A Prophetic Call to “Wake up the world”
By Ricardo Simmonds
When I embarked on my “Laudato Si’” walking pilgrimage from Rome to Krakow last year, one of the highlights of the trip was Umbria in Italy. There, I followed in the footsteps of St. Francis and happened to stumble upon the cave where the saint of Assisi composed the famed “Canticle of the Sun.” As the sunlight broke into the dark cave and the birdsongs echoed in the forest I got a glimpse of why this Canticle was such an appropriate inspiration for our latest encyclical on ecology.
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Recognize Sin: Praise God's Mercy
The Sacrament of Penance is an experience of the gift of God’s boundless mercy. Not only does it free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” By the help of God’s grace, our call to holiness will be clearer when we recover an awareness of the reality of sin and evil in the world and in our own souls. Scripture will be enormously helpful in this since it reveals sin and evil clearly and fearlessly. Scriptural realism does not hesitate to pronounce judgment on the good and evil that affects our lives. The New Testament is filled with calls to conversion and repentance, which need to be heard in our culture today.