Teachings of Pope Francis
Pope Francis, from the point of view of Creation, points out some contrasts in which human being is encountered: primacy of economy above any other human aspect or primacy of desinterested love that offers itself for neighbor. In terms full of hope, he writes: “Men and women are still capable of intervening positively. For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love” (n.58). The fundament is centered in Christ, origin and model, maker of peace and profundity of life, who reveals to us the mystery of divine fatherhood. In this meaning he speaks about the “Gospel of Creation”. He says: “Jesus took up the biblical faith in God the Creator, emphasizing a fundamental truth: God is Father (cf. Mt 11,25)” (n.96). “Jesus lived in full harmony with creation” (n.98). And he adds: “Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us [for his Church]. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God” (n.84).
“We learn to see ourselves in relation to all other creatures [and our neighbor]” (n.85).
“Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology and for the common good because, lived out authentically, it is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life. Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to them amid constant noise, interminable and nerve-wracking distractions, or the cult of appearances?” (n.225)
“A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings… Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society” (n.91).
Experience and testimony of Francisco Palau
Life’s process, vocation and teaching justifies the acknowledgement of Francisco Palau as a patron of ecological spirituality. His irresistible affection for nature, cosmos, mountain, plants astrology is without doubt. His vision is cosmic and ecclesial, centered in Christ, origin, center and goal of whole universe in inseparable unity and forming one body with his Spouse, the Church of the neighbors. He uses many images, prophetically senses all images that would be used by the dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, although he prefers the one of edification-city and woman-spouse. In this reflection we take, principally, texts from unfinished album The Church of God presented by the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scriptures (Barcelona 1865). In his passionate vision, Christ and humanity are contemplated and described in unity, in relationship with universe and human happiness, purpose for which he has been created by God and, from this vision, human person is contemplated and described as a microcosmos: “The person is the compendium of the universe” (Lamina 21,5) and in his letters he concretes that all perfection resides in unifying love that has its origin in divine paternity: “The love of God and neighbors completes the work of God in the heart of men” (Letter 38,5). The care of God the Father, who reveals himself as providence and tenderness for his creatures: “God takes me by hand like a good father and leads me where he wants… This trust and confidence implies faith in his providence and providence is the fatherly solicitous care that God has for us” (Letter 56, 1.2).
Our reflection resumes now in synthesis the christological and ecclesial arguments of The Church of God…:
“Christ, in his humanity as God and man is the sun of justice, the lumen gloriae of the Celestial as well as of the city and of the whole universe itself which, radiating to all created things, shares to each creature according to its capacity… Christ is at the centre of the Holy City of Jerusalem and from this very centre the light of glory and the very glory of the whole city and from this to the whole Celestial-heaven and other creatures” (Lamina 21,2)
“The humanity of Jesus Christ and the body of his Spouse, the Church, who was created for this and for whose glory all creatures must serve” (Lamina 21,3)
“Where Christ is there his Church is” (Lamina 21,5)
“Christ and the Church are one body. Where Christ is there, there the Church is, and where the Church is, there Christ is” (Lamina 18,5)
“Christ, with the neighbour constitute a single body, a single city, one kingdom, one fold; and that moral body, that kingdom, that society is the holy Church” (Lamina 7,1)
“There we will see at a glance the object of our love which is God and the neighbour forming one single Body, the Church with Jesus Christ as Head. In the Plaza of the City we see not only God, but also all our neighbours… We shall understand then what this law signifies: love God for he is infinite goodness and your neighbour as yourself [Mt 19,19; 22,39]; there we shall see that the Church… is the end and object of our true happiness” (Lamina 17,3)
Hna. Josefa Pastor Miralles CMT