This is a saying in Brazil: “God is Brazilian”. You often here it after a world Cup title victory, or when Aryton Senna won the Formula 1 Championship, perhaps during the celebrations of carnival, or even upon the discovery of a new paradise-like beach. It is meant with a bit of tongue and cheek, and pride, and joy. Well, the Pope has recently confirmed the statement… actually, not quite, but almost.
In a recent address to the Brazilian Bishops and the Lenten campaign in that country, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the importance of human ecology in relation to environmental efforts.
“Just as sin destroyed creation, it is restored when “the sons of God” become present, looking after the world so that God will be all in all (cf. 1 Corinthians15:28).The first step for a correct relationship with the world that surrounds us is, precisely, the recognition on man’s part of his condition as a creature: man is not God, but his image; that is why he must try to be more sensitive to the presence of God in what surrounds him: in all creatures and, especially, in the human person in whom there is a certain epiphany of God.”
The Pope has made the connection between Lent and environment a few times. The same recognition of creatures was the starting point for the development of the itinerary of Lent for the 2011 speech on Ash Wednesday. I have also mentioned the Lent Address fo 2011 here.
Towards the end of his speach however, he hints of Brazil’s special gift, or the trust tha God has placed especially on Brazilians to care for creation:
“While reminding that the duty to look after the environment is an imperative that stems from the awareness that God entrusts his creation to man, not so that he can exercise over it an arbitrary dominion, but to preserve and care for it, as a son takes care of his father’s inheritance — and God entrusted an inheritance to Brazilians — I happily send you a propitious Apostolic Blessing.”