Tucked into the January 13, 2014 address given by Pope Francis to diplomats accredited to the Vatican was this curious statement,
“God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but when nature—creation—is mistreated, she never forgives!”
For believers in God who is love, the first part of the statement is fundamental to our faith. As to the second part, experience tells us that humans have an uneven record on forgiveness.
The third part of this statement gives pause for thought. In context, Pope Francis was using the quotation regarding the unforgiving nature of creation to advocate care for the environment as our common home.
But is creation unforgiving? Or is creation continually forgiving, allowing us the freedom to choose to care—or not to care. St. Francis in his well-known Canticle of the Creatures sees all created reality, including human beings, in familial terms, praising the God of all creatures. Closer to our own times is the Irish poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ of the 19th century, assuring us that “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
Ours is a changing world. The Christian interpretation of evolution credits God with so much love for us as to allow our participation in the development of this cosmic order. Sometimes the work is ecstatically beautiful and at others bitterly painful.
Throughout the liturgies of Holy Week and into the amazing celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection we are mindful of you and your families. May you know the deep truth that in God’s economy the pain we share with the Lord always leads to the joyful surprise of resurrection.
With grateful hearts for your friendship and support, we are
Your Poor Clare Sisters