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Saint John Paul II: Quotes on Ecology and the Environment, page 5
Presence of the Holy Spirit in Creation  Creation is God's free communication of love, a communication which, out of nothing, brings everything into being. There is nothing created that is not filled with the ceaseless exchange of love that marks the innermost life of the Trinity, filled that is with the Holy Spirit: "the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world" (Wis 1:7). The presence of the Spirit in creation generates order, harmony, and interdependence in all that exists... The presence of the Spirit in creation and history points to Jesus Christ in whom creation and history are redeemed and fulfilled. The presence and action of the Spirit both before the Incarnation and in the climactic moment of Pentecost point always to Jesus and to the salvation he brings. So too the Holy Spirit's universal presence can never be separated from his activity within the Body of Christ, the Church. + Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in Asia, November 6, 1999 Light of the East In the liturgical experience, Christ the Lord is the light which illuminates the way and reveals the transparency of the cosmos, precisely as in scripture. The events of the past find in Christ their meaning and fullness, and creation is revealed for what it is–a complex whole which finds its perfection–its purpose–in the liturgy alone. This is why the liturgy is heaven on earth and, in the Word who became flesh, imbues matter with a saving potential which is fully manifest in the sacraments. There creation communicates to each individual the power conferred on it by Christ. Thus the Lord, immersed in the Jordan, transmits to the waters a power which enables them to become the bath of baptismal renewal.  Within this framework liturgical prayer in the East shows a great aptitude for involving the human person in his or her totality. This total involvement of the person in his rational and emotional aspects, in ecstasy and in immanence, is of great interest and a wonderful way to understand the meaning of created realities: these are neither absolute nor a den of sin and iniquity. In the liturgy things reveal their own nature as a gift offered by the Creator to humanity–”God saw everything that He had made and it was very good” (Genesis 1.31). Though all this is marked by the tragedy of sin, which weighs down matter and obscures its clarity, the latter is redeemed in the Incarnation and becomes fully “theophoric”–that is capable of putting us in touch with the Father. This property is most apparent in the sacraments of the Church. Cosmic reality is also summoned to give thanks because the whole universe is called to recapitulation in Christ the Lord. This concept expresses a balanced and marvelous teaching on the dignity, respect and purpose of creation and of the human body in particular. With the rejection of all dualism and every cult of pleasure as an end in itself, the body becomes a place made luminous by grace and thus fully human. To those who seek a truly meaningful relationship with themselves and with the cosmos, so often disfigured by selfishness and greed, the liturgy reveals the way to harmony of the new man and invites him to respect the Eucharistic potential of the created world. That world is destined to be assured in the Eucharist of the Lord, in His Passover present in the sacrifice of the altar. + Apostolic letter, 1995 Illusions of Consumerism Devote time and attention to the laity, particularly to the young, who are the Church's future: teach them to meet Christ in liturgical prayer... to strive for difficult goals as befits the children of martyrs. Teach them to reject the facile illusions of consumerism, to stay in their land, so that together they can build a future of peace and prosperity... + May 8, 19XX, Visit to Romania Man is Priest of All Creation    According to the apostle, St. Paul, prayer reflects all created reality–it is, in a certain sense, a cosmic function. Man is the priest of all creation: he speaks in its name, but only insofar as he is guided by the Spirit. In order to understand profoundly the meaning of prayer, one should meditate for a long time on the following passage from the Letter to the Romans: “For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved” (Rom 8:19-24). And here again we come across the apostle's words: “The Spirit, too, comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8.26). One can and must pray in many different ways as the Bible teaches through a multitude of examples. The Book of Psalms is irreplaceable. We must pray with inexpressible groanings in order to enter into the rhythm with the Spirit's own entreaties. To obtain forgiveness, one must implore, becoming part of the loud cries of Christ, the Redeemer (Hebrews 5.7). Through all this one must proclaim glory. Prayer is always an opus gloriae–a work, a labor of glory. Man is priest of all creation. Christ conferred on him this dignity, this vocation. Creation completes its opus gloriae both by being what it is and by its ability to become what it should be. In a certain sense, science and technology also contribute to this goal. But, at the same time, since they are human works, they can be led away from this goal. In our own civilization, in particular, there is such a risk, making