Number 160 of Pope Francis “Laudato si” begins with these words: "What kind of world do we wish to pass on to those who will come after us, to the children who are growing up?"
It has been a long time since I have had this desire in my heart, so here are two simple but significant experiences that express the importance of safeguarding our common home, the beauty of a Creation for which all and everyone should get sustenance.
This year, throughout the month of July, I had the opportunity to live with boys and girls from 6 to 16 years, the experience of “Centro Ricreative Estivo” (C.R.E.). The day always began with prayer and I had the joy of animating these moments and having arrived at the theme of the 'Voice', I invited the children to listen, for a time during a whole day, to the Voice of Mother Earth and her Creatures. The next day, I asked if anyone was prepared to talk about 'his/herlistening'. The little ones especially made a list of so much 'Beauty' encountered. From the sun that gives life and warmth, to the varieties ofplants, to the flowers, to the fresh water,gifts not to be wasted but to be preserved, to the wheat fields suffering from the lack of water, to the farmer who hoed the garden with great effort... but most of all an 8-year-old girl, Sonia, approached me with a piece of paper in her hand, on which she had written what she had seen and heard during a walk with friends of the C.R.E. (Leafletphoto).
"What I feel, what I see in the little things created by God. As I walked, to go to the church of Our Lady of Prada, other than the noise of cars, I heard the sound of our steps on the ground of the fields on which we were walking. I felt the wind walking through the bushes and the cicadas singing in chorus with crickets.
So often we do not notice the 'hard work' that God has done for us and so we risk to ruin it!!
The bees hopping from flower to flower looked like gold coins flying into the blue sky!!
When we arrived at the church of Our Lady, what a wonder... I saw a green landscape like emerald shining in the darkness of the night!! " Sonia
Above the sheet Sonia made a drawing: an oval containing three circles surrounded by many stars and, when asked what this design meant for her, the answer was: "The three circles represent the Trinity and the oval a sign of family as it is for Creation and for the Trinity who is a family within Creation."
It is true, as Father Barré says, that God speaks to the simple, to the littleones...
"Often God gives lights and graces to simple people, when they are very humble and small in their own eyes: He gives intelligence to the little ones. " (Nicolas Barré M.T.P. 47)
Pope Francis in the introduction to the text of "Laudato Si” - An Alliance of Care for Our Common Home"suggests the importance of listening to children.
"The recent past has shown us that it is mainly children who understand the scale and enormity of the challenges facing society, particularly the climate crisis. We must listen to them with an open heart. We must follow their lead because they are wise despite their age."
During the C.R.E., the teenagers had an experience of service in the Mato GrossoOrganization (O.M.G.) and for two days, they took care of a social garden. Here is what an educator writes:
"With the group of teenagers, about twenty, in a large social garden, boys and girls rolled up their sleeves,took up tools and participated in the farming. They did the oldest and most humble job ever: working the land. We have worked in a completely organic vegetable garden, with respect for nature, a vegetable garden put at the service of the whole community whose proceeds from the sale of vegetables, will be allocated to one of the missions of Latin America. This experience, I think, was extremely formative and educational both for me, but especially for the adolescents who were able to taste the joy of doing something not for themselves, but for a greater good, a common good." Matteo Bolis
"The beauty of Creation is, so to say, the garment that God has worn to show himself to human beings... the reaction to the beauty of Creation is joy, but also poetry. Our human descriptions our, poems and songs want to make the beauty of Creation shine." Beauty - AnselmGrün
"True spiritual people receive particular communications from God... they have graces and lights. They are like a spring and a small fountain that provide better and abundant water though little in appearance." Nicolas Barré M.T.P. 145
Taking up the words of Nicolas Barré and Anselm Grün and strongly believing that God speaks beautifully through the small and the simple ones,it is up to us to be close to them,accompanying them in their search and their desire of building a future that is beautiful and good not only for us, but for every child, adolescent, man and woman in every part of the world.