The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder’s craft.
Religion must help us to recapture much of the respect and reverence which earlier generations had for the natural world. There is, however, no way we can simply return to some idealized rustic past and forget the knowledge of the world which modern science has communicated to us.
In fact, these insights into the physical, biological and spiritual emergencies of our Earth can help us to go beyond the respect our ancestors had for the world. We see in the beauty and diversity of the myriad of life-forms a wonderful closely-related community which is fruitful if cared for but proves fragile when abused. It is a world that evokes awe, reverence, gratitude and prudent use.
The natural world is important for every religious tradition. In its beauty and abundance it is the primary revelation of God to all men and women. Like tribal people around the world, we must once again commune with God in nature.
Excerpted from Reflecting on Mission, St. Columbans, United Kingdom