Pope Francis Explains "Everyone, in their own role, can contribute to spreading the culture of care." to Pharmacists
GREETING FROM THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PHARMACIST NETWORK "APOTECA NATURA"
Monday, November 14, 2022
Dear friends, good morning and welcome!
I thank Dr. Massimo Mercati for his words and for the publications he had sent in his time. Thank you.
Your experience of seeking answers to health problems in nature made me think of the Amazon. Not to the witchcraft of the Amazon, but to the Amazon! I know you can well understand this association of ideas. The indigenous peoples - in the Amazon as well as in other parts of the world - are the repositories of rich patrimonies of natural therapies; but these too, unfortunately, risk being lost if the original cultures are extinguished. And the original cultures have this attitude, always, with creation, with the environment, of living well, which is not the sweet life or having a good time, no, it is the harmony of life of the person, of the family, of the people with the creation.
I see in your work a positive sign of the times: a creative way of doing business and generating employment starting from an entirely ecological intuition, an intuition that responds to the priority need today to find a new harmony between us human beings and the created.
And in the network of your pharmacies I also see another happy intuition: the attempt to develop what is already a characteristic of pharmacists, that is, a personalized relationship with the people of the area, a certain ability to listen in order to be able to advise, guide … However, even if it is not your invention, you intend to "invest" in this aspect, which is very important in the perspective of basic health care. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the figure of the family doctor has almost disappeared, and the risk is that, in order to privilege “excellence”, the good quality of local health services is neglected; or that these are so bureaucratized and computerized that the elderly or poorly educated are in fact excluded or marginalized. Obviously, pharmacies cannot make up for what belongs to the national health service, but they can certainly meet a real need of the people by compensating for certain shortcomings.
Let's go back to what I think is the original intuition of your business. It could be summed up in two words: harmony and care.
Harmony is a concept that is very close to my heart. It also has a high theological and spiritual value; it can even be considered a name of God, because the Holy Spirit is Himself Harmony. For this reason, creation, precisely as such, that is, "created" by God who is harmony, reflects the plan of the Creator and, while being intimately marked by the evil that has polluted it, always aspires to good and harmony. St. Paul writing to the Romans touches this reality by saying that "creation has been subjected to transience" and it itself "groans and suffers the pangs of childbirth to this day" (Rm 8,20.22). In the multiform phenomenon of the cosmos and, in particular, of life in all its expressions, we can recognize a plan, Paul even speaks of "ardent expectation of creation" (Rom 8:19), as if the hope of God - hope of salvation and communion - was reflected in his creation.
Today, in a globalized and interconnected world, the comparison between two cultures is even more evident: the culture of consumerism and waste - it is a culture: both go together, a culture of consumerism and waste - which is a form of nihilism, and then the culture of care, on the other side. We have to choose: there is no other way to go forward! Today we are not allowed to remain neutral. A choice is required, because the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor ask for responsibility. Answer. The culture of consumerism and waste is very pervasive and affects many of our daily behaviors, and so also the culture of care is expressed in many small and big choices, which everyone is called to make, depending on the role they occupy. The Encyclical Laudato si 'was intended to be, for the whole Church, and for all men and women of good will, an appeal to take the attitude of care with awareness and determination. And, as I know you, I think I can say that your work responds to this logic and this lifestyle: to enter the culture of care.
Everyone, in their own role, can contribute to spreading the culture of care. I thank you for what you do, starting from your field of work, also trying to make a concrete contribution to grow a different economy, an economy centered on the person and on the common good. I cordially bless all of you and your families. And please, I ask you to pray for me. Thank you!