Prophets and the Environment

Holy Father's shoes participated in the canceled march in Paris
Holy Father’s shoes participated in the canceled march in Paris

Many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. (Luke 10:24)

According to St. John Chrysostom, the prophets knew that Christ would come, but they longed to see what the Apostles actually saw—as in, Christ walking the earth, healing people, etc. The prophets knew that the Christ would reveal the truth about God, but they longed to hear the words which the Apostles actually heard, and which the Apostles and their successors have transmitted down the ages to us. In other words, the prophets received an interior vision of the coming Messiah, but that vision did not have the full clarity and beauty of Christ’s actual words and deeds, when He finally did come to the earth.

When it comes to predicting the future, we might reasonably trust the prophets a lot more than we trust the weatherman. When environmentalists trot out dire predictions, with precise water levels and temperatures in fifty years, or when they say that we had Hurricane Sandy and Winter-storm Pax because too many cars in Phoenix and Shanghai get less than 25 mpg—well, we might reasonably have our doubts about the precision of the calculations.

Cover of English edition of Pope Francis' encyclical on environmentBut that should not distract us from praying like mad for the complete success of the environmental talks underway in Paris during these first two weeks of Advent. Just because climate alarmists sometimes overstate their case doesn’t mean they are not on to something. You don’t have to be a scientist to recognize that we have a serious problem, we 21st-century citizens of the global industrialized technocracy.

A climate conference can’t make lions eat hay, or make it so that the babe can put his hand in the adder’s lair. We will have to wait for the second coming of Christ to fulfill those prophecies.

But we could take a huge step as a human family toward harmony with the laws of nature. The leaders of the world could recognize our common home for what it is: a gift from God. He has appointed us stewards, not masters, and the meeting in Paris could be a moment for the human race to acknowledge that truth.

Let’s pray that the conference will find a path to a better future, a future which our children and grandchildren will rejoice to see.

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