As we journey with Aguchita for the sixth week of reflection in light of Pope Francis' encyclical letter Laudato Si': On Care for our Common Home, we continue to be enlightened, challenged, and inspired through Francis' words and Aguchita's life. This week, we reflect on Chapter Five of the encyclical: 'Lines of Approach and Action'.
In this fifth chapter, Francis begins to outline concrete steps and opportunities for dialogue which "can help us escape the spiral of self-destruction". Some of these steps finally culminated in the Laudato Si' Action Platform, which the Pope launched last month, six years following the publication of the encyclical. This unique collaboration between the Vatican, an international coalition of Catholic organizations, and "all men and women of good will" takes a truly ground-up approach. It is rooted in the strengths and realities of communities around the world, empowering all to take "decisive action, here and now" as we journey towards a better future together.
In response, and as one of their final acts, the outgoing Congregational Leadership Team signed a pledge to "publicly commit to join the worldwide Catholic community in responding to Pope Francis' appeal to participate in a seven-year journey toward sustainability and integral ecology by developing a Laudato Si' Action Platform." Among other issues, this commitment marks the Congregation's willingness to integrate each of the seven goals of Laudato Si' (right) into the life and apostolate of the Congregation.
Decades previously, we can see that these seven goals already formed an integral part of Aguchita's approach and action to her simple lifestyle and ministry. In response to the cry of the poor, Aguchita supported women to become self-sufficient by painting recycled cans that could be filled with good soil and used to plant sustainable tomatoes, vegetables, and spinach. In teaching girls and women how to sow seeds and care for plants, she increased their contact with the natural world, encouraged them to care for creation, and created an ecological awareness within them while protecting and promoting biodiversity. Her spirit of wonder, praise and joy at nature are echoed in her words that "a house with no plants has no life".
The seven goals of the Laudato Si' Action Platform were weaved into Aguchita's life and ministry. Take some time to become familiar with the Congregation's public commitment and what this means for you as a religious member or partner in mission of the Congregation. Inspired by Aguchita's example, how can you rethink your lines of approach and action to your life and ministry to support the Congregation's commitment to the Laudato Si' Action Platform?