“I think of the indigenous peoples in a special way, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. And also of penance, for all the harm we have done to them”. The glaciers of Antarctica, which are melting: "It will be terrible, because the sea level will rise and this will bring so many difficulties and so much harm. And why? Global warming, by not caring for the environment, not caring for the common home ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Knowing how to contemplate the wonders of creation, in order to develop individual and community responsibility for the protection and safeguarding of creation, overcoming "a distorted interpretation of the biblical texts on creation", through which "we believe we are in the centre, occupying the place that belongs of God; and thus we ruin the harmony of its design. We become predators, forgetting our vocation as guardians of the earth”.
"Care for the common home and a contemplative attitude" was the topic of which Pope Francis spoke in today's general audience, continuing the cycle of catechesis on the theme: "Healing the world". Audience also held today in the Cortile di San Damaso, present about 500 people, including Francis for a long time passing by, greeting, exchanging jokes, blessing rosaries and other objects that the faithful handed him, signing autographs. And he jokingly put on the head of a man the white skullcap that he had brought him.
“To emerge from a pandemic - the Pope said - we need to heal and heal each other. And we must support those who take care of the weakest, the sick and the elderly” and “this care, we must also address to our common home: to the earth and to every creature. All forms of life are interconnected (cf.ibid., 137-138), and our health depends on that of the ecosystems that God created and of which he has entrusted us to take care (cf. Gen 2:15). Abusing it, on the other hand, is a grave sin that harms and sickens (cf. LS, 8; 66). The best antidote to this improper use of our common home is contemplation (cf. ibid., 85; 214)”.
"Our common home, creation - he reiterated - is not a mere 'resource'. Creatures have a value in themselves and "reflect, each in its own way, a ray of the infinite wisdom and goodness of God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 339). This value and this ray of divine light must be discovered and, to discover it, we need to be silent, to listen and contemplate. Contemplation also heals the soul. Without contemplation, it is easy to fall into an unbalanced and superb anthropocentrism, which overstates our role as human beings, positioning us as absolute rulers of all other creatures”.
"And there is one thing we must not forget: those who do not know how to contemplate nature and creation, do not know how to contemplate people in their richness. And whoever lives to exploit nature, ends up exploiting people and treating them as slaves. it is a universal law: if you do not know how to contemplate nature, it will be very difficult for you to be able to contemplate the people, the beauty of the people, the brother, the sister".
“Therefore, it is important to recover the contemplative dimension. When we contemplate, we discover in others and in nature something far greater than their usefulness. Here is the crux of the problem. Contemplating beauty does not mean exploiting it. We discover the intrinsic value of things conferred on them by God. As so many spiritual masters have taught, the sky, the earth, the sea, every creature has this iconic or mystical ability to bring us back to the Creator and to communion with creation”.
"Those who know how to contemplate will more easily get to work to change what causes degradation and damage to health. It will undertake to educate and promote new habits of production and consumption, to contribute to a new model of economic growth that guarantees respect for the common home”.
“Often our relationship with creation seems to be a relationship of enemies”, “destroying creation for my profit, exploiting creation for my profit. Let's not forget that you pay dearly for this. Let's not forget that Spanish saying: God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, nature never forgives”.
"Today - he added - I was reading in the newspaper about those two great glaciers in the Amundsen Sea of Antarctica, which are about to crumble". “It will be terrible, because the sea level will rise and this will bring so many difficulties and so much harm. And why? Global warming, in order not to take care of the environment, not to take care of the common home ". "Instead, when we have this fraternal relationship with creation we will become guardians of the common home, guardians of life and hope."
“I think in a special way of the indigenous peoples, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. And also of penance, for all the evil we have done ro. But I am also thinking of those movements, associations, popular groups that are committed to protecting their territory with its natural and cultural values. These social realities are not always appreciated, sometimes they are even hindered, because they do not produce money; but in reality they contribute to a peaceful revolution, the 'care revolution'. Contemplate to guard the future ”. “However, we must not delegate to some what is the task of every human being. Each of us can and must become a 'keeper of the common home', capable of praising God for his creatures, of contemplating and protecting them ".
Finally, in greeting the Italians, Francis invited us to pray for Fr Roberto Malgesini, a priest of the diocese of Como “who was killed yesterday morning by a person in need whom he himself helped. A mentally ill person”. "I join in the pain and prayers of his family and the Como community - continued Francis - and as his bishop said I praise God for the witness, that is, for the martyrdom of this witness of charity towards the poorest". "Let us pray in silence - he concluded - for Fr Roberto Malgesini and for all the priests, nuns and lay people who work with the needy and discarded people of society".