all, “Laudato Si.” We embrace life with God.
John Clayton
Grinnell

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