Laudato Si is a letter by Pope Francis addressing the cultural crisis going on in the world. Humans now are dealing with a plethora of problems related to the earth, and it is due to our own carelessness. Pope Francis calls us as Christians to make a difference in our lifestyle in order to save the planet that God made for us. In section five, chapter six of Laudato Si titled, “Civic and Political Love,” Pope Francis emphasizes a ‘less is more’ ideal. He thinks that the key to fixing the cultural crisis is educational training. Pope Francis talks about love throughout the entire letter, but in this chapter, he says that “love… is also civic and political” (Laudato Si, 231). What he means by this is that individuals making change is not quite enough; people in higher governmental positions need to provide education on the problems in the world, and therefore make a change. Without this, the impact will never truly make the change that the planet needs from us.
Very similar ideals about humans and their environment are portrayed in a movie titled, Secret of the Kells. This movie is about a city of people in the woods in Ireland who are preparing for an attack by a group of Vikings. A young boy named Brendan who has no interest in battle whatsoever, ends up working with Aidan, an illuminator. Together, the two of them work on dangerous magical tasks in order to save their city and reconnect with the forest that no one is allowed in. There is a shape shifting creature in the story whose name is Aisling. She teaches Brendan all about her forest and why it has to be taken care of. She knows every detail about it and shows him the ropes. Brendan gains a new appreciation for the nature and beauty of the forest because he has been behind his city’s walls for such a long amount of time. Because of his new relationship with nature (the forest) and his ability to navigate it, he is able to complete the Book of Kells and save his city after the attack of the Vikings. This is very similar to what Pope Francis is trying to convey. We have to regain our connection with nature and the earth in order to save it.
We often forget how much the earth actually gives to us which is why we under appreciate it at times. It has given us all of our natural resources that we take for granted. For example, it has given us light, air, water, plants, animals, soil, stone, minerals, fossil fuels and more. We do not go a single day without using one or if not more of these. In order to see and be warm in our homes we need light and fossil fuels. Not only do we use these things themselves, but they also are made into other materials that we use every day. Our musical instruments, art supplies, clothing, electrical equipment, jewelry, and so much more are all made from these natural resources that the earth gives us. God made the earth with so much love that it gives us so much more it appears to, and we use them much more than we realize. Especially during a pandemic like now, we are relying on these tools that the earth gives us. We are always in our home relying on our lighting, our wireless internet, listening to music, and experiencing art. We are working together as a city and doing our own part to help the situation and overcome it. During this time, we are now appreciating the music and art that is keeping us entertained in our home. All of that was provided to us by the earth and God himself. Without these things, we would not be able to successfully stay in our homes and slow the spread of the virus. Art and music are extremely important. Art, music, poetry and much more has influenced many works that are still famous today, including Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Philosophers and artists that he read about and saw influenced his work and impacted the final outcome of the book.
Created with images by Ashwin Vaswani - "untitled image" • Louis Maniquet - "Bubble" • Boris Baldinger - "Beginning of September 2017 we hiked from Lago Ritom to the Capanna Cadlimo. Clouds covered the landscape in deep shadows. The mood was incredible. A few minutes later we encountered the first snow of this season. Amazed by the view I had to stop and take this picture!"