This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Value as truth

The created world has a further value in that, if properly appreciated, can and does lead us toward the knowledge of higher things. It is an expression of truth.[1] “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”[2] “Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.”[3] Indeed, in a very real sense “all things are God.”[4]

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, this is not to be taken as some sort of vague sentimentalism, but is a necessary truth about human knowledge. From the material world, we can be directed to invisible truths. Moreover, this invites us to a consideration of every aspect of creation and its symbolic value: like man and all living things, the environment has its natural rhythm which cannot be ignored with degrading it[5]; the land must be given a rest and not abused to the point of barrenness as if it were a disposable commodity[6]; the earth, like life itself, proclaims the glory of God,[7] is good,[8] and is in that regard loved by God himself.[9]

[1] CV, 49.

[2] Rom 1:20.

[3] LS, 233.

[4] St. John of the Cross, Cántico Espiritual, XIV, 5.

[5] SRS, 26.

[6] Lev 25:1-7.

[7] Dan 3:56-82.

[8] Gen 1:1-31.

[9] Mt 6:25-34.

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