... in my role as a steward

Published on 17 Apr 2018
An older man sitting on a bench reading Laudato Si'

The garden is a riot of colour at this time of year. There are yellow daffodils and white narcissus trumpeting the bright spring days, primula adorn the borders whilst the golden forsythia bushes smother the side fences.

The camellia bush is donning her pale pink dress whilst the Pieris japonica is starting to put on his bright red bracts, with a sea of blue aubrietia at his feet. The young robin is hopping around seeking the bugs and insects I have disturbed by digging in “his” garden, whilst Mother Blackbird is building a nest in the hedge. Truly the glory of God’s creation in abundance! However, in the midst of all this glorious colour and exuberant growth I am a mere steward, my time here is limited and my garden is a tiny speck on the face of the earth that will continue in existence as long as God wills it.

St Francis of Assisi spoke of Brother Sun and Sister Moon. To him, and to me Brother Robin and Sister Blackbird are just as much part of God’s Creation, part of God’s family as we humans are, and we have a responsibility to take care of the planet. Yet in his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ Pope Francis said: ‘This sister [the earth] now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.’  

Man is responsible for the harm done to planet earth and each one of us is called to do more to repair the damage we have caused.