Cleansing Fire

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Laudato si’: An Aid for Parents

June 21st, 2015, Promulgated by benanderson

The world needs one more commentary on Laudato si’ about as much as it needs another Apple Watch, so I’ll just say that while I think Pope Francis speaks well on issues of faith and morals I disagree with his broad assertions regarding the institutional causes of the ailments of the modern world (and potential remedies). On a more personal/individual level he’s certainly right that the problem comes down to sin and that turning our hearts to God is the answer. No, this doesn’t make me a hypocrite or a cafeteria Catholic, but I digress. The major benefit I’m taking away from this encyclical is that it provides significant reinforcement to parents trying to teach their children not to undervalue or waste their many blessings. Anyone raising children in suburban America in the 21st century knows how difficult it is to get them to understand just how blessed they truly are. Now, in a post Laudato si’ world, if you find your 4 year old has left her bedroom light on unnecessarily you can now scold her with the authority of the Pope. Simply place the Pope’s picture in a place of prominence in your house (as it should be anyways). When you find an offender (whether they didn’t finish their veggies, didn’t use an entire paper hanky before having discarded it, or flushed the toilet unnecessarily), you simply walk them to the picture and tell them that they’ve disappointed the Holy Father. “What would Pope Francis think of what you’ve done?” I am now a better parent. And it’s always a good reminder for myself as well.

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2 Responses to “Laudato si’: An Aid for Parents”

  1. avatar christian says:

    Laudato si is listed on the date of May 24th, 2015 – which was The Feast of Pentecost.

    Ben – I agree with your comments regarding teaching children not to waste resources. It all begins in the home.
    My parents grew up during the Depression so us children were taught not to waste food, clothing, water, electricity, and other resources. We were also taught to be thankful to God for what we had, and to also value what we had. We were taught that even if we didn’t have much at times, we always had something to give and share with others.

    We were taught to respect people, God’s creation, and to love and cherish family and friends in our life. We were especially taught to show respect to our elders. We were taught manners. We were also taught boundaries with regard to people, their household, and their property.

    We were taught to respect God’s creation in his animals. We were taught to be humane to animals and to take proper care of our pets in addition to showing them kindness and love.

    We were taught by our parents not to litter, and to respect and cherish God’s creation in His land, water, trees, flowers, and vegetation. I grew my own vegetable garden and tended it regularly, and shared the produce with my family. When we were teenagers, we volunteered as a large school group on Earth Day to go around and pick up littered garbage on the ground.

    Every once in awhile, while driving, when I have seen a family-size amount of garbage from a fast food restaurant thrown out of a car window from a moving car and dumped onto a street, highway, or side of the road, it makes me angry. It is not only inconsiderate and thoughtless, *but I think it is lawlessness that goes beyond state and federal law.

    I tend to think there is more lawlessness involved in a family, group of people, or individual that throw their garbage out the window of their moving car. There are also groups of people, families, and individuals who throw out that type of garbage on sidewalks, or onto people’s front yards while walking along, once they’re through eating.

    “Let no meadow be free from our wantonness;
    everywhere let us leave tokens of our merriment,
    for this is our portion, and this our lot.”

    “Let us oppress the righteous poor;
    let us neither spare the widow
    nor revere the aged for hair grown white with time.
    But let our strength be our norm of righteousness;
    for weakness proves itself useless.”

    Book of Wisdom, Chapter 2, 9-11
    Chapter 2, 1-5 gives a basis for their thinking and way of life.

    The passages in Chapter 2 detail a perspective on those who do not acknowledge God or His creation. They think they were “haphazardly born”, do believe there is anything beyond this life, and do not think they will be brought to judgment before God.
    It is a perspective on those who practice licentiousness. These passages could be applied to those of all socio-economic status.

    Because they do not see order in their life, they do not cause order.

    Plundering and Pillaging, and Excessive Living and Use of Resources could certainly be seen in these passages. Sexual Promiscuity and Perversion could certainly be seen in these passages. Raping and Murdering could certainly be considered seen in this passages. Euthanasia, particularly to save on medical costs of children and adults, and Abortion, could certainly be seen in these passages. When there is no respect, boundaries, or reverence for human life and their Creator, these are the types of immoral and unethical sins and abominations that happen. I also consider the inhumane treatment of animals to be included in those passages.

    This contrasts greatly with Chapter 1 of the Book of Wisdom, which starts with:

    “Love righteousness,* you who judge the earth; think of the LORD in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart; Because he is found by those who do not test him, and manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.” -1

    “For the holy spirit of discipline* flees deceit
    and withdraws from senseless counsels
    and is rebuked when unrighteousness occurs.
    For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
    yet she does not acquit blasphemous lips;
    Because God is the witness of the inmost self
    and the sure observer of the heart
    and the listener to the tongue.” -5-6

    “For the spirit of the LORD fills the world,
    is all-embracing, and knows whatever is said.
    Therefore those who utter wicked things will not go unnoticed,
    nor will chastising condemnation pass them by.
    For the devices of the wicked shall be scrutinized,
    and the sound of their words shall reach the LORD,
    for the chastisement of their transgressions;
    Because a jealous ear hearkens to everything,
    and discordant grumblings are not secret.
    Therefore guard against profitless grumbling,
    and from calumny* withhold your tongues;
    For a stealthy utterance will not go unpunished,
    and a lying mouth destroys the soul.” -7-10

    “Do not court death* by your erring way of life,
    nor draw to yourselves destruction by the works of your hands.
    Because God did not make death,
    nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” – 5-13

    “For he fashioned all things that they might have being,
    and the creatures of the world are wholesome;
    There is not a destructive drug among them
    nor any domain of Hades* on earth,
    For righteousness is undying.* ” – 14-15

    I contend that respecting and reverencing all of Creation is linked with our reverence and respect for God.

    Chapter 3 of the Book of Wisdom talks about the Hidden Counsels of God, and Recompense for Living a Godly Life Through Suffering In The Life To Come With God After Death.

    I will provide a link to the Book of Wisdom and these Chapters on The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website on a following posted comment.

    I do not think the concepts in the Laudato si should be seen as endorsing any political party or candidate, but should be seen on their own merit.

  2. avatar christian says:

    Laudato si:

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

    The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 1-3 on The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website:

    http://www.usccb.org/bible/wisdom/1

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