MANILA, Aug. 11, 2015—How does God reveal Himself? Through the Bible? Check. Through Sacred Tradition? Check. Anything else?
Echoing the encyclical “on the care for our common home, an Irish missionary was beyond happy that in his Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds the faithful about another means through which the Creator chooses to communicate His will to mankind: His Creation.
“Laudato Si’ is a revolutionary document by a revolutionary Pope. It has brought back to our awareness something that the Church has forgotten, or at least failed to emphasize, since the time of Thomas Aquinas. It is that apart from Sacred Scripture and Tradition, God also speaks to us through His Creation,” said Fr. John Leydon of the Missionary Society of St. Columban (MSSC) in a recent interview.
Citing paragraph 85 of the papal document, the Tagalog-speaking priest who has served in the Philippines since the 1970s, and is a known vocal opponent of the controversial Manila Bay reclamation project, pointed out that God manifests Himself not only through pages of the Holy Book, nor only through the oral teachings Christians have received from the Apostles, but also through the beauty of the sunset, the flowers, and so on.
Book of nature
LS 85 reads: God has written a precious book, “whose letters are the multitude of created things present in the universe”. The Canadian bishops rightly pointed out that no creature is excluded from this manifestation of God: “From panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe. It is also a continuing revelation of the divine.”
It continues with a quote from the Japanese bishops, “‘To sense each creature singing the hymn of its existence is to live joyfully in God’s love and hope’. This contemplation of creation allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us, since ‘for the believer, to contemplate creation is to hear a message, to listen to a paradoxical and silent voice’.”
‘Blaze of the sun’
According to Pope Francis, Christians can now declare that alongside revelation properly so-called contained in sacred Scripture, “there is a divine manifestation in the blaze of the sun and the fall of night.”
“‘Paying attention to this manifestation, we learn to see ourselves in relation to all other creatures: ‘I express myself in expressing the world; in my effort to decipher the sacredness of the world, I explore my own’,” the Holy Father adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)