Laudato Si 86: Showing Interdependence

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. We start with the Angelic Doctor and finish this post with the Catechism:

86. The universe as a whole, in all its manifold relationships, shows forth the inexhaustible riches of God. Saint Thomas Aquinas wisely noted that multiplicity and variety “come from the intention of the first agent” who willed that “what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another”,[Summa Theologiae, I, q. 47, art. 1] inasmuch as God’s goodness “could not be represented fittingly by any one creature”.[Ibidem] Hence we need to grasp the variety of things in their multiple relationships.[Cf. ibid., art. 2, ad 1; art. 3] We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan. As the Catechism teaches: “God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other”.[CCC 340]

The universe is more than the sum of constituent parts. This value reveals something also of how God works in the spiritual life.

Good to know: God does not set up existence as a stack of separate parts. And that tells us three important things. First, the Almighty uses a whole series of fine tools to craft the universe. Two, we likewise are interacting with God on a number of small fronts–no single experience tells the whole tale. And last, the universe reflects the mind of God: one can’t perceive the whole of it by looking at the pieces.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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