quinta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2015

Com Dia da Criação, Vamos lembrar do Criador e do Paraíso (Nossa verdadeira Casa)

Nós somos brasileiros, de belezas naturais, nós entendemos. Quantas vezes ficamos de frente a espetáculos da natureza e temos vontade de agradecer a Deus? O Papa Francisco resolveu estabelecer o dia mundial da oração pelos cuidados com a criação. Não parece, pelo o que li, que seja oração destinada a agradecimento pela criação, mas oração destinada à criação. Corre-se o risco de estimular a ideia de que a própria criação é Deus. 

O Papa ressaltou que nós somos custodiantes da natureza, isto é, nós tomamos conta de algo que nos pertence. Verdade. Talvez faltou apenas lembrar que Deus disse que devemos usar a natureza em favor do homem. O homem é a mais importante criação divina, pelo simples fato que Deus se fez homem. Deus não se fez anjo ou árvore.

Em todo caso eu li dois ótimos textos sobre o assunto. O primeiro é do bispo-eleito Robert Baron, ele lembra que a natureza não se importa com os homens, Deus sim.

Vejamos abaixo o texto do bispo Barron que foi publicado no National Catholic Register.

Mother Nature is One Unreliable Lady

Conservation International has sponsored a series of videos that have become YouTube sensations, garnering millions of views. They feature famous actors - Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Robert Redford, and others - voicing different aspects of the natural world, from the ocean, to the rain forest, to redwood trees. The most striking is the one that presents Mother Nature herself, given voice by Julia Roberts.

They all have more or less the same message, namely, that nature finally doesn't give a fig for human beings, that it is far greater than we, and will outlast us. Here are some highlights from the Mother's speech: "I've been here for over four and a half billion years, 22,500 times longer than you; I don't really need people, but people need me." And "I have fed species greater than you; and I have starved species greater than you." And "my oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests-they all can take you or leave you."

I must confess that when I first came across these videos I thought, "just more tree-hugging extremism," but the more I watched and considered them, the more I became convinced that they are fundamentally right and actually serve to make a point of not inconsiderable theological significance. That nature in all of its beauty and splendor doesn't finally care about human beings came home to me dramatically many years ago. I was standing in the surf, just off the coast of North Carolina, gazing out to sea and remarking how beautiful the vista was. For just a moment, I turned around to face the shore, and a large wave came up suddenly and knocked me off my feet and, for a few alarming seconds, actually pinned me to the ocean floor. In a moment, it was over and I got back on my feet, but I was shaken. The sea, which just seconds before had beguiled me with its serenity and beauty, had turned on a dime and almost killed me.

The ancients knew this truth, and they expressed it in their mythology. The gods and goddesses of Greece, Rome, and Babylon were basically personifications of the natural necessities: water, the sky, the mountain, the fertile earth, etc. Like the natural elements that they symbolized, these divine figures were fickle in the extreme. One minute, Poseidon smiles on you, and the next minute he sinks your ship; now Zeus is pleased with you, now he sends a thunderbolt to destroy you; Demeter can be a gentle mother, and Demeter can be an avenging enemy. And indeed, so it goes with the ocean, with the weather, and with the soil. But this is precisely why the worship of these natural necessities is always such a dicey business, for the best one can hope for is to mollify these finally indifferent divinities to some degree through worship and sacrifice.

Biblical religion represents something altogether new, a fact signaled in the opening verses of the book of Genesis, where it is emphatically stated that God creates earth, sky, the stars and planets, the animals that move upon the earth and the fishes that inhabit the ocean depths. All of these natural elements were, at one time or another, worshipped as divine. So even as he celebrates them, the author of Genesis is effectively dethroning them, desacralizing them. Nature is wonderful indeed, he is telling us; but it is not God. And the consistent Biblical message is that this Creator God is not like the arbitrary and capricious gods of the ancient world; rather, he is reliable, rock-like in his steadfast love, more dedicated to human beings than a mother is to her child. The entire Scriptural revelation comes to a climax with the claim, in the fourth chapter of John's first letter, that God simply is love. St. Augustine celebrated this Biblical departure from the ancient worship of nature in a lyrical and visionary passage in his Confessions. He imagines the natural elements coming before him, one by one. Each says to him, "Look higher," and then, in a great chorus, they gesture toward God and then shout together, "He made us!"

As classical Christianity came to be questioned by some of the intellectual elite in the early modern period, the ancient worship of nature made an unhappy comeback. One thinks of Baruch Spinoza's blithe equation Deus sive natura (God or nature) and then of the many forms of pantheism that it spawned, from Schleiermacher's "infinite" to Emerson's "Oversoul" to George Lucas's "The Force." In fact, the return to the classical sense of divinity is on particularly clear display in the "dark" and "light" sides of the Force that play such a vital role in the Star Wars narrative. Though it can be used for good or ill, the Force is finally as indifferent to human beings as is Mother Nature.

