This past Tuesday was the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and so this is a good time to recognize the connection between God and the world. We are taught that we should be focused on the ways of God, not the ways of the world. This is what Saint Paul is telling us when he says, “We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God,” and this prioritizing of a life connected to God, instead of the things of the world, is truly important. However, there is a danger in simplifying this idea to the point where we start to believe that the world is evil.
God created all things and of course, we know that God does not create evil, but we can fall into the trap of believing that the created world is sinful because we see bad things in the world and because scripture tells us that God has given, to the devil, dominion over the world. We must be careful to keep in mind that when God created all things he saw that they were very good. There is evil in the world and there may even be demons such as those that Jesus dealt with on many occasions, but the world, itself, is good, and at the appropriate time Jesus will return and cleanse the sinfulness out of the world, just as he cleansed those who were possessed by demons.
It is from the recognition of the goodness instilled in the world through its creation by the goodness of God, that we are called to do everything we can to care for the world. All the plants and animals have been given into our care, to utilize, yes, but to maintain and sustain. We should work to minimize air pollution and litter. If we hunt or fish we should only take what we need. We must consider the consequences of the mining we do, and the chemicals we put into the land.
And as humanity eyes the universe and plans exploration of other planets we need to consider what we are doing to the entirety of God’s creation. God has given us a position of responsibility in making us stewards of his creation, and we should take that responsibility seriously
Fr. Edward Gibney