80. Yet God, who wishes to work with us and who counts on our cooperation, can also bring good out of the evil we have done. “The Holy Spirit can be said to possess an infinite creativity, proper to the divine mind, which knows how to loosen the knots of human affairs, including the most complex and inscrutable”. Creating a world in need of development, God in some way sought to limit himself in such a way that many of the things we think of as evils, dangers or sources of suffering, are in reality part of the pains of childbirth which he uses to draw us into the act of cooperation with the Creator. God is intimately present to each being, without impinging on the autonomy of his creature, and this gives rise to the rightful autonomy of earthly affairs. His divine presence, which ensures the subsistence and growth of each being, “continues the work of creation”. The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge: “Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God’s art, impressed upon things, whereby those things are moved to a determinate end. It is as if a shipbuilder were able to give timbers the wherewithal to move themselves to take the form of a ship”.

Reflection: “The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge.” In times such as these, with brokenness, “evils, dangers or sources of suffering” evident at every turn, how do you feed the Spirit of God within you so that something new can emerge? What spiritual practices feed your spirit, especially when the problems of the world can seem overwhelming? Journal on these questions as you reflect. Share your thoughts, feelings, actions with others.

Action: Make a decision to cooperate with God on “bringing good out of the evil we have done” by talking to one friend, family member, community member, associate, neighbor, parishioner about what you have learned from Laudato Si’. Share a spiritual practice with them that helps you respond in hope to the world even now.  

Gun Violence

Once again we encounter more random, senseless gun violence in the United States. We grieve with all those directly affected, and pray for the trauma and anxiety of so many as a result. We also double down on our commitment to move forward sensible gun control measures, moving forward from the small gains in the latest legislative actions. Read the USCCB backgrounder here (from 2020). Read Cardinal Cupich’s statement (Archdiocese of Chicago) after the shootings in Highland Park, IL., and listen to an interview with him about gun violence.

Justice for Immigrants

Read this powerful NYT opinion piece about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) ten years later – the hopes, the dreams, the disappointments, the fears from Dreamers themselves. What action does this call you to? Share this with someone else and talk about it.

Dismantling Racism

Consider the shooting death of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old man in Akron, Ohio who was stopped for a minor traffic violation. His body was riddled with 60 bullet wounds, and was unarmed at the time of the shooting. Read this Washington Post Opinion piece about Mr. Walker and his death at the hands of police officers. Now read this PBS article about the arrest of Robert Crimo III, who is accused of the murder of seven people in Highland Park, IL on July 4th. The psalmist writes: How long, LORD? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? Ps 13:2-3.

Dismantling racism requires listening to those who live with the impact of racism. Take the time to listen to this podcast from the Catholic Mobilizing Network’s series “Encounters with Dignity.” In this episode, two Catholic indigenous leaders talk about the Catholic Church and Native American boarding schools and their road to healing and restorative justice.

Climate Change

Read the Catholic Climate Covenant’s statement on the Supreme Court ruling limiting the powers of the EPA. The fight for Mother Earth must continue.

Find hope in these beautifully done new videos from the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center, “Reflections on Water” (38 minutes) and “Grounded: Connections to Climate” (34 minutes).

Consider participating in “Plastic Free July” – it will, at the very least, help you to realize how much single use plastics are in your life. Every step in the right direction is a step in the right direction!

All change begins with one small step. Commit yourself to reading the Laudato Si’ reflection each week. One paragraph at a time you can stop and reflect on what we are all called to as a Laudato Si’ community! Share some of the parts of the newsletter with others who might not otherwise consider these issues.

End Human Trafficking

Summer has more young people than ever tethered to their electronic devices. It is up to adults to keep them safe on the internet, just as we try to keep them safe from all other dangers. Internet Safety 101 from Enough is Enough offers excellent resources and tips for teachers, parents, family members, and concerned adults. Read it now, and share it with others you care about!

The video is now available of the webinar sponsored by the Ending Human Trafficking committee on Online Child Exploitation with Ms. Alicia Bove, an attorney with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. If you were unable to attend the webinar, please contact Mary Carter Waren (mcwaren@amssnd.org) and we will make the video available to you. Be prepared to be disturbed and inspired to work for change…

Prayers for Ukraine

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