Laudato Si 77: A Choice To Love

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website.

The innovation of Judaism in the ancient world was the lasting recognition that creation is not a matter of an accidental production of a self-absorbed deity, but something of a plan. And something of God’s love:

77. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps 33:6). This tells us that the world came about as the result of a decision, not from chaos or chance, and this exalts it all the more. The creating word expresses a free choice. The universe did not emerge as the result of arbitrary omnipotence, a show of force or a desire for self-assertion. Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” (Wis 11:24).

It’s important to note that being rooted in God’s love is not a matter of warm fuzzies. Love is a choice, and involves something deeper than a surface affection or infatuation. Life is a free gift from God, not random but thought-out, thoughtful, and fully expressing a divine regard for created things.

Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world. Even the fleeting life of the least of beings is the object of his love, and in its few seconds of existence, God enfolds it with his affection.

In Christian history, we have testimony from the original Doctors to the modern papacy:

Saint Basil the Great described the Creator as “goodness without measure”,[Homily in Hexaemeron, I, 2, 10: PG 29, 9] while Dante Alighieri spoke of “the love which moves the sun and the stars”.[The Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, 145] Consequently, we can ascend from created things “to the greatness of God and to his loving mercy”.[Benedict XVI, Catechesis (9 November 2005), 3: Insegnamenti 1 (2005), 768]

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Laudato Si 77: A Choice To Love

  1. Liam says:

    “Creation is in the order of love.”

    Pay attention to that sentence (in its context, of course). I would argue it’s the heart of the entire encyclical, and will be the subject of much reflection and development in the generations to come.

  2. Liam says:

    Sorry, ‘of’ not ‘in’

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