The social teaching of the Church is aimed at building a just society and helping us live lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Over this week, we have addressed the key elements of this social teaching.
The seventh pillar on which the social teaching of the Church rests is: care for God’s creation. This pillar reminds us to show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.
We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.
“The dominion granted to man by the Creator is not an absolute power, nor can one speak of a freedom to ‘use and misuse, or to dispose of things as one pleases. The limitation imposed from the beginning by the Creator Himself and expressed symbolically by the prohibition not to ‘eat of the fruit of the tree”’(Genesis 2, 16-17) shows clearly enough that, when it comes to the natural world, we are subject not only to biological laws, but also to moral ones, which cannot be violated with impunity. A true concept of “development” cannot ignore the use of the elements of nature, the renewability of resources, and the consequences of haphazard industrialization – three considerations which alert our consciences to the moral dimension of development.” (St. John Paul II, On Social Concerns)
Let us pray. “God of all creation, your goodness and glory shine forth through everything you have made. Through the light of faith, help us to see this world, our common home, not as a resource to dominate and exploit, but as a gift to be cherished by all generations. Prompted by your Spirit, we ask this in the name of Jesus, through whom all creation was made. Amen.”