And this is why the Julia Roberts video functions as an effective antidote against all forms of nature worship. It vividly reminds us that when we make Mother Nature our ultimate concern, we are turning to an exceptionally cruel and unreliable lady. Though I don't think this was her intention, Ms. Roberts is urging us to "look higher."


O segundo lembra qual é a nossa verdadeira casa, o Paraíso com Deus. O texto é de Philip Kosloski e foi publicado também no National Catholic Register.

Creation Is a Gift, But Heaven Is Our Home


With the recent announcement of the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation,” we are again reminded that we have a duty to preserve what God has given to us. It reminds us that we are to be stewards of creation instead of masters, but what does that really mean? What does it mean to be a “steward?”

The typical definition of steward is, “a person who manages another's property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.” The key distinction here is that it denotes a person who is put in charge of “another’s property.” Being a steward means that we have been given the duty to manage something that is not ours.

This means that the earth is not somehow ours for the taking. We do not have ownership over it. Instead, we are “stewards” of God’s creation and must rightly “manage” what He has given us. This also means that there are right and wrong ways to “manage” it, as we are not the ones who make the rules. We must abide by the rules of the true Master of Creation, God Himself.

Another helpful term that describes our role in the world (and our care of creation) is “pilgrim.” Often we forget that the earth is not to be our “kingdom” that will last forever. Our kingdom will be in Heaven, where we will inherit what God desires to give to us. We are simply pilgrims on this earth, always striving to draw closer to our ultimate destination.

This beautiful image of being a “pilgrim” on this earth is often portrayed when we speak about the Church being a “ship” or the “barque of Peter.” A ship is not destined to always be at sea, but must be directed to some sort of port or final destination. Many saints have favored this analogy and it greatly helped them in their spiritual lives. For example, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux wrote, “[T]he symbol of a ship always delights me and helps me to bear the exile of this life. Does not the Wise Man tell us—”Life is like a ship that passeth through the waves: when it is gone by, the trace thereof cannot be found”? 

Also, we are reminded about being pilgrims every time we visit our local “parish” church. The Greek roots of this word stem from a Hellenistic term “paroikos” meaning “sojourners.” This term reminds us that we are called to live our lives as “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Pet. 2:11 Douay-Rheims) in a land that is not ours.

Put in this context, a pilgrim realizes that everything is a gift. Creation is a gift from God and we have been put in charge over it for the time being. However, it is only temporary. The final destination is Heaven and so the created world around us is only to be used in accord with that end. We are not meant to “master” or “subdue” creation for our own selfish purposes. Instead, we must realize how our care of creation is meant to propel us further along the path to Eternal Shores.

2 comentários:

Adilson disse...

Boa trade, Pedro.

Estaria o papa Francisco com esse ato, dando uma forcinha aos ambientalistas e arquitetos da Nova Ordem, inimigos da ideia de que a natureza e o mundo são em si mesmos subordinados a Deus? Será que os amantes do Homem vão se utilizar dessa assinatura do papa para, a partir dela, dar início a outras loucas teorias que se esforçam em afastar Deus como o Centro? Vamos ver.
No penúltimo artigo do primeiro ("Mother Nature is One Unreliable Lady) é ciado Spínoza. Não entendi, Pedro. O autor está dizendo que as ideias de Spinoza influenciaram o intelectualismo panteista? Podes explicar?

Quanto ao segundo texto ("Creation Is a Gift, But Heaven Is Our Home"), gostei da metáfora do mordomo. De fato, a natreza não nos foi dada como uma propriedade. E como o autor nos alerta, somos forasteiros aqui, mas herdeiro para algo além, porém infinitamente melhor e eterno. Será que o papa Franscisco não entende que cuidar de nossas almas já não é o suficiente para ocuparmos nosso tempo? Será que a destruição e a matança de cristãos e humanos por nossos inimigos, não é algo que deveria ocupara ACIMA DE TUDO o tempo do cristão? Ora, só guardar o ano litúrgico já acho trabalhoso; e pelo que vejo, a muito tempo, infelizmente, já desapareceu da mente de imensa maioria de católicos por culpa dos falsos e negligentes padres que deixaram de cuidar das coisas mais sérias da Igreja.

Pedro Erik disse...

Caríssimo Adilson,

Sim, ele diz que Spinoza igualou Deus à natureza. Assim, como fazem muitas religiões pagãs.

E sim, acho sim que o Papa Francisco alimenta certo paganismo, ao elevar a criação sem colocá-la a disposição do homem, abandonando (ou sem ressaltar) o preceito do Gênesis.

E sim, acho que a matança dos cristãos deveria ocupar a quase totalidade das preocupações do pontificado de Francisco e não coisas como mudança climática.

Pedro Erik