“Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I heard a news account the other day that broke my heart. It was about poachers cutting huge hunks out of the giant redwoods in order to make furniture and souvenirs. This activity is threatening the lives of these rare and majestic trees. It makes the care of creation all the more pressing.
Muir Woods, one of the most easily accessed redwood forests in northern California, has a section called Cathedral Grove. Visitors are encouraged to walk through it in hushed fashion so as to take in the beauty and grandeur of the trees towering overhead. In such a state of reverence it’s hard to imagine anyone hacking away parts of God’s creation in order to make a few bucks.
As one of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching, care of creation entails a deep respect for the natural world and a commitment to safeguarding the environment. It also calls upon us to ensure that all people share in the earth’s resources in just and equitable fashion. The world is not only God’s gift to us here and now, but also a gift to the succeeding generations. In this way, our grandchildren and their children will be able to take delight in places like Cathedral Grove and know what it means to perceive the divine mystery in the goodness and beauty of creation.
For Catechetical Leaders – Pope Francis has designated September 1st as a World Day of Prayer for Creation. Read about this proclamation and share it with catechists and families.
Nurture a reverence for creation by gathering households in your parish together a Gather in My Name Summer Scripture event.
Download my Reflection on Psalm 148 and use it in your home or parish as a way to increase your love for all of God’s Creation.