|(Image Share from Radio Vaticana) THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE LEADS US TO DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF CREATION AS ITS CUSTODIANS|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The gift of knowledge, 'scientia', that “is not limited to human knowledge, but which through creation leads us to perceive the greatness of God and His love for His creatures” was the theme of the Pope's catechesis during general audience.
In the presence of more than 50,000 people in St. Peter's Square, Francis explained that this gift of the Holy Spirit also enables us to discover how the beauty and immensity of the cosmos speaks to us of the Creator and invites us to praise Him “from the depths of our heart and to recognise that all that we have, and all that we are. is an inestimable gift of God and a sign of His infinite love for us”.
In the first chapter of Genesis, at the very beginning of the Bible, it is made clear that God is pleased with His creation, and the beauty and goodness of everything is repeatedly emphasised. If God sees that creation is good and beautiful, then we too should assume this attitude. … And when God finished creating man, He did not say that what he saw was good, but rather that it was 'very good'. In the eyes of God we are the most beautiful, the greatest, the best of His creation: even the angels were beneath us, we are greater than the angels. The Lord loves us, and we should thank Him for this. … The gift of knowledge places us in profound harmony with the Creator and allows us to participate in the clarity of his vision and judgement. And it is from this perspective that we are able to perceive in man and woman the peak of His creation, as the fulfilment of a plan of love that is inherent in each one of us, and enables us to recognise each other as brothers and sisters”.
“All this is a reason for serenity and peace, and makes the Christian a joyful witness to God, like St. Francis of Assisi and many other saints who knew how to sing and to praise their love through the contemplation of creation. At the same time, however, the gift of knowledge helps us to avoid falling prey to the danger of … considering ourselves to be the masters of creation. Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or even less, is it the property of only a few. Creation is a gift that God has given us, so that we might take care of it and make use of it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. The second mistake is the temptation for us to limit ourselves to creatures, as if they were able to offer the answer to all our expectations”.
The Pope returned to the first risk, that of seeking to appropriate creation instead of protecting it. Creation is “a gift from God to us … and when we exploit it, we destroy the sign of His love. Destroying creation is like saying to God, 'I don't like it', and this is not good, it is a sin. Care for creation is care for God's gift to us, and it means saying to God, 'thank you, I am the custodian of creation, but to enable it to progress, never to destroy your gift'”.
“This must be our attitude in relation to creation”, continued the Holy Father: “to protect it, because if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us! Do not forget this”. He went on to recount a story of a very simple person he once met, who loved flowers and took great care of them. “He said, we must look after these beautiful things God has given us; creation is ours so that we may benefit from it, not to exploit it but to protect it, because God always forgives, we human beings forgive sometimes, but creation never forgives and if you do not protect it, it will destroy you”.
“This should make us think, and to ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of knowledge to understand well that creation is God's most beautiful gift. He has made so many good things for the greatest creation of all, the human person”.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Feast: May 21
|He was born of very mean parents at Walpole, in Norfolk, and in his youth carried about little peddling wares which he sold in villages. Having by degrees improved his stock, he frequented cities and fairs, and made several voyages by sea to traffic in Scotland. In one of these he called at Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, where he was charmed and exceedingly edified with the retirement and religious deportment of the monks, and especially with the account which they gave him of the wonderful life of St. Cuthbert. He inquired of them every particular relating to him, visited every corner of that holy solitude and of the neighboring isle of Fame, and falling on his knees, prayed with many tears for grace to imitate the fervor of that saint in serving God, resolving for that purpose to give up all earthly pretensions. He entered upon a new course of life by a penitential devout pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and visited Compostella in his way home. After his return into Norfolk, he accepted the charge of house-steward in the family of a very rich man. The servants were not very regular, and for their private junketings often trespassed upon their neighbors. Godrick finding he was not able to prevent these injustices, and that the nobleman took no notice of his complaints about them, being easy so long as he was no sufferer himself, left his place for fear of being involved in the guilt of such an injustice.|
After making a pilgrimage to St. Giles in France, and to Rome, he went to the north of England in order the better to carry into execution his design of devoting himself wholly to a retired life. A fervent servant of God, named Godwin, who had passed a considerable time in the monastery of Durham, and by conversing with the most holy monks and exercising himself in the interior and exterior practices of all virtues, was well qualified to be a director to an inexperienced novice, joined our saint, and they led together an austere anchoretical life in a wilderness situated on the north to Carlisle, serving one another, and spending both the days and nights in the praises of God. After two years God called Godwin to himself by a happy death after a short sickness. St. Godrick having lost his companion, made a second painful pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After his return he passed some time in the solitude of Streneshalch, now Whitby; but after a year and some months went to Durham to offer up his prayers before the shrine of St. Cuthbert, and from thence retired into the desert of Finchal, or Finkley, three miles from Durham, near the river Wear. St. John Baptist and St. Cuthbert he chose for his principal patrons and models. The austerities which he practiced are rather to be admired than imitated. He had his regular tasks of devotion, consisting of psalms and other prayers which he had learned by heart, and which he constantly recited at midnight, break of day, and the other canonical hours, besides a great number of other devotions. Though he was ignorant of the very elements of learning, he was too well experienced in the happy art of conversing with God and his own soul ever to be at a loss how to employ his time in solitude. Whole days and nights seemed too short for his rapturous contemplations, one of which he often wished with St. Bruno he could have continued without interruption for eternity, in inflamed acts of adoration, compunction, love, or praise. His patience under the sharpest pains of sicknesses or ulcers, and all manner of trials, was admirable; but his humility was vet more astonishing. His conversation was meek, humble, and simple. He concealed as much as possible from the sight and knowledge of all men whatever might procure their esteem, and he was even unwilling any one should see or speak with him. Yet this he saw himself obliged to allow on certain days every week to such as came with the leave of the prior of Durham, under whose care and obedience he died. A monk of that house was his confessor, said mass for him, and administered him the sacraments in a chapel adjoining to his cell, which the holy man had built in honor of St. John Baptist. He was most averse from all pride and vanity, and never spoke of himself but as of the most sinful of creatures, a counterfeit hermit, an empty phantom of a religious man: lazy, slothful, proud, and imperious, abusing the charity of good people who assisted him with their alms. But the more the saint humbled himself, the more did God exalt him by his grace, and by wonderful miraculous gifts. For several years before his death he was confined to his bed by sickness and old age. William of Newbridge, who visited him during that time, tells us that though his body appeared in a manner dead, his tongue was ever repeating the sacred names of the three divine Persons, and in his countenance there appeared a wonderful dignity, accompanied with an unusual grace and sweetness. Having remained in the desert sixty-three years, he was seized with his last illness, and happily departed to his Lord on the 21st of May, 1170, in the reign of Henry II. His body was buried in the chapel of St. John Baptist. Many miracles confirmed the opinion of his sanctity, and a little chapel was built in his memory by Richard, brother to Hugh Pidsey, bishop of Durham. See William of Newbridge, 1. 2, c. 20; Matthew Paris, Matthew of Westminster, his life written by Nicholas of Durham his confessarius, and abridged by Harpsfield, Saec. 12, c. 45.