Monk Moses the Athonite
A good thing brought by the economic crisis is that it forced some people to go back in the country. It made many young people to go back to the neglected nature and to agriculture. The disruption of the bond between man and the natural environment has serious consequences. There is anxiety and agony but not something more. Of course we don’t refer at an imaginary return to nature. The ecological crisis of our unstable times is tremendous.
The cause of this phenomenon is the sin. The man wants to move uncontrolled, abusively, with authority and superiority. Without respect, measure and limit, he is heading towards disaster. Free, irresponsible, selfish, he thinks that he gains. But material gain, matter, temporariness and unsafety control him in an unhealthy way. Nature sighs, is disregarded, suffers, becomes a victim of constraint. The abnormality is considered normality. Nature opposes the human chaos and greed. First created naked, out of heaven they were not respected anymore by creation. The church settle from the beginning the restraint for man. It guided him not to debauchery but to self restraint, to give up on what is in excess and to keep what is strictly necessary with due humbleness.
The irrational excessive consumerism leads to self destruction. Indifference towards the basic rules lead to the destruction of the environment, the excessive exploitation of the rich natural resources that are not inexhaustible, at the pollution of seas, rivers and lakes, of the atmosphere. Without God the man is drawn in all directions. The right attitude towards the use of the natural resources shows the morality of a Christian. The irrational connection between the man and creation define him as vicious. The saints were not some oversensitive, romantic ecologists, dreaming nature or animal lovers, they loved God first, the suffering man and then the nature as a divine creation and reason for doxology. Virtuous contemporary elders had a nice love for nature but not a stressing and sick one.
It is a proven fact that good relations with God create good relations with people and nature. The Orthodox Church with its teaching and tradition advises us to have a permanent gratefulness and doxology for everything and to have a modest and humble spirit so much needed in the world of nowadays.
God made Adam guardian, janitor of the eden. He gave it to him to find delight and rest in it and to use it. But Adam rebelled, became insolent and disobedient. He didn’t want to have anyone over his head, wanted to do everything as he pleased. And the consequences are well known and bitter. Since then his role changed a lot. He became an abusive self destroying exploiter. The environment given to us by God needs protection, respect, interest and valorization.
Returning to God, the man will become aware of his estrangement of God, will be helped and strengthened to free himself from the terrible abyss of despair. The man of nowadays who considered himself happy now became aware of his deep soul vacuum. It is necessary to see God, his neighbor, himself and nature with more respect. May the painful economic crisis lead him to the change of his mentality, to a sincere repentance so that his life may acquire meaning. It cannot be justified more carelessness in what regards spiritual training. We should treasure the world as a jewel. We should not act out of pride or interest for offending and exploiting wrongly the nature. By loving, respecting and protecting we don’t put the man in the second place. Sometimes animals are preferred instead of children. Many people die and faint because of hunger while others buy expensive food for the animals and take them to doctors, stomatologists and hair stylists.
The poor, the sick, the homeless, the unemployed, the desparate represent a painful tragedy of nowadays. But out of their huge pain may rise understanding, compassion, humility and reflection, an estrangement of the irrational life. Magninamity, the glorification of God and the love for nature were forgotten. They are all called to come back willingly and knowingly to the life giving grounds that have been so often derided, despised and deserted. The villages, the fresh woods, the fields in blossom, the starry sky, the orchards full of fruit trees and the vegetable gardens await those who are tired of the huge noise from the cities with something that’s not much but it’s precious and its theirs.