Living Into Collaboration – A Vincentian Laudato Si’ Point of View, Part 2

by | Jan 17, 2021 | Formation, Reflections

  • We need a conversation which includes everyone. (LS#14).
  • Human beings are so made that they cannot live, develop and find fulfilment except “in the sincere gift of self to others” nor can they fully know themselves apart from an encounter with other persons…” (Fratelli Tutti #87)
  • Approaching, speaking, listening, looking at, coming to know and understand one another and to find common ground: all these things are summed up in the one word “dialogue.” If we want to encounter and help one another, we have to dialogue. (FT #198)

Two weeks ago, Part 1 of this article spoke of love and relationships as two essential elements of collaboration. In Part 2, I ask us to reflect on how practicing contemplative awareness, attitude and intention and comprehensive compassion are important aspects of Vincentian-Setonian collaboration.

After a cursory reading of Fratelli Tutti (published after writing this article), I encourage all of us to consider and have conversations with others on how our Vincentian charism of Charity is expressed in Fratelli Tutti as well as Laudato Si’, especially in our collaborative efforts.  I look forward to going deeper into Pope Francis’ writings on social friendship, universal love, a “Politics (that makes) room for a tender love of others (FT #194), and a social dialogue for a new culture (FT Chapter Six). For me these topics are very Vincentian and need to be included in any collaborative effort we are part of.

  1. Contemplative Awareness, Attitude and Intention – is this not prayer? What do these practices have to do with collaboration from a Vincentian perspective? Admittedly, I am often overwhelmed by the emails I get. Zoom webinars and conversations during this time of Covid-19 have grown exponentially. Yet I recognize the value of taking time to read certain emails and listen to certain webinars in a reflective prayerful way. These are prayers, just as watching the news or reading an article can be. When I turn on the faucet, I often call to mind the image of the boy in a refugee camp I saw on the news, washing his hands from a tap barely oozing drops of water into a bucket. Prayer, the practice of contemplative awareness, attitudes and intentions, draws me into relationship – the boy vividly in my mind … my intention to use less water … my attitude of reverence and respect towards water, the Gift and Source of Life. These prayers motivate and inspire me to keep moving forward in collaboration as we seek to create systems, structures, policies and laws that are just, transparent and inclusive.
  2. Comprehensive Compassion, a term used by Brian Swimme, explains how the energy of love is still growing and expanding. From the initial Flaring Forth of the Universe to the human, sometimes called the Universe conscious of itself, this love continues to expand and grow. Collaboration, from a Vincentian perspective, involves a growing group consciousness that sees charity as effective and affective; that is personal as well as systemic; that understands the civic and political love that Laudato Si’ calls us to.

Pope Francis calls us to dialogue, to enter into conversation. As we celebrate this Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year, I look forward to hearing others’ perspectives on collaboration from a Vincentian Laudato Si’ perspective. May our collaborative efforts be rooted in the charism of charity for the well being of our Common Home, Earth, and all its communities of life, human and nonhuman.

The Vincentian Charism and Laudato Si’ is our effort to share various ways that Vincentians find their charism connects with Laudato Si’. We encourage your comments on these posts and welcome anyone interested in submitting an article to email Jim Paddon at