Magisterium of LS (Laudato Si):
For Pope Francis the Human Ecology implies the relation of the life of the human being with the moral law written in their own nature. The Christian spirituality proposes an alternative way of quality of life, encouraging to a contemplative and prophetic style of life, returning to the simplicity of life. The Pope declare the characteristics of this style of life, based on the fraternal encounters, service, use of the charisms, the music and the art, the contact with the nature and in prayer. Style of life that can confront even to those with the political, economic and social power. The principle of the common good becomes a call to live in solidarity and to make a preferential option for the poor, respecting their basic rights, for their holistic development. The Pope also remarks that the violence in the human heart is also addressed to our mother earth, whom we are devastating. The final invitation of Pope Francis is to recover the harmony with Nature, with her Creator, with ourselves and with others. The following are some of his texts:
“Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment” (n. 155).
“Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption… Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack. This implies avoiding the dynamic of dominion and the mere accumulation of pleasures” (n. 222).
“…find satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, in developing their gifts, in music and art, in contact with nature, in prayer” (n. 223)
“A change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power” (n. 206).
“Underlying the principle of the common good is respect for the human person as such, endowed with basic and inalienable rights ordered to his or her integral development” (n. 157).
“The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22)” (n. 2).
Experience and testimony of Francisco Palau
La vida solitaria (VS) written in Cantayrac, France, 1849 is one of the first writings of Francisco Palau. It is a revealing testimony of his person and of his spirituality. To his sufferings and bitterness, because of he was forced to exile in France, it was added the sad and dramatic war situation in the Church and in Europe and the lack of understanding towards the solitary and contemplative way of life, embraced by him. To obtain the peace for the Church and for the World, he opted for a characteristic style of life: solitude, contemplation of the work of God and prayer of intercession for peace. Ecological style that he summarized in the unity of both ways: union with God and gaze on the social world. The following are some of his texts, that reflect an ecological spirituality, connected with the Laudato Si text.
Fr. Palau, with a very personal prophetic and apocalyptic style, but at the same time, realistic and efficient, describes the horizons of his personal conception, that harmonizes contemplation and priestly ministry, which means: admiration for the beauty of the Creation, commitment of union with the Creator and the gaze on the injured world, wounded by the wars, divisions and conflict of interest created and needed of peace, equity and recognition of the rights of all human beings. The following selected texts show the similarity:
“The solitary from large rocks, renders to the divinity of religion without the noise of words, a public testimony as brilliant as that of the preachers of the Gospel. In the deep silence of solitude and seclusion, he continually meditates about the comparison between the society of men and the society of angels, between the humid cave and the palace of a king, between the field covered of grass and flowers and the house of a prince” (VS 1,3).
“When he raises his eyes to heaven and contemplates the home of his Father, its riches and splendour and the honour and glory of its dwellers, he sees clearly as noon day light how despicable the worldly splendour is…. If a dwelling place as large as the globe would not be able to fill the emptiness of his heart, how much less the palace of a prince!” (VS 1,5).
“In a manner that a parish needs a priest to represent it on the altar, similarly the enormous mass of the human society that exist on earth, reduced as a small town before God, needs a priest to represent it before his throne. In this sense, as a priest of roman, catholic and apostolic Church, as one of her representatives before the altar, and as one of its emissaries before the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his Father [Rev 4, 2], the defense of the case of the Church has been and still is the only purpose, for which I have kept before my eyes while in solitude” (VS 5, 21).
“… in the bosom of the earth. It is true that I have done it, but I felt obliged to do it in order to obtain information about the state of the case which I had taken to defend on my own” (VS 6,23).
“This profound silence and this dreadful solitude were most fitting and very convenient for listening more attentively to my adversaries, for by reason of my ministry; I had to answer their allegations which unfortunately, were far from being mere calumnies” (VS 6,24).
“During the beautiful days of winter… during the mornings of summer… as well as in the afternoon, when the nightingale…, looking like a black-bird or little king, and with its marvellous concert, inviting a person to admire the beauty of the blossoming nature dew” (VS 6,27).
“I read the libel in the midst of the capital cities of the Catholic world, examining carefully the life of the roman catholic people and of their clergy, comparing their deeds and actions, their thoughts and plans with those of our model, Jesus crucified, whom I had before me all the time” (VS 6,28).
“Then, trembling, with tears in my eyes, face touching the ground, ground, and humbled before the throne of God, my soul pleaded as a priest for our cause and struggled with the justice of God. I would have wanted then to take away from the hands of the Judge the instrument of his vengeance, and did try and still do try my best to extinguish his flaming wrath in the precious blood of the Son of God” (VS 6,30).
Hna. Josefa Pastor Miralles CMT