10 May 2022

Gaia, Natura, and all the Earth Mothers

"The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism, and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a step-mother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our siater. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity. Nature was a solemn mother to the worshippers of Isis and Cybele. Nature was a solemn mother to Wordsworth or to Emerson. But Nature is not solemn to Francis of Assisi or to George Herbert. To St. Francis, Nature is a sister, and even a younger sister: a little, dancing sister, to be laughed at as well as loved."


Zephyrinus said...

Dear Reverend Fr. Hunwicke.

Please be assured of continued Prayers and Best Wishes for your continued Rest and Recuperation.

in Domino


Howard said...

The problem with this statement is that it does not mean "Nature" in the sense of "Creation", but "Nature" in the sense of "Wilderness". Chesterton is, of course, referring to those people who turn to wild beasts for their moral inspiration, because among the beasts it is easy enough to find examples of what we would call in humans murder, rape, theft, sodomy, cannibalism, incest -- pretty much any behavior, including any bad behavior, that does not require language. But we might also call it nature that if you knock out a load-bearing wall, the house may very well collapse on you. A man might murder his wife, then afterwards make a good confession and even obtain a plenary indulgence, removing from him the temporal punishment for sin, but his wife will not return to cook his bacon and eggs once again in the mornings. God has forgiven the man, but Nature has not.

Yes, people still do look to the beasts to rationalize their actions, but today's officially sanctioned sins are often sins against Nature, who really does still have some authority over us. Abortion is a sin against Nature as well as against God; so are sodomy and transsexualism.