Laudato Si’ Week, a celebration of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and a call to action for Catholics around the world, is being celebrated 16-24 May, 2022.
Throughout Laudato Si’ Week, you and your community are encouraged to join us in reflecting and acting to bring Laudato Si’ to life.
Related: Things to do in Laudato Si’ Week
Goal 4 – Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles
From the Encyclical
“Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity.” Laudato Si’ n.211.
Laudato Si’ invites us to adopt sustainable lifestyles, encouraging greater material simplicity. This goal calls us to a happy sobriety in our use of resources and energy, cultivating a sense of satisfaction with ‘enough’ rather than constantly seeking more. It underpins all the Laudato Si’ goals.
While we are invited to make changes in our own households and daily lives, this effort is linked to ensuring a good life for all. By consuming less, we can work toward a future where people living in ‘impoverished countries can afford a simple lifestyle, overcoming poverty without damaging nature’s life’ (LS n 51-52).
As we move towards winter, we might consider our use of energy. Can we reduce our energy consumption? Can we improve the energy efficiency of our homes and workplaces? As we try to do so, let us reflect on Pope Francis’ words: ‘there is an urgent need to develop policies so that … the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy’ (LS n 26).
We might also consider our dietary habits. Can we opt for a more plant-based diet? Can we consider a day of prayer and fasting for the needs of the world each week, or abstain from meat on Fridays?
Adopting a simpler lifestyle takes commitment and creativity. Sharing the experience in a loving spirit enables us to ‘… experience what it means to appreciate each person and each thing, learning familiarity with the simplest things and how to enjoy them.’ (LS n 223)
Loving God, your mercy towers to the heavens, and your faithfulness to the skies.
May your love temper our desire for more.
May your love shape lifestyles that lead to life for all.
May your love guide our steps towards sustainability.
May your love be enough.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our risen Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Head: Assess where you have power or influence for procurement e.g., at work, school or in parish life. Research available ethical purchasing guides that address your regular purchases, for example food, clothing, and energy, and follow their advice.
Heart: Before purchasing anything, ask: Do I need this? Will this make me happy? Whose lives will be impacted by this purchase? Where are there opportunities for me to make a change?
Hands: Actions could include reducing waste, recycling, and adopting sustainable practices across your life e.g., using fair trade products, sustainable dietary habits, greater use of public transport, walking and cycling, and avoiding single use items.
In the Diocese of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta invites all parishes, schools, organisations and families to respond to his invitation to take action on the care of our common home. See the video about this project and find out more here.
With thanks to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace.