Laudato Si 216: Ecological Conversion

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. In sections 216 through 221, Pope Francis treats the topic of “Ecological Conversion.” What does he mean by this?

216. The rich heritage of Christian spirituality, the fruit of twenty centuries of personal and communal experience, has a precious contribution to make to the renewal of humanity. Here, I would like to offer Christians a few suggestions for an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith, since the teachings of the Gospel have direct consequences for our way of thinking, feeling and living. More than in ideas or concepts as such, I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. A commitment this lofty cannot be sustained by doctrine alone, without a spirituality capable of inspiring us, without an “interior impulse which encourages, motivates, nourishes and gives meaning to our individual and communal activity”.[Evangelii Gaudium 261] Admittedly, Christians have not always appropriated and developed the spiritual treasures bestowed by God upon the Church, where the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.

Some significant reflections here:

  • Christians have two millennia of tradition, but we don’t use it.
  • Spirituality trumps particular intellectual framings.
  • Passion is needed–not just head-learning.
  • Doctrine alone is insufficient to motivate people.
  • The interior impulse is vital.

Anybody seeing anything else of import?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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