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Lisa M. Hendey shares an excerpt from a reflection published in the Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible, new from Ave Maria Press.

While modern attention to climate change and ecological trends is at an all-time high, our calling as Christians to care for God’s creation made manifest in the world around us unfolds in the earliest pages of sacred scripture. 

In the Creation narrative, God’s love is made visible not only in the heavens and the earth but also in his creation of man. We read of his pleasure in all his works:

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)


After having blessed the seventh day and given it to us as a restful Sabbath, God placed the man, whom he had formed in his image and likeness, in the garden of Eden to “till it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). He created for the man a suitable partner, a woman equally created in God’s image, to share in that common mission. 

The Bible is replete with passages that call us as people of faith not only to revere the world around us but also to recognize in it the inherent compassion of our Creator for us and the beings around us. The psalmist’s many proclamations remind us of the created world’s majesty (see Psalm 19:1). Specific prescriptions in the books of Numbers (35:33) and Leviticus (25:1–7) point to our duty to shepherd the earth and other living beings. Jeremiah’s prophecy ... 

And I brought you into a plentiful land
to enjoy its fruits and good things.
But when you came in you defiled my land,
and made my heritage an abomination. (Jeremiah 2:8, RSV/CE)

... not only addresses God’s displeasure with the Israelites but also serves as a potent reminder that we, as beneficiaries of God’s benevolence in the form of creation, are called to be compassionate and careful stewards. In his teachings, Jesus himself employs imagery of God’s most humble craftsmanship, the birds of the air and the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:25–34), to remind us of his Father’s care.




The Bible invites us with many beautiful verses to not only praise God for his providential power made manifest in his creation but also tend to one another through responsible care for this earth and all of God’s gifts. In Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote:

Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. (par. 51)

Today, as we observe the physical world around us, let’s take time to pray with gratitude for the gift of Creation and commit to small acts to embrace and protect our world and one another.


Living the Word Bible


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Our calling as Christians to care for God’s creation made manifest in the world around us unfolds in the earliest pages of sacred scripture. #catholicmom

What makes the new Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible different from other Bibles for women? It includes almost 400 pages of special features created for women by women—more than 40 scholars, teachers, religious, authors, ministers, and speakers—such as Leah Darrow, Sarah Christmyer, Johnnette Benkovic Williams, and Sr. Maria Kim-Ngân Bùi, FSP—who come from a variety of backgrounds and reflect the diversity of the Catholic faith. Nine of these writers have a connection to Catholic Mom and have been sharing their gifts with our readers for quite some time.

The stunning beauty of the hardcover Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible also makes it stand out among its peers. The extraordinary and elegant design enhances the reading experience by connecting various features throughout the text including 50 profiles of women in the Bible, 97 Living in the Light of Faith essays, and questions for reflection and journaling.

Purchase your copy of the Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible at a special price: only $59.95 with FREE shipping when you use coupon code CMBIBLE23 at checkout at AveMariaPress.comThis code is good through March 31, 2023.




To learn more about the Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible, visit AveMariaPress.com/living-the-word. You can also join the Living the Word Bible community on Instagram @livingthewordbible and listen to the new Living the Word Bible Podcast with host Sarah Christmyer wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Sarah Christmyer, editor of the Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible, appeared on a recent episode of the Catholic Momcast. 

Listen to the podcast interview with Sarah Christmyer

Copyright 2023 Lisa M. Hendey
Images: Ave Maria Press
This excerpt from the Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible is reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ave Maria Press.