77. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps 33:6). This tells us that the world came about as the result of a decision, not from chaos or chance, and this exalts it all the more. The creating word expresses a free choice. The universe did not emerge as the result of arbitrary omnipotence, a show of force or a desire for self-assertion. Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” (Wis 11:24). Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world. Even the fleeting life of the least of beings is the object of his love, and in its few seconds of existence, God enfolds it with his affection. Saint Basil the Great described the Creator as “goodness without measure”, while Dante Alighieri spoke of “the love which moves the sun and the stars”. Consequently, we can ascend from created things “to the greatness of God and to his loving mercy”. 

Reflection: “Creation is of the order of love.” – Pope Francis "Love gives everything gladly, everything again and again, daily." - Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger. All of creation is the result of love, and remains “the fundamental moving force in all created things.” Reflect on this wide, expansive, creative love. In what ways do you experience this love for yourself, for those you love, for those you find challenging, for the earth itself? Journal for a few minutes about this love that gives everything. Share your thoughts with someone else. 

Action: Identify some person or part of the created world with whom you can share an expression of this big love, this deep love, this creative love. Do something intentional, but without explanation, to share this love; it might be a random act of kindness, a smile to a stranger, a call to someone who is struggling, acknowledging a child, thanking God for that robin you see, taking a mindful walk. Love gives everything. 

Dismantling Racism

Racial disparities in health care not only affect patients and families, but also affect practitioners as well. Read this article in STAT about the struggle Black medical residents in many specialties face. Representation matters. Share this with others and discuss what you learned, what questions you have.

Climate Change

Don’t just read about climate change – take action! Read this opinion article about climate action and how it can bring hope and inspiration to you and those around you.  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!

End Human Trafficking

Watch this two-minute video produced by the FBI on sextortion, “when an adult coerces or entices a child to produce a sexually explicit image of themselves and send it to them over the internet.” This doesn’t happen to children you don’t know – it can happen to children you know and love. Learn more and share what you learn with others.

The video is now available on 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…

Justice for Immigrants

Watch these very short videos from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service here and here,  created for World Refugee Day, and share them with others. What catches your attention in these stories? What did you learn? How will you be part of welcoming the stranger this summer?

Partnership with Haiti and Justice for Immigrants Intersectionality

Learn about Haitian artist Fabiola Jean-Louis, whose work is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room. Learn more about how artistic expression tells us a deeper story about our roots, our journey, our culture, our hopes and our dreams.

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