In his 2015 Encyclical Letter, Pope Francis talks about how St. Francis spoke with an intimacy to all living creatures. The saint had a relationship with the world that the Pope describes as not a “naive romanticism”, but a way of living that impacts the choices we make:
“If we approach nature and the environment without an openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs.”
We can dismiss St. Francis’ love of all creatures as strange or look for the wisdom it holds.
The consumerist society that we live in sees everything as a commodity that can be traded or exchanged for a profit. We have done this to our sisters and brothers around the world through slavery and human trafficking. And we are also doing it to our world, the natural resources and the environment that we so depend on.
What is your relationship with the environment? Do you see it as a precious creation or an object to exploit?