A gift from God and the common home of humanity, the earth is threatened by man's abuse of his freedom. In his encyclical Praise Be to You (Laudato Si'), Pope Francis challenges all people to praise and thank God for his glorious creation and to work together to safeguard her.
Popes Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and Paul VI addressed key themes regarding stewardship of God's creation, but Francis is the first to devote an entire encyclical to the subject. The encyclical takes its name from Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures, which depicts creation as "a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us". Pope Francis declares, "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."
Francis calls for an "integral ecology" based on what Pope Saint John Paul II called an "ecological conversion"—a moral transformation linking the proper response to God for the gift of his creation to concern for justice, especially for the poor. He challenges people to understand ecology in terms of the right ordering of the fundamental relationships of the human person: with God, oneself, other people, and the rest of creation.
Francis examines such ecological concerns as pollution, waste, and what he calls "the throwaway culture". Climate, he insists, is a common good to be protected. He explores notions such as sustainability from a Judeo-Christian perspective. The loss of biodiversity and the unequal distribution of resources, largely caused by the consumerism and excessive individualism of the wealthier nations, threaten the good order of creation, he writes. While valuing technology, he rejects efforts to repudiate the natural order, including the moral law inscribed in human nature. He cautions against an overreliance on science to solve ecological problems and emphasizes the need for openness to God.
Expounding the biblical tradition regarding creation and redemption in Christ, Francis stresses man's subordination to God's plan. He insists on the primacy of the human person in creation and rejects treating it as if it were "divine", yet he traces the roots of the ecological crisis to man's self-centeredness and the rise of practical relativism. Without rejecting political changes, he implores people to change their hearts and their ways of life.
The Complete Edition
Prayer is essential to the life of faith. In this superb book, based on Pope Benedict's weekly teaching, he examines the foundational principles of the life of prayer. Believers of various backgrounds and experience in prayer-from beginners to spiritually advanced-will be enriched by this spiritual masterpiece.
Benedict begins considering what we can learn from the examples of prayer found in a wide range of cultures and eras. Next, he turns to the Bible's teaching about prayer, beginning with Abraham and moving though Moses, the prophets, the Psalms to the example of Jesus. With Jesus Christ, Pope Benedict considers not only the Lord's teaching about prayer, but also his example of how to pray, including the Our Father, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and prayers on the Cross. The prayers of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the early Church are also explored. Benedict also draws on insights from spiritual masters, the saints, and the Church's liturgy. He challenges readers to live their relationships with God "even more intensely, as it were, at a ‘school of prayer'."
Although Benedict provides a sweeping survey of great figures of prayer, his discussion centers on Jesus Christ and even invokes him in the study of prayer. "It is in fact in Jesus," writes Benedict, "that man becomes able to approach God in the depth and intimacy of the relationship of fatherhood and sonship. Together with the first disciples, let us now turn with humble trust to the Teacher and ask him: ‘Lord, teach us to pray' (Lk 11:1)."View full product details
Andrea Tornielli, the foremost "Vatican Insider" journalist, offers inspiring stories, incidents, encounters, and excerpts from the writings and talks of Pope Francis through his first year as Pope.
These "little flowers" add up to a powerful witness by Pope Francis of "heartwarming stories of the Gospel in action", and they refl ect on various spiritual and social themes important to the Pope: mercy, forgiveness, charity, prayer, justice, the Eucharist, Our Lady, and much more. The title echoes the Little Flowers of Saint Francis, the famous collection of stories about the beloved Francis of Assisi, whose name the Pope adopted for himself.
The Pope's little gestures and big ones, the minor or major choices he has made each day, his ability to meet everyone and to speak to everyone, his simple way of being himself— these things have made Francis not only credible but, above all, close. The Pope is perceived by many, many people throughout the world as "one of us". Seeing him embrace the sick, the suffering, and the children, one understands why this is so.
Fioretti offers a wonderful collection of insightful fragments from various aspects of the life of the Pope in his first year that will help the reader become better acquainted with the immensely popular Bishop of Rome who, as the first South American pope, came "from the end of the earth".View full product details
And suddenly a great silence envelops the crowd as the successor to Benedict XVI is announced.... Astonishment: Who is it? Where is he from? The commentators are stunned, tongue-tied. Then,upon hearing his first words, the crowd stirs, followed by ripples and then waves of enthusiasm-what freshness, what inspiration, what beautiful Gospel simplicity!
"Called from the end of the world," is he the shepherd who will lead the Church, confronted by the challenges of the postmodern world, along the pathway to renewal? Already his humble witness has made a powerful impact, giving us a glimpse of what is essential about him.... But deep down, who is this man? What does he think? Toward what shores will he steer the barque of Peter?In this book, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio answers these questions himself as he preaches a retreat to the bishops of Spain. Following the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, he meditates upon the crucial issues at stake in the vocation of a bishop. In so doing, he offers us his vision of the Church, setting forth the outlines of what could well be the reform program of Pope Francis.
It is a rich, captivating text with a strong, uncompromising message. In short, it's a spiritual page turner you won't want to put down!View full product details