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Lenten Reflections on Life, Death & Laudato Deum from a Franciscan Perspective

By: Brother Coyote

Pope Francis -Thank God!- is not merely thinking of his own church, his own faith or even of the Judeo-Christian-Muslem cohorts in this troubled world: he is prayerfully calling us to be attentive not just to our own plight, but the challenges to be fac ed by future generations:

In conscience, and with an eye to the children who will pay for the harm done by their actions, the question of meaning inevitably arises: “What is the meaning of my life? What is the meaning of my time on this earth? And what is the ultimate meaning of all my work and effort?”’

In my mind, he is echoing Henry Beuchner’s now-famous proverb: “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

Let that stop you in your tracks for a moment:  Given all of your talents, interests, and commitments, which are uniquely and distinctively yours to give to the world today and to future generations? If you are like me, you can spend your time happily listening to old music, reading new books, chatting with friends, or helping your kin, and if any of that is what brings you joy, so be it, there is NOTHING wrong with that. But where can your joy in doing what you are best at contribute to dealing with the gi-normous needs of the poor and disenfranchised, the endangered species or imperiled habitats all around us, so that future generations will have it easier? Or as Mary Oliver powerfully phrased it, “Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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