Laudato Si 231: A “Culture of Care”

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Pope Francis calls upon prominent church leaders to reinforce the notion of a far-reaching love.

First, Pope Benedict XVI is cited again to urge a more far-reaching love, one that extends into the larger spheres of human interaction:

231. Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world. Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of a charity which affects not only relationships between individuals but also “macro-relationships, social, economic and political ones”.[Caritas in Veritate 2]

Another pope advocated a “civilization of love.” That wasn’t just the 60’s talking:

That is why the Church set before the world the ideal of a “civilization of love”.[Paul VI, Message for the 1977 World Day of Peace: AAS 68 (1976), 709]

And the social justice compendium:

Social love is the key to authentic development: “In order to make society more human, more worthy of the human person, love in social life – political, economic and cultural – must be given renewed value, becoming the constant and highest norm for all activity”.[Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 582]

We’ve spoken of human relationships, but Pope Francis draws us back to the topic of the environment:

In this framework, along with the importance of little everyday gestures, social love moves us to devise larger strategies to halt environmental degradation and to encourage a “culture of care” which permeates all of society. When we feel that God is calling us to intervene with others in these social dynamics, we should realize that this too is part of our spirituality, which is an exercise of charity and, as such, matures and sanctifies us.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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