Appreciating the Natural World

April 1, 2011

“The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed laws, violating the statues, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5)

I am convinced that both human beings and other members of the Earth community have reached a critical point. We can no longer take the natural world for granted as if it will always be there unchanged. We must begin to care actively for the dynamic stability and regenerative powers of the Earth.

Famine in Africa gives us a glimpse of what life might be like for countless millions in the future if the fertility of the Earth is impaired. While drought is the immediate cause of many famine situations, overgrazing or inappropriate agriculture has eroded topsoil and turned once fertile land into desert. In every region of the world human beings need to discover a new, less exploitative relationship with the natural world. In our efforts to seek this new relationship, religion must play a significant role

Reflect: Appreciate the new life around you this springtime. Think of examples from the life of Jesus where he demonstrated his respect for the natural world and his choice for living simply.

Excerpted from To Care for the Earth by Columban Fr. Sean McDonagh