The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery.
Pope Francis offered a document to conclude the work of the bishops’ October 2019 meeting on the Amazon as a “brief framework for reflection,” while urging a (re-)reading of the Final Document.
While the Holy Father’s exhortation, titled Querida Amazonia, cannot be easily summarized, Aleteia offers you the following 16 phrases and sentences to give a sense of the document. Paragraph numbers are included at the beginning of each citation.
6: Everything that the Church has to offer must become incarnate in a distinctive way in each part of the world, so that the Bride of Christ can take on a variety of faces that better manifest the inexhaustible riches of God’s grace.
15: It is not good for us to become inured to evil
28: That is in fact what education is meant to do: to cultivate without uprooting, to foster growth without weakening identity, to be supportive without being invasive.
37: Starting from our roots, let us sit around the common table, a place of conversation and of shared hopes. In this way our differences, which could seem like a banner or a wall, can become a bridge. Identity and dialogue are not enemies.
41: … daily existence is always cosmic.
46: Only poetry, with its humble voice, will be able to save this world
55: From the original peoples, we can learn to contemplate the Amazon region and not simply analyze it, and thus appreciate this precious mystery that transcends us. We can love it, not simply use it, with the result that love can awaken a deep and sincere interest. Even more, we can feel intimately a part of it and not only defend it; then the Amazon region will once more become like a mother to us.
59: Indeed, “the emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. …
62: In our desire to struggle side by side with everyone, we are not ashamed of Jesus Christ.
66: For the Church has a varied face, “not only in terms of space… but also of time”.
71: They know how to be content with little; they enjoy God’s little gifts without accumulating great possessions; they do not destroy things needlessly; they care for ecosystems and they recognize that the earth, while serving as a generous source of support for their life, also has a maternal dimension that evokes respect and tender love. All these things should be valued and taken up in the process of evangelization.
88: only the priest can say: “This is my body”. There are other words too, that he alone can speak: “I absolve you from your sins”.
89: “no Christian community is built up which does not grow from and hinge on the celebration of the most holy Eucharist”. If we are truly convinced that this is the case, then every effort should be made to ensure that the Amazonian peoples do not lack this food of new life and the sacrament of forgiveness.
94: For wherever there is a particular need, [the Holy Spirit] has already poured out the charisms that can meet it.
101: The Lord chose to reveal his power and his love through two human faces: the face of his divine Son made man and the face of a creature, a woman, Mary.
105: in this historical moment, the Amazon region challenges us to transcend limited perspectives and “pragmatic” solutions mired in partial approaches, in order to seek paths of inculturation that are broader and bolder.