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Laudato Si’s Greatest Hits

Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si came out yesterday, and my newsfeeds have been full of my friends’ favorite quotes (which tells you what kind of friends I have). To keep up with the cool kids, I read the encyclical too. Here are my favorite quotes from Pope Francis’s latest.

The encyclical, in its entirety, says this.

Reality is what it is

No.11:  The poverty and austerity of Saint Francis were no mere veneer of asceticism, but something much more radical: a refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be used and controlled.

Technology vs. Hope

No.113:           There is also the fact that people no longer seem to believe in a happy future; they no longer have blind trust in a better tomorrow based on the present state of the world and our technical abilities. Humanity has changed profoundly, and the accumulation of constant novelties exalts a superficiality which pulls us in one direction. It becomes difficult to pause and recover depth in life.

Cultural Revolution, not Culture War

No.114:           All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution.

We need to change

No.118:           There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself.

Relativism kills

No.123:           In the absence of objective truths or sound principles other than the satisfaction of our own desires and immediate needs, what limits can be placed on human trafficking, organized crime, the drug trade, commerce in blood diamonds and the fur of endangered species? Is it not the same relativistic logic which justifies buying the organs of the poor for resale or use in experimentation, or eliminating children because they are not what their parents wanted?

True Environmentalists would be Pro-Life

No.136:           It is troubling that, when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life.

We must remember we are not isolated

No.202:           Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone. This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.

Against selfish consumerism

No.204:           As attitudes of consumerism spread, social norms are respected only to the extent that they do not clash with personal needs.

But we can be great

No.205:           Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.

We must act together

No.219:           Social problems must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of individual good deeds.

Consuming Consumerism

No.222:           A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfillment.

Happiness is …

No.223:           Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer.

Ecology of the heart

No.225:           No one can cultivate a sober and satisfying life without being at peace with him or herself.

Stop mocking morality

No.229:           We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good. When the foundations of social life are corroded, what ensues are battles over conflicting interests, and new forms of violence and brutality.

Charity at home — and the town hall, and the store, and the theater …

No.231:           Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of charity which affects not only relationships between individuals but also “macro-relationships, social, economic and political ones” (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate).

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” (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church).

Imitate the Trinity, who we were created to imitate

No.240:           The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created.

Being Joseph

No.242:           The Gospel presents Joseph as a just man, hard-working and strong. But he also shows great tenderness, which is not a mark of the weak but of those who are genuinely strong, fully aware of reality and ready to love and serve in humility.

In conclusion: Trust God

No.245:           God does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!

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