Going Back to the Grammar of Creation
by Bishop Dominique Rey
The primacy of God, which Pope Benedict XVI made a priority of his pontificate, reminds us that reality is intelligible and human reason must be used: reason that is able to recognize the logos, the objective reason that manifests itself in nature.
According to the saying fides quaerens intellectum, the faith, far from hindering reason, encourages it to wonder about the world, because the rationality of creation is the first message of the creator to his creature. The proper order of creation, itslogos, is the reflection within itself of the divine Logos, the creator Spirit.
In a 2006 homily, Benedict preached that “the world does not exist by itself; it is brought into being by the creative Spirit of God, by the creative Word of God. For this reason Pentecost also mirrors God’s wisdom. In its breadth and in the omniscient logic of its laws, God’s wisdom permits us to glimpse something of his Creator Spirit.” The earth and everything it contains reflects the beauty and glory of God. “It is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a grammar which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation,” he writes in Caritas in Veritate.
Some radical environmental movements (such as those who embrace what is often called “deep ecology”) clearly derive their inspiration from a pagan pantheism, which leads to a deification of nature. Reason is subdued and abdicates its role and dignity. In fact, as Benedict affirmed, “the victory of reason over unreason is also a goal of the Christian life.”
Illuminated by faith, reason allowed the world to cease to be regarded as divine. It helped man to cease worshipping the elements (earth, sky, and water), the stars, the plants and the animals as mythical beings or as multiple facets of the divinity.
The contemporary ideology of ecologicalism turns nature into a cult: not nature as humanized by man, his knowledge and work, but rather an entity that existed before him and can exist without man. The planet is viewed as a divine spiritual being – the famous earth-mother goddess Gaia – which we address through various channels, telluric forces, and vital force.
The determination to become one with the cosmos, to lose all distinction, leads to a rejection of reason and critical thinking, which supposedly are the forces guilty of harming the planet. Thus unreason triumphs; people celebrate instinct, emotion, intuition and ultimately irrationality.
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