Dear Reader: God Is the Artist

Photo of a hot potato

Though St. Francis of Assisi was, to his core, an institutional Catholic, he found God everywhere, not just under the roof of a church. The fog over the Umbrian Valley, the breeze at his back, the sunrise of an April morning: God is there; God is the artist. “All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother,” he wrote in his “Canticle of the Creatures.” It rattles me still that a 13th-century itinerant could be so forward-thinking in his care of our common home. I marvel at how easily he married his love for God and his appreciation for a world that God created. 

And while the subject of ecology is triggering for some as a political hot potato, it isn’t really a political issue at all. It’s a justice issue—certainly, a life issue. Do we not care for our children, siblings, parents, friends, and neighbors? As Francis taught us—and as Pope Francis continues to teach—the earth should be as valued as the family members in our home. 

“Given the complexity of the ecological crisis and its multiple causes,” Pope Francis wrote in 2015’s Laudato Si’, “we need to realize that the solutions will not emerge from just one way of interpreting and transforming reality.” 

Agreed. That’s why, in this issue, we approach the subject of care for our common home from different perspectives. But they both lead to one conclusion about our planet: Handle with care. 


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