In the Fullness of Creation

'Human beings and the environment form a seamless garment of existence; a complex fabric that we believe is fashioned by God'

The following is excerpted from a speech given at a symposium on the environment held at the Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Nov. 8, 1997.

Our sin toward the world, or the spiritual root of all our pollution, lies in our refusal to view life and the world as a sacrament of thanksgiving, and as a gift of constant communion with God on a global scale.

We envision a new awareness that is not mere philosophical posturing, but a tangible experience of a mystical nature. We believe that our first task is to raise the consciousness of adults who most use the resources and gifts of the planet. Ultimately, it is for our children that we must perceive our every action in the world as having a direct effect upon the future of the environment.

At the heart of the relationship between man and environment is the relationship between human beings. As individuals, we live not only in vertical relationships to God, and horizontal relationships to one another, but also in a complex web of relationships that extend throughout our lives, our cultures, and the material world. Human beings and the environment form a seamless garment of existence; a complex fabric that we believe is fashioned by God.

Advertisement

People of all faith traditions praise the Divine, for they seek to understand their relationship to the cosmos. The entire universe participates in a celebration of life, which St. Maximos the Confessor described as a "cosmic liturgy." We see this cosmic liturgy in the symbiosis of life's rich biological complexities. These complex relationships draw attention to themselves in humanity's self-conscious awareness of the cosmos.

As human beings, created "in the image and likeness of God" (Genesis 1:26), we are called to recognize this interdependence between our environment and ourselves. In the bread and the wine of the Eucharist, as priests standing before the altar of the world, we offer the creation back to the creator in relationship to Him and to each other. Indeed, in our liturgical life, we realize by anticipation the final state of the cosmos in the Kingdom of Heaven. We celebrate the beauty of creation and consecrate the life of the world, returning it to God with thanks. We share the world in joy as a living mystical communion with the Divine. Thus it is that we offer the fullness of creation at the Eucharist and receive it back as a blessing, as the living presence of God.

Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook