Laudato Si 99: Creation, Christ, and Songs

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

99. In the Christian understanding of the world, the destiny of all creation is bound up with the mystery of Christ, present from the beginning: “All things have been created though him and for him” (Col 1:16).[Hence Saint Justin could speak of “seeds of the Word” in the world; cf. II Apologia 8, 1-2; 13, 3-6: PG 6, 457-458, 467] The prologue of the Gospel of John (1:1-18) reveals Christ’s creative work as the Divine Word (Logos). But then, unexpectedly, the prologue goes on to say that this same Word “became flesh” (Jn 1:14). One Person of the Trinity entered into the created cosmos, throwing in his lot with it, even to the cross. From the beginning of the world, but particularly through the incarnation, the mystery of Christ is at work in a hidden manner in the natural world as a whole, without thereby impinging on its autonomy.

Perhaps it is no accident that Pope Francis has cited two canticles from the New Testament to assist in making the point. Colossians 1:15-20 affirms the divinity of the Lord, but reminds us he came among us. It is a mystery we cannot comprehend, so it is of no wonder we need lyrical passages such as this or the first eighteen verses of John’s Gospel to communicate it. Are we prepared to seek Christ in the natural world? If not, we are surely experiencing a poverty of the spiritual life.

About catholicsensibility

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