Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
April 26, 2009
Reflections on our Responsibilities Toward Creation
Spring is a time when we, in New England, have the tendency to think of New Life and the gifts of Creation. It only makes sense since we have been deprived of much of life over the long winter months. The trees and plants blossom and invigorate us. Even the animals come out of hiding and once again we become aware of our entire environment.
Many of us may be surprised to know that the Catholic Church teaches love and concern for the animal kingdom. The 5th Commandment takes in all of creation. This is not limited to our pets for which many people do over kill. Neither is this concept a new one in the Church. The following are excerpts from Catholic writers on the topic.
If you have people who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have people who deal likewise with their fellow human beings. (St. Francis of Assisi)
Oh, god, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of travail. (St. Basil of Caesarea)
In this desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and to grow, man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way. At the root of the senseless destruction of the natural environment lies an anthropological error, which unfortunately is widespread in our day. Man, who discovers his capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through his own work, forgets that this is always based on God’s prior and original gift of the things that are. Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which many can indeed develop but must not betray, instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature, which is more tyrannized than governed by him. (Pope John Paul II)
God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Let us take some time to reflect on our own views of creation this spring time. Do we believe that God loves all of creation and that he has a plan for all of it?
The above quotes where taken form the March 23 issue of the America magazine.
Lorette P. Nault