Stewardship of Creation: Catholic tradition insists that we show respect for the Creator by being good stewards of creation. The Earth is sacred and creation has its own intrinsic value. We have a responsibility to protect and to cherish the earth's ecological diversity, beauty and life-sustaining properties. The goods of the earth are gifts from God and intended for the benefit of everyone. How we treat the environment is a measure of stewardship. As stewards of creation we are entrusted with caring for the gifts of creation and preserving them for future generations. Together, we must hold the earth in trust for future generations. Being a good steward means safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly. Being a good steward also means being generous with your time and talents. As Christian stewards, we receive God's gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others and return them with increase to God. Caring for and cultivating the world involves a joyful appreciation for the God-given beauty and wonder of nature; protection and preservation of the environment, which would be the stewardship of ecological concern; respect for human life but doing all that can be done to enhance this gift and make life flourish; and developing the world through human effort. As stewards of God's gifts, we are not passive beneficiaries. We cooperate with God by continuing the redemptive work of Jesus in the mission of the Church. In today's world, there are many obstacles confronting Christian stewards. Sometimes our secular culture contradicts religious convictions about the meaning of life and encourages us to focus on ourselves and our pleasures. As Christian stewards, we are encouraged to speak out against selfishness and greed and we try to make a special effort to understanding the true meaning of stewardship and live it accordingly. True stewardship requires changes in human actions—both in moral behaviour and technical advancement. Our religious tradition has always urged restraint and moderation in the use of material goods, so we must not allow our desire to possess more material things to overtake our concern for the basic needs of people and the environment. Pope John Paul II has linked protecting the environment to 'authentic human ecology,' which can overcome 'structures of sin' and which promotes both human dignity and respect for creation. Technological innovation and entrepreneurship can help make possible options that can lead us to a more environmentally benign energy path. Changes in lifestyle based on traditional moral virtues can ease the way to a sustainable and equitable world economy in which sacrifice will no longer be an unpopular concept. For many of us, a life less focused on material gain may remind us that we are more than what we have. Rejecting the false promises of excessive or conspicuous consumption can even allow more time for family, friends, and civic responsibilities. A renewed sense of sacrifice and restraint could make an essential contribution to addressing global climate change. (Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, USCCB, 2001 #18)Scripture Genesis 1:1 -31; Genesis 2:15; Leviticus 25:1-7; Deuteronomy 10:14; Matthew 6: 25- 34; Romans 1:20
Creation: All of God's creation is good. Human beings are called to care for, and be stewards of all of God's creation including places and special sites. God's beauty is all around us. Individuals and groups sustain and create beauty through their capacity to care and co-create. Beautiful places must be protected and, what may seem neglected places and sites, need care and creativity to bring them back to life to support human and environmental thriving. Community projects that improve places and sites, bringing them back to life, further build community spirit and a sense of well-being.
God is the creator of all. 'God's spirit swept over the face of the waters.' (Genesis 1:2) All of God's creation is good. (Gen 1:31) Jesus Christ lived in harmony with God's creation. 'In Christ all things in nature hang together.' (Colossian 1:16) Humans are created in God's image and likeness (Gen 1:26). This immediately implies the innate dignity of each person. Human beings, endowed with intelligence, must respect the laws of nature, care for and use earth's goods responsibly.
Humans take their place within the midst of creation. Human beings are not outside of creation as if superior to creation. All of God's creation is sacred. Land and animals alike need a chance to rest, rejuvenate and recover. It is a distortion for humans to claim that they are more important than the rest of creation. Humans do not have dominion over creation, rather they are called to be stewards of creation.