A series of four talks begins shortly at Sacred Heart Church, Bilton as we continue our Living Faith programme.
Last year, faced with global environmental deterioration, Pope Francis addressed a letter to every person on the planet, entitled Laudato Si’. These opening words of the “Canticle of Brother Sun” by St Francis remind us that we have a close family bond with the earth, our common home. The question at the heart of the letter is “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to our children who are now growing up?”
From the outset Pope Francis insists on the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet. We should listen, he says, to the cries of both. He reviews the most recent scientific findings on the environment dealing with pollution, waste and climate change. Though less responsible for these outcomes, it’s the poor who suffer the most and the effects will only worsen if we continue with current models of production and consumption.
The Pope therefore proposes an alternative lifestyle which respects both the environment and the poor. We might summarise it as: “Live simply so that others may simply live”. The challenge is to our whole way of living with its throw-away culture.
One of this year’s talks reflects in particular on Climate Change, which was the focus for the UN meeting in Paris last December. Climate, says Francis, is a common good that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces.
What Francis calls “The Gospel of Creation” leads to the conclusion that the ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. “Rather all creatures are moving forward, with us & through us, towards a common point of arrival, which is God”. Christ’s presence in the Eucharist can lead us to reflection on his mystical body and beyond to his presence in the whole cosmos. “Indeed the Eucharist is itself an act of cosmic love.”
“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.”
The talks this Autumn, 2016 (all Thursday evenings):
Oct 6th Simple Living – The Pope’s Lifestyle Challenge. Speaker: Martin Poulsom SDB
Oct 13th Climate Change – What is the Global Common Good? Speaker: Ellen Teague
Oct 20th The Cry of the Poor – Who suffers the most? Speaker: David McLoughlin
Oct 27th The Cosmic Christ – All Creation brought together by Love. Speaker: Mary Grey
To find out more about the speakers, and to book your place, go to our Living Faith page.