Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground-everything that has life.” And that is what happened. (Genesis 1:29-30)
We are called to be good stewards in exercising dominion over the creation of God. This is the resounding call that the Lord has been prompting me through his Holy Spirit for the past many years. In my childhood, I lived and experienced the lush green forests of Mindanao in Compostela and Malaybalay, Bukidnon, and the haciendas and waterfalls in the haciendas of Negros Occidental.
These childhood experiences exposed me to nature. I vividly recall bathing and playing in clean rivers, beaches and water falls in virgin forests inhabited by deers, rabbits and squirrels. At sunset, big ants and fireflies would show up. The weather was cool and the air crisp. The sweet smell of trees and grass filled the air.
The call of the Sacred Heart is to see his love very present in the wonders of his creation. A quote by Theodore Roosevelt compels all of us to do our part in preserving the rich bio diversity of our natural resources. “Here is your country, cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.“
For lack of exposure to nature, the children of today’s generation have become jaded and detached from it. Their idea of the outdoors is limited to the malls and what they see on TV or the internet using the gadgets they play games with or watch videos from.
As a public servant, I have seen kids in the barangays who have to make do with swimming in murky rivers, unaware that the water is not fit for bathing. Our rivers and seas are polluted because they have been used for bathing, washing clothes and dumping personal wastes. People have dug deep wells and jetmatic pumps wantonly turning them into virtual trash dumps that eventually contaminate fresh water supply that in turn, result in countless illnesses.It should be each ones goal to bring to the realization of our people the ill effects of their actions and to put a stop to them, and preserve our environment as gifts from God.
The task is daunting but being a man of faith my formation as a member of the Men of the Sacred Heart, and the (SFO) Secular Franciscan Order, I seek inspiration from St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony.
Like the good saints, may our people understand that we can experience God everywhere even in nature. If we can see God in nature then we will probably start to treat our natural resources with respect and love.
“For all things were created by God, and things exist through God and for God.” (Romans 11:36)
Let us do our part and make small steps toward our goals, trusting in the full guidance of divine providence that, He who has began a good work in you will see through its completion.
As St. Francis says. “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. “ (St. Francis)
Truly, nothing is impossible with God as we have seen in many places in the Philippines including the Iloilo River, Ilog Pasig and Estero de Manila. We, too, can make a difference if we become willing instruments of God, and in the process discover his love in a very concrete, real and personal way. Let us start by discovering him in nature.
As a saying goes,
“To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances.
To seek Him is the greatest of all adventures.
To find Him is the greatest of all achievements.”
(Fr. Raphael Simon, A Trappist Monk)
As seraphic father St. Francis said, “I have done what is mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours to do. Let us live the challenge to apply the teaching of applying the gospel to life and life to the gospel”.
Pax et Bonum
The Men of the Sacred Heart invites all men to experience the promises of the Sacred Heart by being a member of the ministry. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org