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Laudato Si' is our road map as women of faith.
five years ago, Pope Francis gave us a new “treasure” of the Social Doctrine of the Church: Laudato Si'. Today we can tell that it is a prophetic encyclical. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the deep connection and interdependence of all of us who live in the Common Home.
Overcoming the pandemic will require being united and sharing a comprehensive approach “taking into account every aspect of the global crisis” (LS 137). Particularly for us, WUCWO women, an ecological conversion is required, which is at the same time spiritual, cultural and ethical. If we do not place ourselves within this doctrinal framework, our apostolate will lose its meaning and relevance. Personal conversion must be accompanied by pastoral and community conversion, in accordance with each of our organisations and local realities.
I tell you that ever since the Holy Spirit inspired, at the General Assembly in Dakar, the first of our resolutions, A healthy planet depends on all of us, I have been meditating on this theme. As the months went by, I became more and more convinced that it is the vision of integral ecological conversion that sets the framework for the other three WUCWO resolutions for the 2018-2022 period. I will now try to summarise this conviction for you.
How do we form ourselves to educate ourselves and the others to respond to the call to holiness? The Holy Father asks that from now until May 24, 2021, we live the Special Anniversary Year of Laudato Si' in order to deepen the reading, reflection and incarnation of the encyclical, for it to become our personal and community road map. We are faced with a huge challenge: ecological conversion in action, which must emerge at the local level, to gradually extend to the regional, continental and global levels.
According to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, it is fundamental to generate a popular movement from the bases, that is, in the families, schools and universities, parishes and dioceses, etc. In our case, it has to start in our organisations. For example, if we want to eliminate violence and discrimination against women, we must face our actions, joining the cry of these women to the cry of nature, because they are the ones most affected by the health and environmental crisis, with ethical and cultural roots.
If our organisation is to care for the family in difficult situations, especially its most vulnerable members, it must do so through the prism of the above-mentioned teaching. For example, as you will recall, last month during the Laudato Si' Week, WUCWO conducted a campaign on its social networks and website (the material was made available to member organisations). The family was the common thread of this campaign, which showed that it is urgent to react as a human family (LS 13), that one cannot defend the integrity of the environment without at the same time defending human life (LS 136), that decent housing and the land to which each peasant is entitled to build his family home are central to human ecology (LS 94 and 152) and that the family is the place of the culture of life and respect for what surrounds us (LS 213).
It is my wish that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit received on this Pentecost 2020, we can give witness and together play a symphony with the instruments of our organisations, in the key of Laudato Si'. What a wonderful opportunity to enrich our spirituality and our work, hand in hand with Mary, Queen of all Creation!
I say goodbye with affection, inviting you to pray the prayer for the Special Anniversary Year of Laudato Si':
Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them,
You created us in your image and made us stewards of all your creation, of our common home.
You blessed us with the sun, water and bountiful land so that all might be nourished.
Open our minds and touch our hearts, so that we may attend to your gift of creation.
Help us to be conscious that our common home belongs not only to us, but to all future generations, and that it is our responsibility to preserve it.
May we help each person secure the food and resources that they need.
Be present to those in need in these trying times, especially the poorest and those most at risk of being left behind.
Transform our fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation into hope so that we may experience a true conversion of the heart.
Help us to show creative solidarity in addressing the consequences of this global pandemic.
Make us courageous to embrace the changes that are needed in search of the common good.
Now more than ever may we feel that we are all interconnected, in our efforts to lift up the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO President General