it difficult for our civilization to be one of life and love. Missing is, precisely, the opus gloriae, which is the fundamental destiny of every creature and, above all, of man, who was created in order to become in Christ the priest, prophet, and king of all earthly creatures. + Crossing the Threshold of Hope, 1995 Human Health and the Environment The environment, in fact, is connected with the health of the individual and of the population: it constitutes the human being’s “home” and the complex of resources entrusted to his care and stewardship, “the garden to be tended and the field to be cultivated”. But the external ecology of the person must be combined with an interior, moral ecology, the only one which is fitting for a proper concept of health. Considered in its entirety, human health thus becomes an attribute of life, a resource for the service of one’s neighbor and openness to salvation.  + MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FOR THE WORLD DAY OF THE SICK FOR THE YEAR 2000, August 6, 1999   Hearing the Word and the Spirit in Cosmic Revelation "How greatly to be desired are all his works, and how sparkling they are to see! Though we speak much we cannot reach the end, and the sum of our words is: 'He is the all.' For he is greater than all his works" (Sir 42:22, 43:27- 28). These wonderful words of Sirach summarize the song of praise raised at all times and under all skies, to the Creator who reveals himself through the immensity and splendor of his works. Even though imperfectly, numerous voices have recognized in creation the presence of its Author and Lord. Looking at his sun god, an ancient Egyptian king and poet cried: "How numerous are your works! They are hidden from our sight; you, the only God, outside of whom nothing exists, you have created the earth according to your will, when you were alone" (Hymn to Aton, Cf. J.B. Pritchard [ed], Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Princeton 1969, pp. 369-371). A few centuries later, in a wonderful hymn, a Greek philosopher praised the divinity that manifests itself in nature, particularly in man: "We are of your stock, and we have your word as a reflection of your mind, we alone among all the animated beings that on earth have life and movement" (Cleante, Hymn to Zeus v. 4-5). Paul, the apostle, took up this prayer, quoting it in his address to the Areopagus of Athens (Cf. Acts 17:28). The hearing of the word that the Creator has entrusted to the works of his hands is also asked of the faithful Muslim: "O men, adore your Lord who has created you and those who were before you, and fear God, who has made the earth a carpet for you and of the sky a castle, and has made water come down from the sky with which to extract from the earth those fruits that are your daily food" (Koran II, 21-23). The Hebrew tradition, which flowered on the fertile terrain of the Bible, discovered God's personal presence in every corner of creation: "Wherever I go, you are! Wherever I stop, you are! You alone, you again, you always! Heaven, you; earth, you; above, you; below, you! Wherever I turn, whatever I admire: only you, again you, always you!" (M. Buber, Stories of the Chassidim, Milan, 1979, p. 276). The biblical Revelation is embedded in this broad experience of the religious sense and human prayer, sealed by the divine. By communicating the mystery of the Trinity, it helps us to extract from creation itself not only the imprint of the Father, source of every being, but also that of the Son and the Spirit. When he contemplates the heavens with the Psalmist, the Christian turns to the whole Trinity: "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). "The heavens," therefore, "are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world" (Psalm 19:2-5). The soul's ear must be free from sounds to hear this divine voice that resounds in the universe. Therefore, along with the revelation specifically contained in Sacred Scripture, there is a divine manifestation in the shining sun and in the nightfall. In a certain sense, nature is also "God's book". We can ask ourselves how the contemplation of the Trinity can be developed through creation, perceiving not only generically the reflection of the only God but also the imprint of the individual divine Persons. In fact, if it is true that "the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three principles of creation, but only one" (Council of Florence: DS 1331), it is also true that "every divine Person carries out the common works according to his personal property" (CCC 258). When we now admiringly contemplate the universe in its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity, but in a special way our thoughts go to the Father, from whom everything springs, as the fullness and source of being itself. If we then look at the order that rules the cosmos and we admire the wisdom with which the Father has created it, giving it laws that regulate its existence, it is spontaneous for us to to look to the eternal Son, whom Scripture presents as the Word (Cf. Jn 1:1-3) and divine Wisdom (Cf. 1 Cor 1:24,30). In the wonderful song that Wisdom intones in the Book of Proverbs, which was mentioned at the beginning of our meeting, the latter appears "constituted since eternity, since the beginning" (Prov 8:24). Wisdom was present at the time of creation "as master workman," ready to delight "in the children of men" (Cf. Prov 8:30-31). Christian tradition has seen the face of Christ under these aspects, "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col 1:15-17; Cf. Jn 1:3). In light of the Christian faith, creation then evokes the Holy Spirit in a special way, in the dynamism that contrasts the relations of things within the macrocosm and microcosm, and that manifests itself above all where life is born and develops. In the strength of this experience, even in cultures that are foreign to Christianity, the presence of God is perceived as "spirit" that animates the world. There is also Virgil's famous expression: "spiritus intus alit," "the spirit nourishes from within" (Aeneid, VI, 726). However, for the Christian such an evocation of the Spirit would be unacceptable, as it refers to a kind of "world soul" understood in the pantheistic sense. Yet, excluding this error, it remains true that every form of life, animation, love goes back in the last analysis to that of the Spirit, of whom Genesis says that he moved "over the face of the waters" (Gen 1:2) at the dawn of creation and in which Christians, in the light of the New Testament, recognize a reference to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. In fact, in its biblical concept, creation "implies not only the call into existence of the being itself and of the cosmos, namely the giving of existence, but also the presence of the Spirit of God in creation, that is, the beginning of the saving communication of God to the things he creates, which is meaningful first of all for man, who was created in the image and likeness of God" (Dominum et vivificantem, n. 12). Before the unfolding of cosmic revelation, we announce the work of God with the word of the Psalmist: "When you send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30). + General Audience Address, August 2, 2000 New Era Brought by Christ God's plan for salvation, "the mystery of his will" (Ephesians 1:9) concerning every creature, is expressed in the Letter to the Ephesians with a characteristic term: "recapitulate" all things, heavenly and earthly, in Christ (see Ephesians 1:10). One can imagine the rod around which was wrapped the scroll of parchment or papyrus of the volume, bearing the writing: Christ gives a unitary meaning to all syllables, words, works of creation, and of history. The first to take up this topic of "recapitulation" and develop it in a wonderful way was St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, great second-century Father of the Church. In face of any fragmentation of the history of salvation, any separation between the Old and New Alliance, any dispersion of revelation and divine action, Irenaeus exalts the only Lord, Jesus Christ, who in the Incarnation brings together in himself the whole history of salvation, humanity, and the whole of creation: "He, the Eternal King, recapitulates everything in himself" ("Adversus haereses" III, 21,9). Let us hear a passage in which this Father of the Church comments on the words of the Apostle relating, precisely, to the recapitulation in Christ of all things. In the expression "all things"–Irenaeus affirms–man is included, touched by the mystery of the Incarnation, when the Son of God "from invisible becomes visible, from incomprehensible comprehensible, from impassible passible, being Word became man. He has recapitulated everything in himself, in order that, as the Word of God, he has primacy over supernatural beings, spiritual and invisible; in the same way he may have it over visible and corporeal beings. Assuming this primacy in himself and giving himself as head to the Church, he attracts everything to himself" ("Adversus haereses" III, 16,6). This confluence of all being in Christ, center of time and space, is fulfilled progressively in history, overcoming the obstacles, the resistance of sin, and of the Evil One. In order to illustrate this tension, Irenaeus takes recourse to the opposition, already presented by St. Paul, between Christ and Adam (see Romans 5:12-21): Christ is the new Adam, namely, the first born of faithful humanity, who accepts with love and obedience the plan of Redemption that God has designed as the soul and goal of history. Christ must, therefore, cancel the work of devastation, the horrible idolatry, violence and every sin that the rebellious Adam has spread in the secular affairs of humanity and on the horizon of creation. With his complete obedience to the Father, Christ opens the era of peace with God and among men, reconciling in himself scattered humanity (see Ephesians 2:16). He "recapitulates" Adam in himself, in whom the whole of humanity recognizes itself; he transfigures him into son of God, he brings him to full communion with the Father. Precisely through his fraternity with us in the flesh and blood, in life and death, Christ becomes "the head" of saved humanity. Again, St. Irenaeus writes: "Christ has recapitulated in himself all the blood poured out by all the just and all the prophets who have existed from the beginning" ("Adversus haereses" V, 14,1; see V, 14,2). The good and the evil, therefore, are considered in the light of the redemptive work of Christ. The latter, as Paul helps us intuit, involves the whole of creation, in the variety of its components (see Romans 8:18-30). Nature itself, in fact, subjected as it is to lack of meaning, degradation