Editors Judith Fitzgerald and Michael Oren Fitzgerald have assembled a fine collection of quotations from Christian saints, writers, and philosophers on the glories and wonders of the natural world. These are accompanied by breathtakingly beautiful photographs of nature. As John Chryssavgis points out in the foreword, environmental ethics is where life, spirituality, and politics coincide. The time is ripe for all believers to reverence the earth and to do it with love, joy, compassion, and kindness.
Certainly this is one of the many messages of the sages of the past who are quoted on these pages including Aelred of Rievaulx, Augustine of Hippo, William Blake, Bonaventure, John Calvin, Jean-Pierre Caussade, Meister Eckhart, Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Teresa of Avila, John Woolman, and many others. Here is a sampler:
• "Listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to glorify the sublimity of that sovereign Artist who has given them being."
Paul of the Cross (1694-1775)
• "The divine activity permeates the whole universe. It pervades every creature. Wherever they are, it is there. He moves about the smallest blades of grass as well as above the mighty cedar. The grains of sand are under His feet as well as the huge mountains. Wherever you may turn, there you will find His footprints!"
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
• "The plants give off the fragrance of their flowers. The precious stones reflect their brilliance to others. Every creature yearns for a loving embrace. The whole of nature serves humanity, and in this service offers all her bounty."
• Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
• "The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and at the same time the most abundant furnishings. Everything in it tells us of God."
John Calvin (1509-1564)