Monday, February 01, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green... Or Is It?

Kermit the Frog used to sing, "It ain't easy being green" but today, in our eco-conscious climate, it seems being "green" has never been easier. It's a regular agenda, and not just from the crunchy cons, or the liberal left. Enter Pope Benedict:
Contemplating the beauty of creation inspires us to recognize the love of the Creator, that Love which “moves the sun and the other stars”.... It is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen “that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying. - Pope Benedict XVI
A Covenant with Creation? For Catholics, this whole Green Movement isn't just a passing fad. It was part of our marching orders way back in Eden; "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over all living things." For most of our subsequent story, sadly, that call to stewardship, harmony, fecundity, and dominion, has decayed into a twisted domination. The word subdue meant to remember our headship as human persons and not fall into the trap of idolatry (the earth becoming an idol). But we went too far and laid waste to the land, like little Saurons creating our own little Mordors over and over again. In the Holy Father's Message for the Celebration of the World Day for Peace, given just a few weeks ago as we entered into the year of Our Lord 2010, he called attention to the pure gift of the environment we so often take for granted, saying:
"Many people experience peace and tranquillity, renewal and reinvigoration, when they come into close contact with the beauty and harmony of nature. There exists a certain reciprocity: as we care for creation, we realize that God, through creation, cares for us."
That's a uniquely Catholic vision... a sacramental vision. God, through creation, cares for us. The stuff of the earth, the swirl of molecules, the dance of matter, the splendid mosaic of earth and sky and water; all of this grand display is a storybook for us. God speaks through it all! What a wonderful thing. Everything is full of His wonders. A line from a Peter Mayer song comes to mind; "This morning outside I stood, saw a little red-winged bird, shining like a burning bush, singing like a Scripture verse. Made me want to bow my head... everything is holy now." I think a good dose of the natural world does wonders for the soul, especially in these days when it seems only the latest gadget is capable of instilling wonder and "magic." Granted, we have some amazing works to ponder, but none are so magical as those that flow right from the Mind of God. Who can fashion a single seed, pregnant with the uniqueness of a rose, a giant Redwood, a human life? Only God. What a wonderful world! Great and wonderful are Your works O Lord! Let's give them a second look, a long and penetrating gaze, and drink in the gratuitous beauty that God filled them with. For this cup overflows just for us!
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