Laudato Si’ calls us to convert, save our common home

by | May 10, 2021 | Uncategorized

Josianne Gauthier will read the below scriptural reflection during May’s Global Laudato Si’ Prayer Gathering at 10:00 ET / 16:00 CET on 7 May. Join this movement as we unite to pray.

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:4)

“So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion’, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them” (LS 217)

By Josianne Gauthier
Secretary General, CIDSE

The Feast of the Pentecost is upon us and I am brought back to my own sacrament of confirmation. I was only 10 years old, and felt suddenly so grown up, but I could not fully grasp the enormity of this day or what it represented for me and the role I was being asked to play as a Christian and as a global citizen.

I had read the story of the apostles who received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and were able to speak in languages to be understood by all. I sensed that they were being asked to do great and important work around the world, to spread a message of love and peace and justice.

Josianne Gauthier

I also wanted to speak so many languages and travel the world and spread messages of love and justice. I knew even then that the apostles were surely as frightened and confused by the responsibility as I would have been, as many of us still are.

I also remember the specific gift which I received in the form of a candle. I can still see the word ‘Espérance’ (French for “Hope”) written out in beautiful script on a paper cut-out flame.

It is only with time that I have truly understood that the Pentecost is but the sowing of a seed in our hearts, which grows over time. It is the Holy Spirit inviting itself into our beings where we are most doubtful and vulnerable and staying with us for the days we need to call on its strength.

Through my much older eyes and ears, I have more words, experiences, and knowledge to help me interpret this call to conversion and to act in solidarity.

We have the gift of Laudato Si’, which reminds us that though this conversion is needed, it is not so easily achieved. Some will refuse it, and some will lack the courage to act and will seek an easier way out.

We have seen time and time again how challenging it is for those in power, those who benefit from the imbalances and injustices of our way of life, to change course, to convert, and embrace the common good.

But we can no longer deny the urgent need for our solidarity and our ecological conversion to save our common home.

In Fratelli Tutti, we are also called to act. This time not only to save our common home but to take responsibility for one another, to act as sisters and brothers, all of one human family.

When we see the world as it is today, the words of the scriptures are a call to diversity, to inclusion, to welcoming, and to dialogue.

With the help from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti, we are reminded that all sources of wisdom are essential, that we must listen and hear the voices of different cultures as equally valid and rich.

This may be particularly difficult for Europe, but this is a call that we must answer with humility. We must unlearn the patterns of the past to rebuild our world together. Despite our doubts, our fears and our discouragement, we must have the courage to change.

We can rejoice in the diversity of talents among our sisters and brothers, and open our hearts once again to being filled by the Holy Spirit, remembering all the gifts we have already received, including hope.

The above story was adapted from the May Laudato Si’ Resource. The spiritual resource is produced monthly for Laudato Si’ Animators, Laudato Si’ Circles, and everyday Catholics to use and help them grow closer to our Creator. You can find the entire resource, as well as past editions, here.