Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day

Apple trees beginning to bud
on Easter 

Earth Day reminds us to be more aware of God's gifts in creation and how we are each called to care for this gift with reverence. 
Pope Francis has appealed to mankind not manipulate or exploit the planet.

Spring blossoms beginning
to brighten the Easter day.
Speaking at the end of the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square the Pope noted that on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day.

“I exhort everyone to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the earth is an environment to be safeguarded, a garden to be cultivated” he said.

Francis continued: “The relationship of mankind with nature must not be conducted with greed, manipulation and exploitation, but it must conserve the divine harmony that exists between creatures and Creation within the logic of respect and care, so it can be put to the service of our brothers, also of future generations”.  Vatican Radio 22 April 2015
Lilacs preparing to bloom.
A view into the evergreen canopy,
complete with a chatty squirrel.
The Rule of Benedict has no specific chapter on the earth.  However, chapter 31 "What Kind of Monk the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be" indicates how all the monastics are to care for not only the goods, but also the land of the monastery; "Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery and its whole property as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar. Let him not think that he may neglect anything. He should be neither a miser nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance, but should do all things with measure and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions."  

Chapter 32 on the Tools and Property of the Monastery reminds us that "If anyone treats the monastery's property in a slovenly or careless way, let her be corrected. If she fails to amend, let her undergo the discipline of the Rule." Over and over the care of command to care for the monastery's physical goods and property is understood as an extension of our care for the monastery's sacred goods used in liturgy; both are a gift from God. Finally, all throughout Benedict's Rule is a call to moderation in all things. This carries over to our demands of the earth in our development of gardens to share in the flowers and fruits of the earth.


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