Laudato Si Notable quotations

A helpful note, the document overall focuses upon the theme of “care for our common home” by examining the following points:
• Chapter 1 – An environmental assessment: climate change, water, loss of biodiversity, human life, & inequality
• Chapter 2 – Theological reflection from the Judeo-Christian tradition
• Chapter 3 – Reflection on some core causes of the Ecological Crisis
• Chapter 4 – Integral Ecology: The human and social dimensions
• Chapter 5 – Addressing and solving problems: decision-making processes and action
• Chapter 6 – A responsible conscience through education, ecological conversion, & a spirituality of a simplified lifestyle
These following quotations are from the Official Vatican Text.
I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home. (#3)


If we approach nature and the environment without…openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs. By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously. (#11)


There is a growing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet… Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. (#19)


The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation. In fact, the deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet… The impact of present imbalances is also seen in the premature death of many of the poor. (#48)


We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. (#49)


Quoting Saint John Paul II: Christians in their turn “realize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith.” (#64).
When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society. This… has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all. Completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus. (#82)


We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature. (#139)


Along with the importance of little everyday gestures, social love moves us to devise larger strategies to halt environmental degradation and to encourage a “culture of care” which permeates all of society. When we feel that God is calling us to intervene with others in these social dynamics, we should realize that this too is part of our spirituality, which is an exercise of charity and, as such, matures and sanctifies us. (#231)


What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? (#160)


Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. (#202)


The current global situation engenders a feeling of instability and uncertainty, which in turn becomes “a seedbed for collective selfishness.” When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. (#204)


All is not lost. Human beings… are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start… and [embarking] on new paths to authentic freedom. (#205)


A change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power. This is what consumer movements accomplish by boycotting certain products. They prove successful in changing the way businesses operate, forcing them to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of production… This shows us the great need for a sense of social responsibility on the part of consumers. “Purchasing is always a moral – and not simply economic – act.” Today, in a word, “the issue of environmental
degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyle”. (#206)


[Concern for others and the natural environment attunes us to] the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society. An awareness of the gravity of today’s cultural and ecological crisis must be translated into new habits. (#208-209)


[Great importance of the family,] political institutions and various social groups are also entrusted with helping to raise people’s awareness. So too is the Church. All Christian communities have an important role to play in ecological education. (#214)


I would like to offer Christians a few suggestions for an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith, since the teachings of the Gospel have direct consequences for our way of thinking, feeling and living. More than in ideas or concepts as such, I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. (#216)


[T]he ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion…Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. (#217)

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