“Appreciate God’s Creation” Sub-Pages:
Quotes – Praying It– Basking In it – Digging Deeper – Making It Real
God’s Works Surround Us and Speak To Us:
Saint Paul says in his Letter to the Romans: “what can be known about God is plain…because God has shown it…Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.”
“The reason for the crisis and its consequences have been described often and extensively. In the technological world, which is a self-made world of man, one does not immediately encounter the Creator; rather, initially, it is only himself that man always encounters.” – Cardinal Ratzinger, Handing on the Faith in an Age of Disbelief
Faith and science: Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.’ ‘Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are. – The Catechism of the Catholic Church #159
We Even Value Animals as Part of God’s Creation
Children, especially, can learn about the importance and beauty and value of life even from the way we treat animals.
The virtue of meekness so strongly recommended to us by our Savior should extend also to animals so as never to cause them unnecessary pain. The saints had not only a fervent love for the souls of men, and an anxious care for the poor and suffering, but had also a tender compassion for every living creature. ‘The just regardeth the lives of his beasts but the bowels of the wicked are cruel.’ (Proverbs xii. 10.)
A striking lesson of tenderness towards God’s creatures is conveyed to us in the Divine command repeatedly given: “Thou shall not boil a kid in the milk of his dam.’ (Exodus xxiii. 19, Deut. xiv. 21.)
The gentle poet Coleridge has well written: –
‘He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God Who loveth us
He made and loveth all.’ –Faa Di Bruno, Catholic Belief, pg. 312 (1884, Benzinger Brothers)
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. – Luke 12:6
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. – Matthew 6:26
Evangelizing the Environmental Movement
St. Dominic de Guzman founded the Dominican order in the 13th century to combat the virulent Albigensian heresy. The Albigensians believed that the world and everything in it was evil and that only spiritual things were good. Among many other things, their beliefs caused them to glorify suicide and reject marriage. The heresy was attractive to people partly because of the simple lifestyle it encouraged. It would have been easy for those who understood the problems with this heresy to justify their own opulent lifestyle (a big problem among the clergy at that time period) in the name of rejecting the heresy, but St. Dominic knew how to make distinctions. He founded his order to be well educated and to specialize in preaching, but also required them to live an extremely simple lifestyle – including traveling all over Europe on foot!
There is much in the environmental movement that is good and that we as Catholics would agree with (per Laudato Si by Pope Francis), but there are many flaws in the movement too. Some people, in fact, have been turned off to the whole movement because of these flaws. The movement itself has long been associated with concepts that see people as a threat to the environment. This has manifested itself in many negative ways. Instead of rejecting the idea of concern for the environment because of these flaws, we really need people who recognize what is good there and are willing to bring our pro-people message to that movement. Really, it’s a movement, and a part of our culture, that is in need of evangelization.
According to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home we are all required to be concerned about taking care of God’s wonderful world and doing what we can to improve the situation. For families, this especially involves teaching our children not to be wasteful and to use our resources wisely.