We pray for families to be fertile ground for integral ecology and care for creation.
“In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures” (LS 213).
Prayer for families
Deacon Clayton Nickel, LSM spiritual consultant; Laudato Si’ Animator of Animators. Washington DC, United States of America.
Creator God, in the Incarnation of Your Son, You placed Your only begotten Son, our Savior, within a family Not just any family. But a family on the margins, a family who so easily was overlooked. A family from Nazareth who found no place in the inn, a family who had to flee oppression and murder squads. A family who was forced to flee in the middle of the night to Egypt.
Loving God, it was Your will that Your beloved son and our Savior Jesus chose the most humiliated and abandoned and from amongst them chose His closest associates and messengers.
Just as You, Lord Jesus, heard their voices of supplication and saw their plight, Help us to hear their voices of supplication and see their plight. Give us the grace of conversion. Give us the eyes to see and the ears to listen to families who are suffering from the result of climate change, those whose fields have turned to desert, those whose livelihoods have been threatened by heat, rising waters and hurricanes.
May Your Holy Spirit give us the courage and the grace to judge.
Help us to act and to act prophetically. Give us the words to accompany others in their ecological conversion. Help us to be instruments of Your peace, So that we may be Your hands and feet, in our world, in our countries, in our regions, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, and in ourselves. Build up and repair Your gift to us, knowing that we are a single family dwelling in a common home. For You are Emmanuel, God with us.
Gospel commentary for Sunday, February 12 – Mt 5, 17-37
Mt 5, 17-37
Peace and Blessings!
We continue our journey in light of the encyclical Laudato Si’, during this month of February in which we dwell on the importance of the family in caring for our common home.
And the insights of the gospel are many, because Jesus is warning us about a shallowness in keeping his word, God’s law, the commandment of love. It is not to be heard superficially, but more from within, from the heart.
That is why Jesus says, like a refrain, “You have heard what was said to the ancients. I, however, say to you…” And he tells us to go beyond just a formal observance of the law of God’s commandment. For this he brings very concrete examples. It is true that the commandment says not to kill your brother. This is most serious. But Jesus says that also, it is very serious to treat your brother badly by calling him “crazy” or “stupid.” Because this is also a form of killing, a form of exclusion. This is hurting your neighbor.
This Gospel tells us about real reconciliation as it relates to liturgical life. Jesus will say that if you are about to present your offering at the altar, but you remember that one of your brothers has something against you, leave your offering there, and go first to be reconciled with your brother. After that, you will return to present your offering. And it will finally be pleasing to God.
We look at Jesus who understands that to love is to go out of oneself. It is to give oneself. To keep loving our neighbor, promoting the good of our neighbor and all of creation, even when it burdens us to do so.
Let us seek from this Gospel page the motivations for our living today in this time within our “family”—understood not only as a family unit, but in a broader sense of the word.
Let us consider two aspects. The first is to reinforce what inside the home is already beautiful, important, on the part of children, teenagers, anyone inside the home who already has a sensitivity of an integral ecology. Let us indulge them! Let us not take them lightly, let us never discourage these attitudes, this desire to already make a difference in caring for the common home.
The second aspect, besides indulging what is already there, is to boost these virtuous attitudes even more; this care that means a deep love. Not just formal, superficial, but a true love with respect to one’s neighbor and also to future generations.
This is a very concrete way of loving. Because we are thinking not only about ourselves in the immediate future. But also for all those who will benefit from this seed of ours sown for the good of all.
May the Lord bless us and keep us in His infinite love! He who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
Questions for reflection
Author: Friar Carlos Acácio Gonçalves Ferreira, Rector of the Sanctuary of Spoliation (Santuario della Spogliazione); spiritual guide of the Laudato Si’ Circle of Assisi
- How are we living the great commandment of love in our lives this month today, this month?
- How are we nurturing, at home and in our wider circles, those good and virtuous values that already exist with respect to an integral ecology?
- What are we adding so that this care of Creation is really more impactful and efficient?
The Laudato Si’ Circle as a place to “spend time” as a family
Francesca Festa – Don Fabio Bianchi Lucca Laudato Si’ Circle
The Encyclical Laudato Si’, in its eight years since publication, has taught us to rediscover the role of the family, both as a human family and as an elemental family.
The family becomes the place to experience true freedom together. Today more than ever we yearn to free ourselves from all kinds of “prisons”: economic, cultural and social, sacrificing our spirit of service. Pope Francis’ encyclical teaches us to rediscover our inner freedom that leads us to rediscover ourselves. We are not islands in the middle of the sea, but we rediscover family life as a place of meeting and sharing where we recognize gratitude and joy in our daily lives.
In recent years, the phenomenon of denatality and loneliness of the elderly is affecting our society and diocese, leading to the extinction of the intergenerational bond that is fundamental to understanding and defending our Common Home.
Pope Francis reminds us that “spending time” with children, grandparents and the elderly strengthens the human family. The alliance between the young and the old is one of the solutions for taking care of our common home. The Laudato Si’ Circle of Lucca is learning to rediscover this important teaching by having people of different ages dialogue with each other, as part of the circle’s weekly activities, who through listening and caring find ways to support each other.
Hearing Creation’s Cry
Hearing Creation’s Song
Saint of the month prayer: Saint Valentine
Feast Day: February 14
A family prayer to Saint Valentine
Creator God, source of life and love, we ask you to bless our family. Help us to see that the love we experience from others and in creation is a small reflection of your great love for us. Saint Valentine, patron of lovers and protector of homes and conjugal love, intercede for our ability to recognize God’s love in all creation so that we know how to love each other more and more. This we ask of you, Creator God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Join us in our first Laudato Si’ Global Encounter of 2023
The Global Encounters are meetings organized by our Global Membership Council to talk about how we are building the future of the planet, and the opportunities ahead of us as the Laudato Si’ Movement.
The first Encounter of 2023 will be on Saturday, February 18. It will be focused on Latin America with speakers from members of our global movement. There will be space for prayer, testimonies of ecological conversion and much more!
Join us online! Register below to participate: fill the form and we will send you access information to the event and anticipatory exclusive content.