January 8, 2014: All Creation Reflects the Creator

~by Susi Pittman

Who could possibly walk atop a mountain, or waft their toes in the rolling surf and not think of the beauty they are experiencing?

Taken further, who among those of us who have pets have not seen the love held in their eyes and their devotion to us in their responsive actions?

The fact that animals give and respond exceptionally well to love is a testimony that a loving God created them, that His inspirations move in them and that He continues His care of them, whether we do or not.

Our loving Father hard-wired each creature with its unique characteristics to respond to its steward and the world about it in a certain and direct way. Creation reflects the nature of God, even in its corrupted state.

I believe that in modern times and I will specify in the last 100 years, there has been more neglect, blindness and insensitivity to the appreciation and care of animals than in all the years prior. We have allowed our human inventions and technological paths and creations to create a pride within us which sees as unnecessary, unimportant and unfeeling those creatures that have served us, protected us, offered us companionship, and have fed us. How dare we think that any other creature has any significant importance beyond ourselves? And don’t tell me I have an identity crisis!

In centuries before, humankind was dependent on both the domestic and wild animals for all the above.

I am reminded of a piece of scripture from Isaiah 66, in which it is said:

Thus says the Lord: The heavens are my throne, the earth is my footstool; what kind of house can you build for me; what is to be my resting place? My hand made all these things when all of them came to be, says the Lord. This is the one whom I approve: the lowly and afflicted man who trembles at my word.

Merely slaughtering an ox is like slaying a man; sacrificing a lamb, like breaking a dog’s neck; bringing a cereal offering, like offering swine’s blood; burning incense, like paying homage to an idol. Since these have chosen their own ways and taken pleasure in their own abominations, I in turn will choose ruthless treatment for them and bring upon them what they fear.(Isaiah 66:1-4)

Isaiah was the greatest of Old Testament prophets, one who stood before God’s throne and described the experience. He wrote with poetic perfection. The scripture above makes the point that God is the Most High and Lord of history. Isaiah uses descriptive language involving animals to press home his point, which I find very telling in itself.

First it tells us that worship and sacrifice that is strictly external is evil. The animal sacrifice given in reverent awe was the acceptable gift.

Yes, animals (those things which we treat like rubbish today) were indeed the acceptable gift to God, until He sent His only Son Jesus to fulfill His plan as the sacrifice made once for all; the whole of creation.

Animals and their well-being were important to God, and down through the ages, humankind has responded to the admonition of the scriptures which asks for good stewardship of all living things. There was a conscience about it, whether it was embraced or not, humankind at least acknowledged that the care and treatment of animals was something that carried a moral ramification. It is so different today! God isn’t acknowledged any longer as the Lord of History, having been replaced by theories of evolution and extra-terrestrials, and care of creation is rarely if ever brought up in homilies, because God forbid we might allow it to verwhelm social justice and humanism.

Which brings me to my final point.

Acknowledgement and obedience to God, Creator of all that is, brings beauty and wholeness to the world. God has used and continues to bless His animal creations to reflect to us His love, his unconditional love. I have always seen in the activities of my pets and in wild animals that they will ALWAYS first respond to God’s desire, then they respond to us. At countless moments of death, where I have held a dying animal, I witness NO fear, only complete acceptance as if they know their life isn’t ending. Oh, to have such willing acceptance at our last breath!

There must once again be a balance in understanding that humankind was given the image of God, but, that animals too were created in love. God created other lovers, the animals, to form loving relationships with humankind. All creation sings to us as lovers in harmony with an unseen force, in spite of our sinful ravaging.

It gave God pleasure to fill the world with life and to gift humankind with all of it.

All life is interconnected…we have much to learn.

As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

GOD

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.
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