Thought of the day
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

"'Engage in trade with these"

Benedict XVI, pope from 2005 to 2013 
Encyclical « Caritas in veritate / On integral human development in charity and truth », § 48, 50 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
"'Engage in trade with these"

The natural environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole... In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God's creative activity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs, material or otherwise, while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we end up either considering nature an untouchable taboo or, on the contrary, abusing it. Neither attitude is consonant with the Christian vision of nature as the fruit of God's creation.

Nature expresses a design of love and truth. It is prior to us, and it has been given to us by God as the setting for our life. Nature speaks to us of the Creator (Rom 1,20) and his love for humanity. It is destined to be “recapitulated” in Christ at the end of time (Eph 1,9-10; Col 1,19-20). Thus it too has a “vocation”. Nature is at our disposal not as “a heap of scattered refuse”, but as a gift of the Creator who has given it an inbuilt order, enabling man to draw from it the principles needed in order “to till it and keep it” (Gn 2,15)…

Human beings legitimately exercise a responsible stewardship over nature, in order to protect it, to enjoy its fruits and to cultivate it in new ways, with the assistance of advanced technologies, so that it can worthily accommodate and feed the world's population. On this earth there is room for everyone: here the entire human family must find the resources to live with dignity… At the same time we must recognize our grave duty to hand the earth on to future generations in such a condition that they too can worthily inhabit it and continue to cultivate it.

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