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Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Lord, the giver of life

On this eve of Pentecost—this solemnity of divine life animating a people in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church—a few environmental stories are resonating with what we know of our relationship (or lack thereof) with the Lord, the giver of life.

In the psalm proclaimed at today’s Mass, we hear these words: 
Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! How manifold are your works, O LORD! the earth is full of your creatures; 
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD be glad in his works! Pleasing to him be my theme; I will be glad in the LORD. 
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
The connection between creation and the Creator is one that we may take for granted. But the psalmist and the Church do not. Nor should we.

I am increasingly convinced that the solutions to our global ecological ills will be found (and implemented) only through the truth and grace offered by God through His Church—by the Spirit that first swept over the "waters" of the abyss to bring about all that we know and love today.

And so I am delighted by news of the Church offering her voice to particular ecological ills. And I am not surprised about other news that demonstrates how politics is not the most helpful force for the betterment of man’s relation to nature, especially when one must balance job creation with the stewardship of creation itself.

Simply put: None of the planning, calls for disinvestment, protests, online petitions, boycotts, educational programs, or whatever else that we humans work toward for the good of the planet will offer much fruit if they are not first baptized by the grace of God. Calling to mind the psalm, our work will stir only dust unless it is truly the work of the Spirit—and then it will stir hearts and change lives and lifestyles for the good of humanity and all creation.

And so as we leave the Season of Easter and travel through Pentecost towards next Sunday’s Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, let those of us who seek to protect our planet’s ecosystems remember now and always that it is and will be the Triune God—Who is love and relationship—that will animate our best natures. For it is Christ, in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit, that takes away the sins of the world.

For Catholic ecologists, every day is not only Earth Day. Every day must also be Pentecost.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, I do think you've surpassed yourself. This is beautiful, brilliant writing. Please file this away for your book proposal, really! I for one will be so proud for PP to have a book by you.
    Give my love to Rhody. I must make one more trip there before the season makes it too crowded and expensive.


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