The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. This section and the four that follow fall under the fourth heading in Chapter Two, THE MESSAGE OF EACH CREATURE IN THE HARMONY OF CREATION
84. Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God. The history of our friendship with God is always linked to particular places which take on an intensely personal meaning; we all remember places, and revisiting those memories does us much good. Anyone who has grown up in the hills or used to sit by the spring to drink, or played outdoors in the neighborhood square; going back to these places is a chance to recover something of their true selves.
My sense is that the universe’s creatures and the setting in which we observe and encounter them are something a bit more than gift to be used as we see fit, and also something more than some vague sign of affection of the Almighty. We are invited to look a bit deeper than sentimentality. And let’s also remember the meaning of love as something a bit more than simple affection. God’s love, like ours, is a choice.