Merry Christmas! If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation
Uploaded on December 7, 2009 by Loci Lenar Some rights reserved
One of my Christmas traditions over the past several years has been to reflect on the Pope's yearly message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace January 1. In past years the Holy Father has addressed the oneness of the human family, fighting poverty, and finally his message for this year is "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation". Pope Benedict XVI is well known for his advocacy of environmental protection, including the use of solar energy at the Vatican.
This year's message reminds us that human rights, refugee protection, and alleviation of hunger and poverty is directly tied to our treatment of the environment. The human family is dependent on the earth for sustenance, and protection of the earth is protection of each other. He reminds us that "humanity needs a profound cultural renewal" and that our present crises, including economic and environmental, are moral crises which "require us to rethink the path which we are travelling together". Pope Benedict reminds us that not only do we have a responsibility to each other, but we have a responsibility to future generations.
In addition to protecting creation to promote human well being, Pope Benedict reminds us that "many people experience peace and tranquillity, renewal and reinvigoration, when they come into close contact with the beauty and harmony of nature." We are becoming all too well aware that our beautiful planet with all of its diversity of life is actually very fragile.
I wish you all a very joyous and peaceful Christmas Season, and let us remember "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation".
See the full Vatican message here