During the sixties and seventies in the last century, there was a popular song in Spain which went thus: “We don’t care about those people who look at the earth and see nothing but earth!” (Raphael) According to a legend, Francis of Assisi used to stroll in the field touching grasses and flowers asking them to sing more softly.
It is possible to have different approaches to our surroundings, to the planet in which live. There is the utilitarian approach, the scientific, the poetic… and the theological. They may be compatible within themselves and be mutually enriching but only the last approach permits us to peer into the depth of reality. It can also be said of creation that it lives, moves and exists in God. (Cf. 17, 28). According to biblical thinking, the universe originates from God, who “saw that it was very good” (Gn 1, 31), and is heading towards God to participate in his very glory; it groans for that (cf. Rm 8, 22). More recently Teilhard de Chardin would say – it is moving towards the “Omega Point”.
St. John of the Cross contemplates the beauty of God in the creatures. “And having looked at them/ with his image alone/ clothed them in beauty” (Spiritual Canticle), and philosophers who believe have discovered God in them.
Pantheism is considered a deviation, for creation is limited and God cannot be creation. So to avoid confusion it has been said that “pantheism is the error closest to the truth”. “I think this sharp expression is attributed to Paschal: “in a drop of water there is as much of God than of water even though the drop of water is not God”.
In recent years, mankind’s tasks regarding creation – respect and responsibility – are being emphasized. Sound ecology is an attitude of faith and ethics. We cannot do as we please with the cosmos, for it belongs to the coming generation and we should hand it over to them healthy and beautiful.
Do I perceive in the universe a reflection of the beauty of God? Or maybe I’m living some kind of “disincarnated spiritualism”? How do I express my ecological responsibility?