Date: 9/15/2003 10:24:09 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Oscar
Brigid, thanks for the response. I was referring to the movie; but we still need to place things in their proper perspectives.
The most important thing to all of us, whether or not we choose to accept it, is how we work toward our eternal end. Everything we do pertains to our afterlife whether we wish it to or not. Mankind, being created in the image of God, has been endowed with a soul. Animals and trees and blades of grass have no such spirituality. We are spiritual creatures despite our corporality. In the end, the only thing that matters is salvation, and everything it takes to get, negligible. The majesty of Earths mountains pales in comparison to that of Gods. The most serene and beautiful places in the world are nothing compared to the beauty of God. God created the animals for our use - while we have a right to use animals for our daily needs, we have a responsibility to not waste what God has given to us. We have a right to take advantage of our environment, but we have a resposibility to maintain it for future generations. To be blunt, animals have no rights. The environment has no rights. Only human beings have rights because we were created with a hierarchical set of responsibilies: First and formost is the responsibility of working out our salvation, which we do by cooperating with Gods graces. Obviously we cant do anything without God. As we achieve the age of reason that responsibility is more firmly placed on us as individuals. We have a responsibility to rear our children in the Faith and illustrate to them how to be good Catholics. We have a responsibility to teach, feed, clothe, provide shelter, treat sick persons etc., all of which are subordinate to our primary responsibility of getting to Heaven. Charity, or "Love" guides us, because God wants everyone of His children to get to Heaven.
So the things of this world - animals, grass, trees and such - are only important insofar as they help us accomplish our responsibilities toward ourselves and our neighbor. Otherwise they have no intrinsic value. Why would Our Lord condemn the worldly minded if this were not the case? Why would Jesus curse the fig tree that bore no fruit?
These days mankind views the world through subjective lenses - its outlook on nature has turned things upside down - whereby the creature and the environment are elevated beyond their proper place in Gods design. Thus the term, "practical paganism." I certainly do not mean to offend anyone.