Discovering LAUDATO SI in a Nursing Home of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Five years after signing his Encyclical on the Safeguarding of Creation, last May, Pope Francis launched a special Laudato si’ year, hoping that this text could serve as a guide for building the “world after” the Covid-19 pandemic. (after La Croix)
At the beginning of August, Geneviève Hubert proposed that every Friday at 5:30 p.m. we should meet after Vespers to listen to readings of the Encyclical Laudato Si… To read such a long text together, at our age, is a CHALLENGE! Nevertheless, we take it up in Antoinette Fage. Moreover, when possible, a little sharing at the end of the session helps us to understand and/or integrate some of the more difficult chapters. This session lasted three months and we don’t regret it.
We have become more aware:
– of the great complexity of this world where everything is linked.
– from the urgency and importance of integral ecology to the human and social dimensions,
– of our share of responsibility in this care of our common home.
We asked ourselves about our changes in behavior:
– renewed attention not to waste water and electricity, although, as with food where leftovers are thrown away, we are dependent in most areas.
We are fortunate in Grenelle to have a large garden, where we can walk despite the confinement.
Autumn provides the garden with beautiful colors
After reading ‘Laudato si’, we had a little party with the trees in the garden. Each one received a different tree (a miniature made of wire and a recycled box) with a card describing its characteristics. All the residents started the process and most of them looked for the tree in the garden that corresponded to the one they had received.
Several noted that they were happy to share their joy with the residents they had met along the way.
– This confinement in ‘the beauty of our environment’ helped me to connect in a different way…
– Creation is of the order of love.
– My vision hasn’t changed but has widened and become more concrete.
– I no longer go into the garden to go for a walk but to visit the trees, which I look at differently. They are no longer ‘the trees’ but the hackberry tree, the ash tree, the sycamore tree, the plane tree etc… and especially the cinnamon tree. I note their differences: leaves, when they turn yellow. They have their identity as living beings.
At the next meeting, we were invited to find out how the tree was present in the different books of the Bible. This stimulated us.
Some read all the Psalms, others looked at Genesis, the Gospels or the Prophets. We shared our discoveries and contemplated creation.
The path we travelled with Laudato si has broadened our prayer, especially in its dimensions of praise and thanksgiving…
– I give thanks for my family who made us discover nature.
– I contemplate the harmony of the whole creation willed by God.
– My prayer extends to all areas since everything is connected.
– Prayer of praise, amazement, blessing…
– Prayer more humble, open to the challenges of the task God entrusts to us, of his trust adapted to our age!
– I give thanks for nature and I am convinced that it too will be saved. The waiting creation yearns for the revelation of the sons/children of God: if it was subjected to vanity…. it is with the hope that it too will be freed from the bondage of corruption to enter into the glory of the children of God. (Ro 8:19-21)
-As I walk around I give thanks to God for the gratuitousness, creativity and magnificence of his works. “St. Francis… proposes that we recognize nature as a splendid book in which God speaks to us and reveals to us something of its beauty and goodness” (Ls 12). I also pray that we respect the nature entrusted to us and that the decisions taken to safeguard the planet are followed by action.
– I hear the Pope with his open, compassionate language. For all this I give thanks and move forward in the Hope that I wish to be communicated!
Antoinette Fage Community
Little Sisters of the Assumption