The most recent encyclical from Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, and the challenges he poses in it, deserves time and spiritual work for all of us. It also deserves more than “checking the box” for something we've read and filed away. That would be to avoid the very thing Francis warns of: a "desensitized human conscience."
As we emerge from the Lenten cycle, yes, make sure we've read the encyclical, and then make a covenant with ourselves to lean in into the challenges posed by Francis. Reflect on the parts that can lead to personal growth or even transformation. Francis doesn't hold back and the challenges feel overwhelming, but as we know through our communities and charism, that joining others in the work, “acting together in the common good” raising our voices, ending our silence is after all, the solution to nearly all the wrongs that face us. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but allowing us the wholeness of feeling that we have done enough. We have done what we can.
What projects call you? What causes do you already support; how you are already in motion? How will you communicate with those who disagree? How you will respond as a citizen, as a follower of Jesus and a compassionate human being?
Pax Christi International hosted one-hour webinars for reflection and discussion on the meaning of Fratelli Tutti in local contexts.
How can it be a resource for peacebuilding and impact the practice of peacebuilding? Does it change teaching on just war? How does it open dialogue on peace with Muslims? How does its Franciscan influence deepen the understanding of peacebuilding? The recording of the event is here.
Image: NCR Tim Mossholder (UnSplash)