Sunday, June 21, 2015

Laudato Si - a Quick Note

My, there is so much commentary in the blogosphere on Laudato Si, and most of it addressing controversy-whether to defend or to criticize what the Pope has written.

I have my opinions, but thank God I don't do blogging of the punditry sort. And so--the mercy of God is great!--none of you have to learn whether I think the Pope is mistaken (or not) about global climate change. Nor should you care what I think about that.

Furthermore, I've read only 1/4 of it so far, so commenting at any  length would be really, really dumb.

But I'll share a section that will resonate with us breviary lovers:

72. The Psalms frequently exhort us to praise God the Creator, “who spread out the earth on the waters, for his steadfast love endures for ever” (Ps 136:6). They also invite other creatures to join us in this praise: “Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created” (Ps 148:3-5). We do not only exist by God’s mighty power; we also live with him and beside him. This is why we adore him.

The Holy Father is trying to teach many things in this document. One of them is the need for us to detach ourselves from technology and overwork, to rest, contemplate, appreciate the beauty of creation and thus grow in gratitutde and praise toward the Creator. If we are stopping two or three or four or five times a day  to pray the psalms, we probably are making a lot of headway toward that habit of priase. Think of all the psalms and canticles that talk about the grandeuor of creation and God's loving guidance of it all.  ( We get lots of these on Sundays-- Lauds and Office of Readings in particular.) 

If we are internalizing those "nature psalms" then we are acquiring a habitual awareness of the gifts of creation, and are responding with the praise that is God's due. Just one more way that the Liturgy of the Hours is so, so good for us. 

PS. A quick scan of the encyclical reveals quotations from Psalms 148, 104, 136, and 33.