Augustinians of the Midwest are encouraged to mark the United Nations' World Environment Day, June 5, in their communities and ministries. The Augustinians invite and encourage all who identify with Augustinian spirituality and traditions to do likewise.
Stewardship of God’s Creation
Stewardship of God's Creation is one of the major themes of traditional Catholic Social Teaching. The Catholic Church teaches that the goods of the Earth are gifts to everyone from God, and they are intended by God for the common good of everyone.
Stewardship finds its basis in the Book of Genesis in the Bible, which relates that God entrusted all creation to humans, who are to have dominion over it and care for it as stewards. (--See Gen 1: 28-32; Gen 2: 15)
St. Augustine and the Common Good
The concept of Stewardship fits well with the Augustinian idea of communality of goods, one of the basic principles of St. Augustine's vision and spirituality of religious community life.
The Rule of St. Augustine says, "Call nothing your own, but let everything be yours in common. . . For so you read in the Acts of the Apostles that 'they had all things in common. . .'" (Acts 4:32,35) and ". . .whenever you show greater concern for the common good than for your own, you know that you are growing in charity."
The principle of Stewardship says that because the world is ours in common, all people have a responsibility to care for the Earth as stewards or trustees. We are more than just consumers and users of natural resources.
How we care for the common good of all through our respect for the environment is a measure of our stewardship, our charity toward others and our respect for the Creator.
World Environment Day encourages people and governments around the world to take actions that promote the common good by promoting good stewardship for a healthy environment.