Because We Can See God ...

Renowned oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, was a French naval officer, scientist, author, explorer, and innovator who researched and studied the sea and all forms of life in water for nearly fifty years.

His work was so distinguished that he was given numerous awards including National Geographic Society’s Special Gold Medal and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Reagan.

Cousteau died in 1997 and was buried in a Roman Catholic funeral at the age of 87 in Paris. During his lifetime he produced over 100 films and 40 books on the ocean and the environment.

There was even one book published after his death entitled “The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus” which contains the chapter “The Holy Scriptures and The Environment“. Here Cousteau is quoted as saying, “The glory of nature provides evidence that God exists“.

This is reminiscent of St. Augustine’s “Confessions” wherein he imagines the various aspects of creation telling him, “We are not God, but he made us.”

Better yet, Cousteau’s words are a restatement of the scripture found in the first chapter of Romans where St. Paul writes that God’s invisible nature can be clearly seen in His creation.

So with this in mind, there are a few more words from Cousteau that are worth consideration: “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”

After nearly fifty years of research, study, filming, and writing on the ocean and it’s environment, Cousteau concluded that mankind was treating its vital resources, God’s creation, very poorly.

At St. Francis we teach our students the facts. The earth is God’s creation. In it we find God given resources for survival. But, we also find a reflection of God’s truth, goodness, and beauty.

In fact, in an article entitled “Exploring Nature to Find God” Brother Andre Marie writes: “Because we can see God in creation, the Catholic imagination has found in plants and animals many diverse symbols of God, Our Lady, the saints, the sacraments, the Christian virtues, and other mysteries of the Faith.”

True, we are to be good stewards of our natural resources to protect the interests of others today and tomorrow, especially our water supply, which is so vital to life.

But, is is because we can see God in creation that we should be good stewards of all nature at all times.