and devastation caused by sin, thus participates in the joy of the deliverance brought about by Christ in the Holy Spirit. Thus is the full action of the original plan of the Creator delineated: a creation in which God and man, man and woman, humanity and nature are in harmony, in dialogue, in communion. This plan, upset by sin, was taken up in a more wondrous way by Christ, who is carrying it out mysteriously but effectively in the present reality, in the expectation of bringing it to fulfillment. Jesus himself declared he is the fulcrum and point of convergence of this design of salvation when he affirmed: "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32). And John the Evangelist presents this very work as a kind of recapitulation, "to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad" (John 11:52). This work will reach completion in the fulfillment of history when–as Paul, again, reminds us–"God may be everything to every one" (1 Corinthians 15:28). The last page of the Apocalypse–which was proclaimed at the opening of our meeting–describes in bright colors this goal. The Church and the Spirit await and invoke that moment when Christ "delivers the kingdom to God the Father, after destroying every rule and every authority and power... The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For God has put all things in subjection under the feet" of his Son (1 Corinthians 15:24,26). At the end of this battle–sung in wonderful pages of the Apocalypse–Christ will fulfill the "recapitulation" and those who will be united to him will form the community of the redeemed, which "will not be wounded by any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community. The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1045). With her sight fixed on that day of light, the Church, beloved Bride of the Lamb, raises the ardent invocation: "Maranatha" (1 Corinthians 16:22), "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Apocalypse 22:20). + General Audience, February 14, 2001. Secret of True Peace The dignity of the human person is a transcendent value, always recognized as such by those who sincerely search for the truth. Indeed, the whole of human history should be interpreted in the light of this certainty. Every person, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gn. 1:26-28) and therefore radically oriented towards the Creator, is constantly in relationship with those possessed of the same dignity. To promote the good of the individual is thus to serve the common good, which is that point where rights and duties converge and reinforce one another.    The history of our time has shown in a tragic way the danger which results from forgetting the truth about the human person. Before our eyes we have the results of ideologies such as Marxism, Nazism and Fascism, and also of myths like racial superiority, nationalism and ethnic exclusivism. No less pernicious, though not always as obvious, are the effects of materialistic consumerism, in which the exaltation of the individual and the selfish satisfaction of personal aspirations become the ultimate goal of life. In this outlook, the negative effects on others are considered completely irrelevant. Instead it must be said again that no affront to human dignity can be ignored, whatever its source, whatever actual form it takes and wherever it occurs...   To choose life involves rejecting every form of violence: the violence of poverty and hunger, which afflicts so many human beings; the violence of armed conflict; the violence of criminal trafficking in drugs and arms; the violence of mindless damage to the natural environment. In every circumstance, the right to life must be promoted and safeguarded with appropriate legal and political guarantees, for no offense against the right to life, against the dignity of any single person, is ever unimportant...   The promotion of human dignity is linked to the right to a healthy environment, since this right highlights the dynamics of the relationship between the individual and society. A body of international, regional and national norms on the environment is gradually giving juridic form to this right. But juridic measures by themselves are not sufficient. The danger of serious damage to land and sea, and to the climate, flora and fauna, calls for a profound change in modern civilization's typical consumer lifestyle, particularly in the richer countries. Nor can we underestimate another risk, even if it is a less drastic one: people who live in poverty in rural areas can be driven by necessity to exploit beyond sustainable limits the little land which they have at their disposal. Special training aimed at teaching them how to harmonize the cultivation of the land with respect for the environment needs to be encouraged.    The world’s present and future depend on the safeguarding of creation, because of the endless interdependence between human beings and their environment. Placing human well-being at the center of concern for the environment is actually the surest way of safeguarding creation; this in fact stimulates the responsibility of the individual with regard to natural resources and their judicious use...   + Respect for Human Rights: The Secret of True Peace, January 1, 1999 Priorities Let us not be overwhelmed by the distress of the present time. Let us instead open our hearts and minds to the great challenges lying before us: the defense of the sacredness of human life in all circumstances, especially in relation to the challenges posed by genetic manipulation; the promotion of the family, the basic unit of society; the elimination of poverty, through efforts to promote development, the reduction of debt and the opening up of international trade; respect for human rights in all situations, with especial concern for the most vulnerable: children, women and refugees; disarmament, the reduction of arms sales to poor countries, and the consolidation of peace after the end of conflicts; the fight against the major diseases, and access by the poor to basic care and medicines; the protection of the environment and the prevention of natural disasters; the rigorous application of international law and conventions. Of course, many other demands could also be mentioned. But if these priorities became the central concerns of political leaders; if people of good made them part of their daily endeavors; if religious believers included them in their teaching, the world would be a radically different place. + Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 10, 2002 Birth of the Son of God In the birth of the Son of God from the virginal womb of Mary, Christians recognize the infinite descent of the Most High to man and the whole of creation. + General audience, January  2, 2002 Spokesman of Creation Although one can think that the whole of life of the created should be a hymn of praise to the Creator, it is more precise, however, to maintain that a position of primacy in this choir is reserved to the human creature. Through the human being, spokesman of the whole of creation, all the living praise the Lord. Our breath of life, which also spells self-consciousness, awareness, and liberty (see Proverbs 20:27), becomes a song and prayer of the whole of life that vibrates in the universe. This is why all of us must address one another "with Psalms, hymns, spiritual canticles, singing and praising the Lord" with all our heart (Ephesians 5:19). + General Audience, Meditation on Psalm 150, January 9, 2002 Flowerbed of the Universe We praise God for the beauty of the cosmos and of the earth, the marvelous "garden" that he entrusted to men and women in order that they might cultivate it and tend it (cf. Gen 2:15). It is good that people remember that they find themselves in a "flowerbed" of the immense universe, created for them by God. It is important for people to realize that neither they nor the matters which they so frantically pursue are "everything". Only God is "everything", and in the end everyone will have to give an accounting of themselves to him. We praise God, the Creator and Lord of the universe, for the gift of life and especially human life, which has blossomed on this planet through the mysterious plan of his goodness. Life in all its forms is entrusted in a special way to the care of man. + Discourse After Testimonies for Peace, At the Day of Prayer for Peace, January 24, 2002 God With Us  God is like this, both distant and yet close, someone beyond us yet beside us, in fact willing to be with us and in us.  The earth responds with a chorus of praise to the revelation of his majesty: it is a cosmic response, a prayer to which man gives voice. + General Audience Address, May 15, 2002 Psalm 18 [19]: An Invitation to Discover God's Presence in Creation The sun, with its increasing brilliance in the sky, the splendor of its light, and the beneficent warmth of its rays, has captivated humanity since the beginning. In many ways human beings have manifested their gratitude for this source of life and well-being, with an enthusiasm that often reaches the height of authentic poetry. The wonderful Psalm 18[19], the first part of which we have just proclaimed, is not only a prayer in the form of a hymn of extraordinary intensity; but is also a poetic song addressed to the sun and its shining on the face of the earth... God illuminates the universe with the brilliance of the sun and illuminates humanity with the splendor of his Word contained in biblical Revelation. It is almost like a double sun: The first is a cosmic epiphany of the Creator; the second is a historical and free manifestation of the Savior God... But let us go back now to the first part of the Psalm. It begins with a wonderful personification of the heavens, which to the sacred Author appear as eloquent witnesses of the creative work of God (verses 2-5). They, in fact, "narrate," "announce" the wonders of the divine work (see verse 2). The day and night are also represented as messengers that transmit the great news of creation. This is a silent testimony, which nevertheless makes itself forcefully heard as a voice throughout the cosmos. With the interior vision of the soul, with religious intuition not distracted by superficiality, man and woman can discover that the world is not dumb but speaks of the Creator. As the ancient sage said, "From the greatness and beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen" (Wisdom 13:5). St. Paul also reminds the Romans that "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made" (Romans 1:20). Then the hymn gives way to the sun. The luminous globe is depicted by the inspired poet as a heroic warrior who leaves the chamber where he spent the night, emerges from the heart of darkness and begins his inexhaustible