Advent meditation: God gave man dominion over all the animals. Part of this task involved naming the animals. When Adam named the animals, St. Thomas teaches that He did not give them arbitrary names, but names which truly expressed what their nature is (ST I.96.1). Whenever we encounter God’s creation, we should not express our dominion in a way where we seek to exploit nature, but we should seek to understand it and love it as Adam did.

Prayer: O God, help us to understand the natures of all things that You created.

Scripture: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. (Genesis 2:18-20)

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