In his latest encyclical, Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis states that “the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illuminate the future.” To illuminate our future Pope Francis proposes a unique light capable of shining upon “every aspect of the human existence.” This is the light of faith that is “born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love.” It is through this powerful light of faith that we can illuminate our future. In order that for this to happen we need to encounter God and accept God’s call and love. These are revealed in our present.
From the perspective of the present, I would like to consider the relationship between the “natural ecology and the human ecology,” as John Paul II called the relationship between humans and the environment. How can the light of faith illuminate this relationship? The answer to this question is given by Pope Francis, as he states:
Faith …, by revealing the love of God the Creator, enables us to respect nature all the more, and to discern in it a grammar written by the hand of God and a dwelling place entrusted to our protection and care.
According to the Holy Father, faith enables humans to discern how we must protect and take care of God’s natural creation. It is precisely faith acting as a hermeneutical tool through which we can see our role as stewards of God’s creation. In doing so, we also rediscover our role as a human community. The encounter with the living God transforms us and helps us gain a fresh vision, one with new eyes to see others and their needs.
Faith, the result of this encounter with the living God, as Pope Francis says, “helps us to devise models of development which are based not simply on utility and profit, but [which]consider creation as a gift for which we are all indebted. ” It is this light of faith that also makes us create a community where God’s gifts are shared by all. In such an enlightened community injustices such as those suffered by the most vulnerable in our society are mitigated and eventually remedied and the poor are protected and helped to flourish.
It is only through the light of faith that we can illuminate the present and future of our relationship with the environment. It is only through the light of faith that we are aware of our commitment to all of God’s creation.
2013 © Nelson Araque. All Rights Reserved.