July 20, 2015: Spiritual Ecology

~by Susi Pittman

The created world was given its form and being, hard-wired by God to perform as He so intended and to be interconnected and interdependent upon the whole of all creation, most especially the actions of humankind upon the environment of this magnificent planet Earth.

How incredibly strong yet fragile is this amazing place that is our home-away-from-home. As designated stewards of Earth, we as created creatures, lower than the angels yet higher than the animals, are called to address all around us with a spiritual ecology.

Looking upon the whole of creation, the creatures, plants, mountains, rocks, volcanoes, rivers, deserts, sea and sky, humankind sees that which was wanted and loved by the Creator/God first. It was not an arbitrary act by God, it was intentional. It is from this recognition that I find my own spiritual ecology. It is in the self-knowledge of myself as a created being that I center myself in this spiritual ecology.

• God always existed

• He created all that is

• All comes into existence because it is loved and wanted first by God

• All creatures receive the spirit of God

• Humankind, created uniquely different than all other creatures, receives free-will and intellect

• God entrusts creation and all creatures to our care and good stewardship

• Christ enters the world to redeem all creation

It is in my journey on this planet that I lift up my eyes and heart in a spiritual quest to know my Creator. As a Catholic, I can sit in adoration of our Lord in the sanctuary before the Blessed Sacrament in Exposition and be in the presence of Love eternal. I have never felt closer to Jesus than I do there.

Yet, that day-to-day yearning for a direct relationship can many times be satiated in the sanctuary of creation, where the rain washes our brow, we see the sun set in a resplendent array of colors, the quiet of a snow laden meadow resounds in our heads, the roar of the sea and the smell of its salt permeates our skin, or perhaps we watch a ladybug drink a drop of dew from upon a leaf. It is here where intimacy is poured into my soul, where I can meet our Creator and see the reflection of the love He has for all He has created.

The earth was made to be the home of God, a place where His divine providence satisfies the desire of every living thing. It was into this world that The Word became incarnate, so that the world indeed would be God’s dwelling place once more.

God loved the world so much that He sent it and us His only Son to redeem us and all creation from original sin and death. When The Word became flesh, every part of creation and its creatures became part of the divine embrace. Jesus was our signal to move in a new era of moral behavior, one that reflected new Christian ethics that go beyond the ethics of reason and move into a specific relationship with the world with the values of “the kingdom.” We replace contempt for creation by embracing Jesus and loving the natural world that The Word was made flesh in.

If we call ourselves Christians, Christ followers, then we must understand we are following God…thus our spiritual ecology must follow suit. As followers we build up the kingdom here, care for it and protect it. For the Lord promises an eternal renewal for not only us, but the whole of the created world and the universe.

It is by our active participation in our given mission as good stewards of the earth that we do the will of the Creator, thereby presenting Him with a pleasing gift of our love.

God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy, you who have made all things by your word and in your wisdom have established man to rule the creatures produced by you, to govern the world in holiness and justice, and to render judgment in integrity of heart; Give me Wisdom, the attendant at your throne, and reject me not from among your children; for I am your servant.

Wisdom 9:1-5

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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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