Living Laudato Si’
These have been extraordinary months across the world. Slowly and cautiously we are emerging from the Covid-19 restrictions and it is vitally important that we do not get complacent. The virus has not gone away and each of us are responsible for ensuring that we protect ourselves and each other as we go about our daily activities. Covid-19 has highlighted the fragility of our world and the fragility of the systems within which we live. It is in the midst of this reality that Pope Francis announced a Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year which will run from May 2020 to May 2021 in the hope that it will truly be a ‘jubilee’ moment for our world.
This is a watershed moment and Pope Francis is someone who is leading the way globally, urging us to restart ‘greener’. Last month, the Vatican announced the Laudato Si’ Goals (or LSG’s) which call for schools, universities, parishes, bishops’ conferences, congregations, basically all Church institutions to find new life giving ways to Live Laudato Si’ over the next seven years. It highlights seven targets which families, parishes and groups can strive for in order to achieve total sustainability in the next decade. The LSGs include targets on reaching total carbon neutrality, defending all forms of life, living simpler lifestyles, promoting more ecological centred liturgical celebrations, educational spaces for Laudato Si’ and also divestment from the fossil fuel industry. Pope Francis is calling the Church to lead the way in order to protect God’s creation, to mobilise the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Over the next few months, we will explore these LSGs here and consider ways in which we might achieve them. You can find the full text of the Vatican document here.
We all have our own gifts and talents and must use these in whatever way we feel we are called to. Not everyone is comfortable on a climate protest, not everyone is comfortable writing to their local politicians, but some people are very comfortable in those spaces. For others, their passion might be more contemplative or liturgical. In Laudato Si’ we are reminded that ‘we need everybody’ in all walks of life to do what they can, where they are, to live Laudato Si’.
So, as we begin this Laudato Si’ Year, how are you being called to walk more gently on this earth and how might you help others to do the same?
“All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (Laudato Si’, 14)
The Season of Creation is approaching on September 1. Now is the time to reflect and plan for how your parish will celebrate this season which runs until October 4th. You can start gathering ideas by checking out www.seasonofcreation.org
Jane Mellett is the Laudato Si’ officer with Trócaire.