Sunday, March 31, 2013


** by Br Allam Manoj 

Devoid of nature we cannot live, move and have our being here on earth. Nature, with its infinite variety, is God’s gift to humanity. Nature with her cycle of birth and death, her season, her flowers and fruits sustain us. At the same time the whole nature is a silent, incomplete book of God, but what has happened to this planet earth of ours? Forests are shrinking, water tables are falling, temperatures are rising, coral rears are drying, glaciers are melting, animals and plants are becoming extinct, the biosphere is being poisoned, the ozone layer is being depleted year by year, global warming is on the increase, the cycle of season appears to have gone awry, but we are not taking care of the nature properly. Rather we should keep the environment and nature spick and span. Due to our bad deeds in this present scenario there will be deforestation and inevitable increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, we should remember that we are custodians of nature, not her ruthless exploiters.
Here Francis of Assisi offers fresh hopes and renewed thinking about the nature. He has an excellent and breathtaking fascination for nature. In other words, he deepens his ineffable love for God and nature. In fact, Francis’s remarkable admiration and tremendous love for nature offered him golden opportunities to revive his drooping spirit and to renew his spiritual strength. Of all the sufferings that Francis had endured, the stigmata was perhaps the most excruciating. In those moments of intolerable pain, the poor little man of Assisi said, “For his praise, I wish to compose a new hymn about the nature which we daily use, without which we cannot live, and with which the human race greatly offends its creator.” In other words, we should love the nature and we should not spoil the beautiful nature, because it is an open book, whose author is God.

In fact, God wants not only the humanity, but also the entire creation to be saved. If we save only humanity, it will not be good rather we should endeavour to save the nature. Every human being is a corner stone and gem to save the nature from all the danger. Every human being is the most powerful creature on earth. He is the only creature who can consciously alter and keep the nature perfectly. Besides, he can even destroy all the living things and organisms on the earth. He is also the only living being endowed with tremendous and magnificent wisdom so that he can decide whether to save the earth or destroy it. So, man seems to assume a crucial position in nature. He is forced to take full responsibility for the welfare not only of his race, but also others. He has the ethical responsibility to ensure the well being and safety of the nature. Only human beings have the wisdom to take precise decisions even in crucial and perilous moments. Every human being also knows that the decision if it goes wrong not only destroys the nature but also him. In fact, nature conservation is not to satisfy ourselves, but to ensure our every existence. If we see among the saints of the church, perhaps nobody loved and respected the nature as did the poor little man of Assisi.

Besides, it is good to remember that Francis eco-spirituality has intimate links to his love for the crucified redeemer. In this connection, we should remember that Francis’s eco-spirituality cannot be isolated, but it has to be understood as an integral strand of Francis’s spirituality. More so, the Biblical doctrine of redemption is seen by Francis as an act of Christ who joined our beautiful universe.

Francis called all creatures as his brothers and sisters. Indeed, Francis adopted a religious approach to nature’s beauty. Francis contribution to eco-spirituality will unleash a fresh avidness and a renewed partnership with creatures. Varied phenomena of ecological crisis seem to have no end and no remedial measures unless and until everyone considers as a wise, faithful and responsible of our beautiful universe.

The central focus of ecological spirituality, as pointed out in our analysis of the life and work of Francis of Assisi, consists in effecting a change of paradigm to appreciate our natural environment, to rejoice with creatures, to contemplate our beautiful universe, to respect every form of life and to transcend the visible creation to the invisible creator who is saving, caring, sharing, liberating and loving God. A human being means being natural, being intimately related to and interested in what goes an around us in our nature. We, modern citizens, living in this techno savvy era, should learn to sanctify every earthly event and object of our daily lives. If God is beauty, we need to see God in a lovely sunset, in the flora and fauna. True holiness is sanctifying involvement in the beautiful world God has given us, since the world is a mirror that reflects God’s infinite beauty. Besides, we should remember that “Nature never betrays the heart that loves her.” If we love the nature, it does not betray any one, but if we do not love the nature, definitely we are going to face the music in our lives. In order to avoid that mishap we should love and save the nature from all deleterious, perilous and hazardous moments. So, let us start now to save and take care of the nature as Saint Francis of Assisi did.

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