From “Pope at Audience: If we destroy Creation, it will destroy us”
Vatican Radio

May 21, 2014

Today I want to highlight another gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of knowledge. When we speak of knowledge, we immediately think of the human capacity to learn more about the reality that surrounds him and to discover the laws that govern nature and the universe. The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit, however, is not limited to human knowledge: it is a special gift, which allows us to grasp, through Creation, the greatness and love of God and His profound relationship with every creature.

  1. When our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit, they open to the contemplation of God in the beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos, and lead us to discover how everything speaks to us of Him and everything speaks to us of His love. All this arouses astonishment and a deep sense of gratitude in us! It is the feeling we experience when we admire a work of art or any marvel that is the result of the genius and creativity of man: before all of this, the Spirit leads us to praise the Lord from the depths of our hearts and recognize, in all that we have and are, a priceless gift from God and a sign of His infinite love for us.
  2. The first chapter of Genesis, at the very beginning of the Bible, shows us that God delights of His creation, by repeatedly emphasizing the beauty and goodness of all things. At the end of each day, it is written: “God saw that it was good.” …But if God sees that Creation is something good and beautiful, we too must have this attitude, we must see that Creation is something good and beautiful. The gift of knowledge, of this beauty, we have to thank God for having given us this gift, this beauty! This is the path…and when God finished creating man, He didn’t say that “it was good”, He said that it is “very good!”, He draws us close to Him. And in God’s eyes we are the greatest, the most beautiful, the best things about Creation…

At the same time, however, the gift of knowledge helps us to avoid falling prey to excessive or incorrect attitudes. The first lies in the risk of considering ourselves masters of Creation. Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few. Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude…

Custodians of Creation, not Masters of Creation. It is a gift that the Lord has given us, to us! We are Custodians of Creation. But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us. In destroying Creation we are saying to God: “I don’t like it! This is not good!” “So what do you like?” “I like myself!” — Here, this is sin! Do you see? Custody of Creation is custody of God’s gift to us and it is also a way of saying thank you to God. I am the master of Creation but to carry it forward I will never destroy your gift. And this should be our attitude towards Creation Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!