Importance of Natural Resources

Catholic Idea of Care for the Environment – A Moment with the Bishop – October 29, 2019

One of the basic tenets of Catholic
social teaching is care for the environment. And theologically, that draws us back to Genesis, when God creates the world in all of its pristine beauty and
goodness and innocence. And in the story of creation, God puts Adam in the Garden
and Adam names all of the animals, which in the Jewish theology of the time, was a
priestly action. So when you look at Genesis, it’s clear that the Garden of
Eden is set up as the temple and Adam is the great high priest and he’s given
stewardship. He’s given charge of this temple and of this creation and, by
naming everything, is given this provisional authority over it. But
clearly that’s an authority given to him by God. When we look at all that, it’s
clear that part of our Christian vocation is to love and care for the
world as the creation of God and everything that God made has his
fingerprints on it. I’ve often said I’ve never met a farmer
who was an atheist, because when we live in the world of nature, we clearly see
God’s order, symmetry, and beauty. So we’re called to care for the world, so that it
serves our needs and brings us closer to salvation, but also caring for the world –
that there’s an abundance of what everyone needs to live a dignified life –
I’m thinking especially of the poor. So, we think of the economic imbalances in
the world, and also to ensure that the world is here as a habitable, healthy
place for generations to come. St. Francis of Assisi, who we honored at the beginning of this month on his feast day, wrote his beautiful Canticle of the
Creatures, calling all of the elements that God made his brother and his sister. “brother sun, sister moon” etc. We see there a relation a relationality,
that everything that God made Francis loved, because God made it and he saw
God’s fingerprints on everything. So, we as Christians are called to follow his
example and to love the world, not as an end in itself, but really as a
manifestation of God’s beauty,, truth and goodness. And that, it’s in the vastness
of this world that we live on our journey home to the Father’s House and
we’re called to care for it, to love it, to preserve it, to use it prudentially,
and to pass on the gift that we ourselves have received.

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