Year of Faith and The Environment Part One


Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Life, Justice and Peace

Creation Sustainability Ministry

Year of Faith and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

 

“I…hope that we will make this the year when we begin the habit of life-long learning in our faith. A good place to start is to study the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), especially as they are expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.” (9)

“…I recommend that in this Year of Faith, we begin a practical study of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church in our parishes and our homes.” (12)

Jose Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles

Witness to the New World of Faith: A Pastoral Letter to the Family of God in Los Angeles on the New Evangelization and Our Missionary Call (October 2012)

 

Chapter Ten of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Safeguarding the Environment

Thoughts and Reflection Questions on Biblical Aspects, 451-455

 

God’s presence, at work throughout history and the crafting of creation, is defined in foundational Biblical texts expressing hope in the promise of God’s goodness.

“…of his people God can say: ”I took your father Abraham from beyond the river” (Josh 24:3).  This reflection permits us to look to the future with hope, sustained by the promise and the covenant that God continually renews…” (451)

 

Entrusted with responsible management of the gift of creation, requires not an adversarial relationship but a dialogue with God affirming the goodness of humanity created in his image.

“…as the gift itself of God, as the place and plan that he entrusts to the responsible management and activity of man…The Lord entrusted all of creation to their responsibility, charging them to care for its harmony and development…” (451)

 

Even amidst sin, creation is a source of praise further honed in salvation history.

“Creation is always an object of praise in Israel’s prayer: “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all” (Ps 104:24)…” (452)

 

Jesus dwelt in the physical elements of nature and infused their meaning into parables.

“…The Lord puts nature at the service of his plan of redemption.  He asks his disciples to look at things, at the seasons and at people with the trust of children who know that they will never be abandoned by a provident Father…” (453)

 

In the Resurrection, Jesus gives a glimpse of reconciliation to a new peace.

“…Knowledge of the imbalance existing between man and nature should be accompanied by an awareness that in Jesus the reconciliation of man and the world with God—such that every human being, aware of divine love, can find anew the peace that was lost…” (454)

 

This is a liberation, guided by love, to be fully seen in the fullness of salvation.

“Not only is the inner man made whole once more, but his entire nature as a corporeal being is touched by the redeeming power of Christ.  The whole of creation participates in the renewal flowing from the Lord’s Paschal Mystery, although it still awaits full liberation…Whatever his condition of life may be, the Christian is called to serve Christ, to live according to the Spirit, guided by love, the principle of new life, that brings the world and man back to their original destiny…” (455)

 

To read the full text of sections 451 through 455 visit:

 

Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion

 

“…The Lord entrusted all of creation to their responsibility, charging them to care for its harmony and development…” (451)

What actions have you taken this past week to care for the harmony and development of creation?

 

“…Creation is always an object of praise in Israel’s prayer…” (452)

Compose your prayer of praise for creation.

 

“…In his public ministry, Jesus makes use of natural elements…” (453)

Reflect and share on times in your life when you have felt renewed, awed and trusting in God’s providence from an experience in nature.

 

“…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…Nature, which was created in the Word is, by the same Word made flesh, reconciled to God and given new peace…” (454)

Each time we approach the Eucharistic table, how do we let the Paschal Mystery transform us anew with peace?

 

“…The whole of creation participates in the renewal flowing from the Lord’s Paschal Mystery…the Christian is called to serve Christ, to live according to his spirit, guided by love…” (455)

How do you live according to the Spirit, guided by love, to acclaim the gift of creation?

 

Barb Born March 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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