This painting is a classic prairie-inspired piece, created in 2017 at Coeur de Rose, my studio on the Western Minnesota Prairie.
While creating the piece, I painted with words from the second encyclical of Pope Francis:
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord.” In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.”Pope Francis
A little more than a year later, I sold Coeur de Rose and returned to the city with the landscape’s canticle imprinted on my heart.
“Our Common Home” was recently sold at an auction to raise money for City House, a volunteer organization providing spiritual listening with people on the margins—including those experiencing poverty, addiction, and imprisonment.
It makes me happy to know this painting serves the world this way.
Our life in common matters.
Of this I am certain.Julie Ann Stevens
With courage, I continue on this path, praying for the humility to create more work inviting others to live the questions “Our Common Home” begs of me:
How do we begin to nurture our common home by being willing to see the ways we participate in diminishing it?
How might the way we define living “our best lives” result in unintended harmful consequences for the earth and others?
What are we willing to give up for all creation to receive an equal right to flourish?
Are we ready to ask to have our entitlements revealed so we may humbly relinquish them to improve the ecology of our common home for all life?
How much profit are we willing to forgo in order to step away from behaviors that are destroying our common home?
Whatever our responses, our future will evolve with our choices:
What we do to others is what we do to ourselves.