When the lights go down in the city

Just had to throw in that Francis has a beautiful reflection on the challenges and beauty of city life in this document. In para. 71: “It is curious that God’s revelation tells us that the fullness of humanity and of history is realized in a city. We need to look at our cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares. god’s presence accompanies the sincere efforts of individuals and groups to find encouragement and meaning in their lives. He dwells among them, fostering solidarity, fraternity, and the desire for goodness, truth and justice.”

“In cities, as opposed to the countryside, the religious dimension of life is expressed by different lifestyles, daily rhythms linked to places and people.” (72)

It’s ironic that I was in a group discussion of the Joy of the Gospel, and when the subject of the city came up, the participants, especially the older ones, completely missed this point. “Cities are where all the bad things happen,” was what they got out of the reading. To be fair, Francis does talk at length about the challenges of city life in 74 and 75. But it is a nuanced picture.

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