Care of Creation and Development, Rondinara:”It is not enough to be guardians of nature.”

14 Jul 2023 | Ecology, Life, University

During the two days of the Loppiano Prima Cooperative presentations, Prof. Sergio Rondinara, professor at the Sophia University Institute, intervened to offer an original approach to the relationship with the planet. «We are called to be active in making the environment more beautiful»

«It is not enough for us to say today: “I am a guardian of nature”. It is a beautiful statement, but it remains an insufficient program. We are called to make nature more beautiful. Therefore, not simply guardians, but companions with the new heavens and the new earth. We must be active in this». Sergio Rondinara, Professor of Epistemology at the Sophia University Institute, adds very important considerations at the end of the report presented in the context of the theme of Care of Creation. This was the central topic of the reflection of the two days (27-28 May last) in which the Cooperative Loppiano Prima celebrated its 50th year since its establishment.

«It is necessary – continued Rondinara – that a deeper and whole new sensibility is developed regarding the atmosphere in order to face the ecological topic in an integral way». It is a question of starting from the concept of work. «Although it is increasingly becoming a virtual reality, work – in its most essential character – is the manipulation of matter, of creation». «How do we carry it out? With the continuous presence of God before us. Presence that we can grasp to the extent that God is in us and among us».

Professor Rondinara had made no secret of his approach to creation. The title of his talk – “The Presence of God Under Things” – left no room for doubt and was based on Chiara Lubich’s experience with nature in the summers of 1948 and 1949. The foundress of the Focolare said: “I had the impression of perceiving, perhaps by a special grace of God, the presence of God under things. Therefore, if the pines were gilded by the sun, if the streams fell in their cascades shining, if the daisies and the other flowers and the sky were in celebration for the summer, the vision of a sun that was under all creation was stronger. I saw, in a certain way, I believe, God sustains, holds things up».

A very special experience which Lubich commented: «God under things meant that they were not as we see them; they were all connected by love, all – so to speak – in love with each other». What did she mean «So if the stream ended up in the lake it was for love. If a pine stood next to another pine it was for love». And she derived that «the vision of God under things, which gave unity to creation, was stronger than things themselves; the unity of the whole was stronger than the distinction of things between them».

For Professor Rondinara, the founder of the Focolare «experiences that it is possible to see in nature, among the folds of matter, a hidden presence of the same God-Love who lived in her and lived among the people of the community». Therefore, God did not create the cosmos and then abandon it to its destiny as something other from Himself. “God – continued the professor from Sophia – is not absent from creation, is not totally outside of nature, of our universe. He is, instead, present “under” things, he maintains the fundamental particles that form every material body in its being so that the universe evolves according to its internal relationality and proceeds, step by step, towards the implementation of that project of love on creation where, initiated by Trinitarian love, it will return to it».

According to Rondinara, «The awareness that Chiara Lubich has of the presence of God under things, of God supporting and holding things» rests on having «experienced the continuation of God’s creative action, his keeping nature in its being. To the point of making us understand that wherever there is creation there God is also present, distinct in his being, but present in the most intimate reality of created being». What stunning news! Therefore, we must be aware that God’s creative action is permanent, that God continues to create and that humanity is called not only to safeguard creation, but through work, make it more beautiful.

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