That being said, I have had this book to review for MONTHS, and maybe even a year?? It's been sitting on my bedside begging to be read and reviewed. SO here you finally go!
The Environment - Pope Benedict XVI
At first glance I thought, "Pope Benedict wrote a book about the Environment?? I gotta read this...." Well, he didn't, and I was a little silly to think so. This book is a compilation of Pope Benedict's speeches, homilies and addresses that have something to do with the environment.
The different speeches range from topics about the environment, ecology, the economy and even some things ecumenical. The Holy Father stated that he has "an inner obligation to struggle for the preservation of the environment and to oppose the destruction of creation." (Light of the World, p. 45). He makes another point stating, "Experience shows that disregard for the environment always harms human existence, and visa versa." (Message, World Day of Peace 2007).
I wish I could say I was enthralled with the book the entire time, but I truthfully struggled through reading it. I think if I re-read it as a meditation book, slowly pondering each homily or speech, I would get a lot more out of it. That being said, there are plenty of gems inside and I want to share them with you.
Especially this quote on the family and the environment: "The family needs a home, a fit environment in which to develop its proper relationships. For the human family, this home is the earth, the environment that God the Creator has given us to inhabit with creativity and responsibility. We need to care the the environment: it has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the food of all as a constant guiding criterion."
Thank you Pope Benedict. We are stewards of the earth God has made for us and therefore we have to care for it. Of course, like most things we can make an idol out of caring for the earth, elevating it above God, but at the same time we cannot ignore it either.
Pope Benedict makes a strong connection between peace in the world and caring for the environment. "I readily encourage efforts to promote a greater sense of ecological responsibility which...would safeguard an authentic "human ecology" and thus forcefully reaffirm the inviolability of human life. at every stage and condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one is trained in love of neighbor and respect for nature." He goes on to urge us, "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." (p. 133).
Overall, it was a great read and I highly recommend it. It opened up my understanding of environmental issues with the light of our faith.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Environment. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.
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"I willingly join in spirit all who are grateful to the Lord for the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands, renewing the pressing invitation to respect the natural environment, a precious resource entrusted to our stewardship." - Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, November 15, 2009)