“Laudato Si” and the Society of the Sacred Heart

The much-anticipated papal encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ is now public. 
People throughout the world are listening to Pope Francis’ message about our stewardship of the environment in 2015.  
Many in the Society of the Sacred Heart have engaged with the questions of integrity of creation for a long time. They are amongst the multitudes of people who have crusaded about awareness of climate change, healthy waters, implications of rising sea levels, impacts of mining and the many other issues for our planet.  Our understanding of creation ranges from spiritual teachers such as Francis of Assisi, Hildegarde of Bingen and Teilhard de Chardin to the earth wisdom of indigenous people around the world.
How will the encyclical speak in a particular way to the Society of the Sacred Heart? We have signs of a response to this question in our Society writings. Here are just three examples.
  • In #19 of our Constitutions of 1982 we read:
In the Gospel
through His words, His attitudes,
His relationships with people,
His way of relating to all created things,
We discover His Heart …
  • In the General Chapter document of 2008 we are challenged by the question in the JPIC section:  

How do I develop a critical awareness of the interconnectedness of the whole of creation with the events that mark our world?

  • In her biography of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, Phil Kilroy notes that this daughter of a wine-grower and a cooper had a deep experience of the natural world: 

“The wine-grower’s life was rooted in the earth and followed its seasons.” 

Madeleine Sophie Barat – A Life, Cork University Press, Ireland, 2000, p.9.

From your reading of Sophie’s life, notice when she uses images from nature to communicate spiritual or educational insights.

What can we learn about our relationship with creation from the insights of ‘Laudato Si’ and the wisdom of our own Society writings?
What might this tell us about the emerging future?
Anne Corry rscj
JPIC International Coordinator
Click here to read the encyclical “Laudato Si”

JPIC |A Focus for Transforming Relationships: Care for the Earth, Our Common Home