Magazine article Momentum

We Live in a Sacred World

Magazine article Momentum

We Live in a Sacred World

Article excerpt

The forests, the rivers, the mountains, the oceans, the deserts, the beaches, the fields, the flowers, the rain, the sky and the air are part of God's great creativity.

However you look at it, God's creation is amazing. It is a display of the magnificent beauty, intelligence, power and love of the God who made this universe, and it is our home! It is given to us to use, to manage responsibly and to enjoy.

"Use and manage responsibly" needs to be understood clearly as safeguarding creation - living creatively within, rather than managing and using as though we are outside of it. We are responsible for ensuring that all nature can continue to thrive as the creator intended. We are not free to use or manage it capriciously. This very demand was made clear by Pope Benedict XVI when he announced in April 2008 seven new sins - the fourth on the list, "polluting the environment." He also included "causing social injustice" and "becoming obscenely wealthy," both of which can be associated with taking or not taking care of the earth. We must not take this responsibility lightly.

Much has been written by critically important people and excellent programs are underway that demonstrate that citizens are paying attention to the requirement to be good stewards of the earth. The United States Catholic Bishops in the document Renewing the Earth (1991) reflect on the distinctly Catholic contribution to environmental awareness that comes from an understanding that human beings are part of nature, although not limited to it. "Catholics look to nature, in natural theology, for indications of God's existence and purpose" (p. 3).

None of which is to say there isn't more to do by many more people. All of us need to do more and care more about our earthly home. In the midst of this serious concern, perhaps not enough is said about the possibility of enjoying the beauty of our home.

One of my favorite hymns is "For the Beauty of the Earth. …

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