“God created us
to praise, reverence, and serve God
and in this way to save our souls.
God created all of the rest of creation
to help us achieve the purpose for which
God created us.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.“ Genesis 2:15
What if we recall our role as caretakers of the Garden? What if we read and take to heart the Bible verses that proclaim God’s love for all creation?
“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.” Genesis 9:9-10
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?” Job 12:7-9
“You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
Perhaps, as St. Ignatius wrote, the rest of creation helps us when we see ourselves as part of the whole of creation. Maybe the earth, as the verse in Job tells us, really is waiting to teach us. For example, what if instead of exploiting natural resources, we learn to act as caretakers?
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
If we are “without excuse,” then we are able — with God’s help — to use our resources to nourish and heal. Then we can indeed join every living creature, the mountains, hills and trees, in praise and joy. We will clearly see the ways in which the rest of creation can help us.