"LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – "Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle,
Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our
life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. "Praise be to you, my Lord,
through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit
with coloured flowers and herbs”.
2. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible
use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as
her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded
by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and
in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most
abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she "groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that
we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we
breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
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