Monday, 11 February 2008

A Newsletter Notice: continued

This is from CAFODs materials for the Lenten Fast Day:

"This Lent, CAFOD asks us to think about our relationship with creation. We’re all hearing a lot about climate change these days, but what’s the special message for us as Christians? If we believe creation is a gift from God to be cherished, then climate change is a dire warning that we should be treading more lightly on God’s earth. There’s no time to lose in changing the way we live and the way we consume. "

I think it does help put the "thinking about our relationship with creation" into a better context. However, it still leaves me asking some questions:

1. If I have understood the Genesis accounts correctly, they indicate that physical creation is at the service of the human race ("let them have dominion" 1:26, 28 "whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name" 2:19), and not the other way round. For CAFOD, which is first, the earth or humanity? As a gift from God, creation is to be cherished as a good at the service of mankind - that is its finality which defines the nature of it as a good, as a gift from God.

2. What is a "relationship with creation"? We relate with other people precisely because they are persons like ourselves - relationship is a feature of a reciprocal communion between those who are persons. So Fr Tim's comment to my previous post - pointing out that the prime focus of our Lenten exercises is about our relationship with God - is strongly pertinent. The second aspect of our Lenten exercises is our relationship with our neighbour, closely related with that of our relationship with God. The call to change the way we live and consume is perfectly sound - but it is not about our relationship with creation, it is about our relationship with God and our neighbour.

3. If the CAFOD approach for this Lenten Fast day is seen as an exercise in catechetics, perhaps we could apply some of the criteria for judgement of authentic catechesis (cf General Directory for Catechesis nn.94ff):
- is the message centred on Christ ("christocentric")?
- does the message lead us from Christ to the Trinity ("trinitarian christocentricity")?
- does the message lead us to profession of the unity of Christian faith ("ecclesial nature")?

Catholic mom of 10 has posted the text of Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus address yesterday. Do have a read - and apply to it the same criteria of judgement as just listed. Ah, isn't this how things should be done!

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