Book: Ecology and Faith: The Writings of Pope John Paul II
Edited by Sister Ancilla Dent, OSB
Arthur James, Berkhamsted, Great Britain
Excerpt from Jacket:
Pope John Paul II, philosopher, theologian, poet, and above all man of prayer, grasps the complexities of political and scientific situations; his words often have a charismatic quality which speaks to the heart and invites personal involvement. This is particularly true with ecological and environmental issues.
These addresses, dating from 1986 to 1995, show his growing awareness of the ecological crisis and the need for a Christian response to the global challenge it presents. They show the depth and extent of his knowledge of these issues.
Ecological crises present a spiritual challenge for Christians. In these writings Pope John Paul offers practical steps forward.
Excerpt from Book:
Before this panorama of meadows, woods, streams and mountain peaks that touch the sky, we all discover afresh the desire to thank God for the wonders that He has made and we wish to listen in silence to the voice of nature, so that we can transform our admiration into prayer. For these mountains awake in our hearts the sense of the infinite with the desire to raise up our minds to what is sublime. It is the Author of Beauty Himself who created these wonders.
Today's feast has a special message for you forestry workers by reason of the ecological problem that is implied in your work. It is well know how urgent it is to spread awareness that the resources of our planet must be respected. All are involved here because the world that we inhabit reveals ever more clearly its intrinsic unity, such that the problems of conservation of its patrimony concerns peoples without distinction.
The conservation and the development of woods in whatever zone, are fundamental for the maintenance and the recomposition of the natural balances which are indispensable for life. This must be affirmed all the more today as we become aware how urgent it is to change decisively the tendency in all that leads to a disturbing form of pollution. Each single person is obliged to avoid initiatives and actions that could damage the purity of the environment. Since trees and plant life, as a whole, have an indispensable function with regard to the balance of nature, so necessary to life in all its stages, it is a matter of ever greater importance for mankind that they be protected and respected.
For the Christian there is a moral commitment to care for the earth so that it may produce fruit and become a dwelling of the universal human family.
Homily in Val Visdene, Italy, on the Feast Day of St. John Gaulbert, Patron of Foresters, 1990
Table of Contents:
The song of the inexhaustable sun
Created things have a legitimate autonomy
Dominum et vivicantem (The Lord, the Life-Giver)
The development of the small farm
The environment: interplay between humanity and nature
Solicitudo rei socialis (Concern for social issues)
Peace with God, the Creator: peace with all creation
The exploitation of the environment threatens the entire human race
Environmental ills demand political and moral answers
Greed and poverty threaten tropical forests
Space necessary for the drops of spring rain
For the Christian there is a moral commitment to care for the earth
Centesimus annus (One hundredth anniversary of encyclical on social issues)
Creation: expression of divine goodness
Prayer, work and nature must be harmonized
Called to share the table of creation
Nature helps us, like Mary, to contemplate divine mysteries
Nations need an environment ethic
Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Light)
Orientale lumen (Light of the East)
Prayer and science