course in the heavens (verses 6-7). It is like an athlete who never pauses or is exhausted, while the whole of our planet is enveloped in its irresistible warmth. Hence, the sun is compared to a spouse, a hero, a champion who, by divine order, must fulfill a task every day, a conquest, and a race in the sidereal spaces. The Psalmist thus points to the flaming sun in mid-sky, while all the earth is enveloped by its heat, the air is still, no angle of the horizon can escape from its light. The solar image of the Psalm is taken up by the Christian paschal liturgy to describe the triumphant exodus of Christ from the darkness of the sepulcher and his entry into the fullness of the new life of the resurrection. The Byzantine liturgy sings in the matins of Holy Saturday: "As the sun rises after the night totally radiant in its renewed luminosity, so you also, O Word, will shine in a new brightness when, after death, you will leave your nuptial bed." An ode (the first) of Easter matins links the cosmic revelation with Christ's paschal event: "Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult with it, because the whole universe, both the visible and invisible, takes part in this celebration: Christ, our everlasting joy, has risen." And another ode (the third) adds: "Today the whole universe, heaven, earth and abyss, is full of light and the whole of creation sings the resurrection of Christ, our strength and our joy." Finally, another ode (the fourth) concludes: "Christ our Pasch has risen from the tomb as a sun of justice shining on all of us the splendor of his charity." The Roman liturgy is not as explicit as the Eastern in comparing Christ to the sun. Nevertheless, it describes the cosmic repercussions of his Resurrection, when it begins its song of lauds on Easter morning with the famous hymn: "The dawn is radiant with light, the heavens exult with songs, the world dances with joy, hell moans with cries". The Christian interpretation of the Psalm, however, does not cancel its basic message, which is an invitation to discover the divine word present in creation. Of course, as stated in the second part of the Psalm, there is another and higher Word, more precious than light itself, that of biblical Revelation. For those who have attentive ears and unveiled eyes, creation is like a first revelation, which has its own eloquent language: It is almost like another sacred book whose letters are represented by the multitude of creatures present in the universe. St. John Chrysostom says: "The silence of the heavens is a voice that resounds more intensely than a trumpet: This voice cries to our eyes, and not to our ears, the grandeur of the one who made it" (PG 49, 105). And St. Athanasius: "The firmament, through its magnificence, beauty and order, is a prestigious preacher of its author, whose eloquence fills the universe" (PG 27, 124). ...Psalm 18[19] praises God for his works of creation. The first part of the Psalm speaks of the heavens and the marvelous signs of God’s glory contained in them. The second part presents a very poetic description of the sun, which by its light and warmth gives life to man. The Christian tradition gives further meaning to this imagery of the sun, seeing in it a representation of Christ’s Resurrection, of the Lord’s triumph over the darkness of sin and death. This Psalm is an invitation to discover God’s presence in creation, and to welcome his saving word, more precious than the light of the sun. Creation therefore remains a kind of first revelation which speaks to us clearly of the Creator and which can lead us ever more deeply into the mystery of God’s love for us. + General Audience Address, January 30, 2002 Psalm 65: God's Loving Care and Saving Grace In the Bible, creation is where humanity dwells and sin is an attack against the world's order and perfection.  Conversion and forgiveness, however, restore integrity and harmony to the cosmos... The psalmist uses ten verbs to describe this loving action of the Creator on earth, which is transformed into a sort of living creature. Indeed, the works of creation "cheer and sing for joy" (Psalm 65:14)... Together, all creatures turn to their Creator and King, as though they are in a procession where they are dancing, singing, praising, and praying. Once again nature becomes an eloquent symbol of God's action: it is a page that is open to everyone, ready to manifest the message that the Creator traced on it, because "from the greatness and beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen" (Wisdom 13:5, see Romans 1:20)... The psalmist looks forward throughout his song to an intense encounter where creation and redemption become one. As the earth is revived in springtime through the work of the Creator, so, too, man rises from his sin through the work of his Redeemer. In this way, creation and history are under the caring and saving gaze of the Lord, who conquers the roaring, destructive waters and gives us water that purifies us, makes us fruitful and quenches our thirst. Indeed, the Lord "heals the broken hearted, binds up their wounds," but also "covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, makes grass sprout on the mountains" (Psalm 147:3,8). + March 6, 2002, Weekly General Audience  © Copyright 1978 Libreria Editrice Vaticana  More quotes by Saint John Paul II ->  
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