UCAN Spirituality Catholic Church News

The Glory of Nature

The Glory of Nature thumbnail

Thomas Berry

All this beauty of the universe that we see about us came into being without human consultation ….

From here on the universe will never function that way again. Without the soaring birds, without the great forests, the free-flowing streams, the sight of the clouds by day, and the stars by night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human ….

The first thing to recognize in human-earth relationships is the Earth is primary and humans are derivative. Humans are for the perfection of the Earth rather than the Earth is here for the perfection of humans ….

The planet Earth or the universe is the ultimate and noblest perfection in things and everything in the universe is ultimately for the perfection of the universe. So humans give to the universe a consciousness of itself.

In fact, in a certain sense, humans are the way in which the universe creates itself, because the human can be defined as that being in whom the universe reflects on and celebrates itself in a special mode of conscious self-awareness.

So in this manner, the first thing to recognize is that humans must become integral with the Earth. This is a very new approach, to the Western world, who have been so transfixed with the glory of the human and with the rights of humans that they have missed the point as regards humans and their relationship with the Earth ….

We might summarize our present human situation by the simple statement: that … the glory of the human has become the desolation of the Earth and now the desolation of the Earth is becoming the destiny of the human.

From here on, the primary judgment of all human institutions, professions, programs and activities will be determined by the extent to which they inhibit, ignore, or foster a mutually-enhancing human-Earth relationship.