Monday, April 22, 2013

On Earth Day: Stewardship for Future Generations

Happy Earth Day!  I remember the first one, April 22, 1970 - the "teach-in" heard around the nation.

Today, let's remember that the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts care of the earth in the context of not harming God's creatures and not stealing from future generations.  CCC 2415-18 and 2456 says:  
Respect for the integrity of creation 
2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.
2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.
2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly...
2456 The dominion granted by the Creator over the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be separated from respect for moral obligations, including those toward generations to come.

Respect for Creation. It's what we are called to.  Pray for the planet today - and do what you can to preserve and respect it.

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