Sacred Texts

 

Creation of all things by God’s Word

The opening of the Gospel of John presents the cosmic Christ as the Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The same divine Word that gives light and life to all has been united with the material world when “the Word became flesh” in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.    

(John 1.1-5, 14)1

 

Redemption will be of all creation.

 

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now.

(Romans 8.22)

 

The Eucharist or Holy Communion

Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation,
for through Your goodness we have received the bread we offer you:
fruit of the earth and work of human hands,
it will become for us the bread of life.2

The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation.

– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ (236)

 

Christians are called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbors on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet.”

– Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,

as quoted by Pope Francis in Laudato Si (9)

 

 

St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

 I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon, and stars. With every breeze, as with invisible life that contains everything, I awaken everything to life…I remain hidden in every kind of reality as a fiery power. Everything burns because of me in the way our breath constantly moves us, like the wind-tossed flame in a fire.3

O Fire of the Spirit, the Comforter,
life of the life of all creation,
holy are You, giving life to the Forms…
O mighty course that penetrated all,
in the heights, upon the earth,
and in all abysses…
From you clouds overflow, winds take wing,
stones store up moisture,
waters well forth in streams –
and earth swells with living green.4

 

 

 

God creates through Love

 When God wished to create the world, he leaned down with the tenderest love, and provided all that was needed, as a father prepares an inheritance for a son. And thus in a mighty blaze the Lord ordained all his works…Then creation recognized its Creator in its own forms and appearances. For in the beginning, when God said, “Let it be!” and it came to pass, the means and the matrix of creation was Love, because all creation was formed through her as in the twinkling of an eye.5

 

“The Canticle of the Creatures” by St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

1. Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,

2. To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

3. Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.

4. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears the likeness of You, Most High One.

5. Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

6. Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

7. Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

8. Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

9. Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.6

 

Endnotes

[1]All New Testament passages from Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha (New York, Oxford University Press, 1989).

[2]The Roman Missal: English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition for use in the Dioceses of the United States (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2008), 529.

[3]Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works, with Letters and Songs.

[4]Hildegard of Bingen, Symphonia: A Critical Edition of the Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum, 2nd ed., edited by Barbara Newman (Ithaca, NY: Cornell U. Press, 1998), 151.

[5]B. Newman, Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard’s Theology of the Feminine (Berkeley, CA: U. of California Press, 19980), 63.

[6]From Canticle of the Creatures, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, Vol. 1, edited by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap., Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., and William J Short, OFM, (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 1999), 113-114. Also available at the website of the Commission for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.