Laudato Si Reflections

Reading a papal encyclical isn't exactly on the average person's bucket list. But I'll go out on a limb and say that Pope Francis' latest encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home is the most important thing a pope has ever written, a letter that the entire world would benefit from taking to heart. Because it's lengthy and dense, doing justice to it via news articles and summaries is pretty much impossible. And for the ordinary reader, the idea of tackling a papal encyclical can be daunting, I'll admit.

That's why I decided that it might be easier to discuss and absorb it in smaller chunks. The fifty weekly reflections that appear below take Laudato Si  just a few paragraphs at a time -- from the perspective of a lay person who is doing her best to live lightly on our earth, and who is very concerned about creation and the generations yet to come. I have no illusions about doing justice to all the themes of Laudato Si, but as someone who is choosing to practice Voluntary Simplicity, I have tried to draw out the practicalities of how to live with care for our common home.

The entire encyclical can be accessed by clicking here, and you're most welcome to join me in my piecemeal approach.  Please feel free to leave your own questions, ideas and suggestions in the comment box that appears below each reflection.

#1... A prayer for our earth
#2... Turn that ship around!
#3... Becoming ecology-minded
#4... The immense and urgent challenge
#5... What's under the carpet?
#6... The elephants in the room
#7... What are you made of?
#8... Biodiversity? What's it worth?
#9... How do we really want to live?
#10... No indifference allowed
#11... Toward stronger action
#12... Gratitude, not greed
#13... We are not God(!)
#14... We are all Noah
#15... Changing ourselves and our world
#16... God's love letter
#17... It's not just about us
#18... Time to tone it down
#19... How would Jesus live?
#20... WANTED: Wisdom
#21... "Realities are more important than ideas"
#22... BOLD CULTURAL REVOLUTION, anyone?
#23... A(nother) shot at Anthropocentrism
#24... Practical relativism as "a dog's breakfast"
#25... Toward a work/life balance
#26... How to cure a technological headache
#27... An integral way of thinking
#28... Grassroots cultural ecology
#29... Ecology of daily life for 7.4 billion
#30... Respect for home
#31... It's all about the common good
#32... For the sake of future generations
#33... Digging ourselves out
#34... Shouldering our greater responsibility
#35... Looking after our 'global commons'
#36... "Truly, much can be done!"
#37...Ten important questions
#38... The market ain't magic
#39... Redefining 'progress'
#40... Kissin' cousins
#41... Change is a-comin'
#42... New habits that stick
#43... Talkin' 'bout ecological conversion
#44... Simplicity and prayer
#45... Rebuilding a culture of care
#46... The other 3 Rs
#47... And now, a word from our sponsors
#48... Everything will be okay in the end
#49... Grand Finale, part 1 of 2
#50... The Grande Finale

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