Accepting the Challenge ...
In this final week on stewardship of earth, please take a moment to read this quote: “It is not reasonable that art should win the place of honor over our great and powerful mother Nature. We have so overloaded the beauty and richness of her works by our inventions that we have quite smothered her.”
It sounds like something today’s conservation leaders might say, or even someone farther back in history like President Teddy Roosevelt, a strict conservationist.
But, surprisingly, Michel de Montaigne, a devout Catholic and 16th Century French statesman penned those words over 500 years ago.
You wonder what Montaigne might think of a modern aerial view of California coast. He had no idea what “smothered” could really look like. And, I am pretty sure he would definitely not consider our modern art worthy of a place of honor over nature – but that is another discussion for another time.
Because of this “smothering” by mankind over the centuries there is another resource that has become a serious topic of discussion, the topic of energy.
Like water, we often see energy with an endless supply. But this is simply not true. Our energy comes from natural gas, fuel, coal and other resources that are finite in nature.
And, like other resources we have discussed, we have a duty of stewardship for those around us today and those that will follow us in the future.
Saving energy improves the environment, which, as we have explained, is part of God’s plan for our dominion on earth. Saving energy also improves the economy. It is estimated that current energy efficiency efforts are saving the nation over $500 billion a year.
Finally, saving energy improves our budget. The average U.S. household spends $5,550 each year on energy. By making energy-efficient home improvements families can save hundreds of dollars which can be directed to help others in need or savings for the future.
In talking about conservation recently Pope Francis said, “This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation.”
At St. Francis we teach our students to accept that challenge and to be the stewards of God’s creation we were created to be.