Praying with Pope Francis for the Amazon Region
The Amazon Synod was the first synod of its kind to be focused on a particular ecological territory. The region is home to 34 million inhabitants, with 3 million indigenous people, and over 400 ethnic groups. Last week, Pope Francis released 'Querida Amazonia' and there has been much media attention about what was, and in particular, what wasn't contained in his latest exhortation.
Pope Francis speaks of four dreams he has for the Amazon region; social, cultural, ecological, and ecclesial. This is a direct response after hearing 87,000 submissions over the past few years from those in the area. Pope Francis has left the question of ordaining married men open. He considers that actually there must be a way to transcend such divisive ideas and find a way, inspired by the Holy Spirit and realised by us in a process of discernment, how best to serve the needs of the region while also looking towards spreading the message of the Gospel.
A Church with Amazonian features must be encouraged to develop. It will do so once we learn to love it, to pray for our brothers and sisters there, and do our own small part as an international family by reading their testimonies and changing our lives (where we shop, how we eat, and choosing sustainable options) in the hope that they might enjoy lives of peace in the knowledge of Christ.
We pray for the Amazon and all those who live in that region. We pray for business and government leaders, whose decisions affect the social, cultural, ecological, and pastoral needs of Amazonia. We ask for hearts to love our brothers and sisters there enough to change how we live our own lives. Finally, we ask for a blessing upon all the conversations and news stories that might arise from Querida Amazonia, that the Holy Spirit inspires changes of hearts and minds for the better. Amen.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6
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