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Stewards of God’s creation

Filed under: Editorial |

The world today is developing very fast, and we just have to get a handle on these developments that clearly are not all that right. There are many questionable things taking place, like the issue of climate change etc. That’s why we now have a graver concern over how we are taking care of our environment, with Pope Francis, for example, issuing an encyclical on it entitled, ‘Laudato si.’

Laudato si

As God’s image and likeness and redeemed children of his through Christ, we are tasked to take care of God’s creation. “Be fruitful and increase in number. Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen 1,28) That was God’s clear mandate to our first parents. It continues to be ours too, till the end of time.

The world has been given to us by God as the place for us to do our life’s test of whether to love him in return or not. As such, it comes to us with a certain order, direction and unity. It comes to us with laws that we try to discover and follow.

Offhand, the catechism tells us some basic indications of how we can respect the integrity of creation. “Animals, like plants and inanimate beings,” it says, “are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives.” (CCC 2415)

It continues by saying that “man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the equality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.”

St. John Paul II once remarked: “It is the Creator’s will that humans should treat nature not as a ruthless exploiter, but as an intelligent and responsible administrator.” We need to have a clear idea of what would comprise keeping and enhancing the integrity of God’s creation and what would harm it.

In this regard, the Church is offering her social doctrine to give some guidance. “The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.” (CCC 2419)

It is important that the voice of the Church be heard and considered with utmost respect. While human ideologies will always have something valid to offer, it is our God-given faith that at the end of the day contains all the truth about how we have to carry out our duty toward the integrity of creation.

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