Saturday, August 13, 2005

What is the "matter"?

The woods up the street from us are no more. Bulldozers came and wiped them out to make way for more condos "starting at the $280's" I feel a pang when I drive by. The words of one of my children's favorite stories echo in my mind: " I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees..." But this is not a pang of environmentalism. It's a pang of motherhood. And it is important to know the difference.

From John Paul II's Memory and Identity: "In this [Paschal] mystery, not only is eschatological truth revealed to us, that is to say the fullness of the Gospel, or Good News. There also shines forth a light to enlighten the whole of human existence in its temporal dimension and this light is reflected onto the created world. Christ, through his Resurrection, has so to speak 'justified' the work of creation, and especially the creation of man."

OK, now just how do we view the trees and their roots and the ground they are in if we think they are "justified" by Christ (even in a qualified way). Are they ours or his? If everything tends toward Him, is justified in Him, then there is no purely "private" property.

That is not to say that we are paralyzed: it simply gives us direction for what to do. Man's dominion over creation is not restricted by Christ's dominion: it is perfected.

But we are hardly in a situation where this is taken seriously by anyone on any side of the question. ("private property" versus the EPA---neither respects the reality). No, we are in an age where men are manipulating genes in much the same way that my then three-year-old son attempted to jam a sandwich into the VCR. After all, it is just matter. Or is it "mater." Now we come to the pang of motherhood and why the bulldozers get under my skin. But more on that later...


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