Frequently I find quotes on the Internet worth sharing on my Twitter/Facebook accounts: Millennial Journal has provided many of these. This morning I read through Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si and found paragraph 205, which stood out as a powerful beacon of hope:
“Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.”
The entire document is excellent, and if you have concerns about what it’s saying, I recommend you read it for yourself. I fear we forget this in this Age of Pundits, and so perpetuate misconceptions that lead us down blind alleys. After you’ve read it, then see what others are saying, and whether they help in understanding.
The biggest virtue I think Pope Francis is calling for is Humility. When we see ourselves as the Center of the Universe, whether on a large or small scale, we can do all kinds of awful things without considering the consequences to ourselves and others; when we see ourselves as part of a larger whole we need to help take care of, things become clearer, and we can act with justice for all.