There are some questions we often ask ourselves: which links do exist between Faith and ecology?
If we come back to the origin of the word ‘ecology’, it comes from Greek ‘oikos’ who means ‘house’ and ‘logos’ who can be translate by ‘knowledge’. We can translate that word as ‘science of the nature’.
The word ‘ecology’ was invented by Haeckel (XIXth century) to designate the science of relations between an organism and its environments. There already were some notions of interdependence (that we will find later in Pope Francis’ ‘everything is related’).
In the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si (2015), Pope Francis use the words ‘common house’ when he talks about the Earth. As Men, we have two houses. The first is our body. It is indeed the sanctuary of the soul, and we ask that it will be inhabited by God. For that, we respect it, and we take care of it. The second part of our house is this ‘common house’ that is the Earth. This Earth created by God. By Love, He gave it to us to provide to our needs and to live there.
In the beginning, God created the Earth. Then he added life by the creatures. Men were created as free and thinking creatures. Free to love, to believe… The Man is a responsible being. But what is the responsibility of the Man toward the Creation? Take the Bible, especially Genesis 1,26: “And God said, […] let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” and then Genesis 1, 28 “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” There often were a bad interpretation of the words ‘dominion’ and ‘to subdue’. God created by Love, for Love. The word ‘to subdue’ do not call for a capricious and irresponsible domination. It is a call to support the Nature to the best of itself. We are not called to literally dominate because only God can dominate the Creation.
Furthermore, let us not forget that Nature is scientifically and biologically self-ruling. God created it, and it has emancipated (Genesis 1, 11-13), it also has some liberty (but it is non-aware of it). For example, we can take the old-growth forest: it is opulent, the plants and the trees are irrigated, and the creatures regulate themselves. All of this without human intervention.
When Men intervene, they must do it in a respective way, not for intensive and harmful cultivation. The Man preserve the Nature, it is his part as guardian of the creation in order to use the resources reasonably and responsibly.
The Earth is a place of communion, but also of the presence of God and meeting with Him. Remember that God became man on this Earth.
God created the Earth by Love. He made it a gift for us. All the Creation is an act of Love. When someone we hold dear make us a gift, we take care of it. We do not spoil it or put it in a corner to forget it. We are grateful that this person pleased us. It is the same for the Earth. By respect, it is our duty to preserve it. We can forget that we will save the world because only God has this power. However, we can be actors of the preservation of the Earth. It is the concept of eco-participation to the Creation. God give us the Earth; we receive it, and we take care of it. There is a cyclic concept, where God give us responsibility and create links between Him and us, around his Creation.
Are you ready to enter in transition?
And don’t forget to love, pray and sow.
Camille for God save the Green
A quote from Laudato Si?
244. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God, for “if the world has a beginning and if it has been created, we must enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator”. Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.