Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
The Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 46-1437406) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
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Ecology in the Christian Scriptures
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5) And the Word became flesh and lived among us... (John 1:14) ...and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove... (Matthew 3:16) [Note: the following classic temptations in the Gospel: the lure of consumerism ("bread"), arrogance ("throw yourself down"), and power ("kingdoms") are the basis of much sin against the environment.]   Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." He said in reply, "It is written: 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down..." Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.' " Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." At this Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan!  It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" (Matthew 4:1- 11) ...the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen. (Matthew 4:16) "Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them."  (Matthew 6:26) "...your will be done, on earth as in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) "Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds!" (Luke 12:24) "Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them." (Matthew 6:28-29) "Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?" (Luke 12:27-28) "Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge." (Matthew 10:28-29) When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: The Beatitudes “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:1–12)   He went up on the mountain by himself to pray. (Matthew 14:23) After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. (Matthew 17:1) In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12) And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:46)       And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow." And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty fold. (Matthew 13:3-8) He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." (Matthew 13:31-32) He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." (Mark 4:33-34) He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches." (Luke 13:18-19) "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:29-30) "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates." (Matthew 24:32-33) At the time Jesus exclaimed, "I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.  Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father." (Matthew 11: 25-27) "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39) "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." (Matthew 25:34-36) Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." (John 3:5) The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) "I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17) And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A gale arose on the lake, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"  And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?" (Matthew 8:23-27) They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?" (Mark 4:41) He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?" (Luke 8:25) And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." (Matthew 14:25-27) Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40) On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. (Matthew 13:1) "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." (Luke 12:15) "Sell your possessions, and give alms." (Luke 12:33) "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." (Luke 12:48) He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of site to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:16:20) "If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?" (John 3:12) Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (Luke 6:31) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35) "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11) On the next day, when the great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord..." (John 12:12-13) "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you." (John 15: 1-3) Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. (John 18:1) Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. (John 21:13) When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. (John 21:9) While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26) While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” (Mark 14:22) Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. (Luke 24:30) Weaving a crown of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" (Matthew 27:29) There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. (John 19:29) They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. (Acts 10:39) Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there... (John 19:41) He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) The heavens are my throne, the earth is my footstool. What kind of house can you build for me? says the Lord, or what is to be my resting place? Did not my hand make all these things? (Acts 7:49-50) We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, "who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them". (Acts 14:15) Yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts. (Acts 14:17) The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him–though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For "In him we live and move and have our being". (Acts 17:24-28) For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. (Romans 1: 19-20) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. (Romans 12:5) I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.  For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now. (Romans 8:18-22) ...for "the earth and its fullness are the Lord's". (1 Corinthians 11:26) For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25) [God] spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word. (Hebrews 1:2-3) By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible. (Hebrews 11:3) All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts; but the word of the Lord remains forever. (1 Peter 1:24) It is in Christ and through his blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God's favor to us. God has given us the wisdom to understand fully the mystery, the plan he was pleased to decree in Christ, to be carried out in the fullness of time: namely, to bring all things in the heavens and on earth into one under Christ's headship. (Ephesians 1:7-10) And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. (Ephesians 1:22-23) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven.  And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister. (Colossians 1:15-23) All good giving and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. (James 1:17) "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves... And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:25) Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength... Be hospitable to one another without complaining.  Whatever gift each of you may have received, use it in service to one another, like good stewards dispensing the grace of God in its varied forms...  Indeed, all of you should wrap yourselves in the garment of humility towards each other because God sets his face against the arrogant but favors the humble. (1 Peter 4:8-10, 5:5) Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created. (Rev 4:11) Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: "To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever". (Rev 5:13) The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be judged, and to recompense your servants, the prophets, and the holy ones and those who fear your name, the small and the great alike, and to destroy those who destroy the earth. (Rev 11:18) A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child... (Rev 12:1-2) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth... The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." (Rev 21:1 and 21:5)   The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission; and The New American Bible, copyright © 1970, (including the Revised New Testament © 1986). All rights reserved. 
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