“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1)
I am convinced that many people would experience improved mental well-being if they increased their contact and communion with the natural beauty of God’s creation.
God, who is, as the scholastic theologians say, in His creation by His POWER, PRESENCE and ESSENCE is most assuredly present in the transformative beauty of the natural world.
Commenting on the healing power of nature, Saint Pope John Paul II made the following observation:
“The aesthetic value of creation cannot be overlooked. Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the goodness and beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God.” (John Paul II, 1990 World Day of Peace Message, no. 14.)
“All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty” (no. 246).”
P.S. As a practical example, many of us spend time walking along a nature trail. To reeducate your mind to the beauty of nature, spend some time actually peering into the moving stream along the trail, or looking receptively at a strange but beautiful flower you pass by. Father Irala says that we should let the beauty “enter deep into us.” We are not talking about pantheism, but rather about God manifested through the beauty of his external creation. This is, in essence, a form of religious contemplation.
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This is a great reminder to seek God always and everywhere.
Great to see you blogging!
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Absolutely filled with joy that you have a new blog, Tom. Great name, timely content from an inspired writer who is Catholic to the Core. Go, Team! God is at work in you! Thank you!
well said brother, as you know I’m a true believer that nature can clens the soul.
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I loved this blog post! Whenever I experience anxiety I go on walks on the trail with my mom.I feel that God is truly alive in nature! God bless.
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Great blog, Tom – and great reminder that God is always on out midst, most clearly in nature!
Wow! So true Tom – powerful to reflect upon. I have experienced profound connection to God in nature — it’s one of my favorite aspects of trail running. The incredible power and generosity of God manifested in nature can’t help but inspire a joyful THANK YOU to Him. Awesome to reflect too that the value of a single (infinfite) human soul is greater than all of God’s (finite) creation! So grateful to Him. Thanks for the post!
Bravo Tom, it’s wonderful to see your blog up & published and you have such a wonderful message! Keep confident as you extend your blog and expand your message. Remember this is not about messing with technology but more importantly about connecting with people. You have a gift here.
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This is a fantastic article! I always enjoy your words of wisdom, Padre! Keep em coming!:)
Congratulations Molly on completing your first full week of teaching first graders at Sacred Heart!
That requires Catholic strength!
So many people have left the Church to go walk in the woods. Your articled is a good reminder that God and the Church walks with them.
Tom – Fantastic article. Your words of wisdom are so important in the dark times we live in. Keep up the good work!
Thanks, Sadeer, for getting me going.
Wonderful read! Very thought provoking. I am going to start changing how I deal with stress and spend more time with nature.
I love the topic Tom. As an avid runner for over 35 years I can honestly tell you I have heard God’s Power through the roaring of a nearby creek, I have felt His Presence on a 10 mile run where I literally see no human but yet feel a companionship like no other, and I see the Essence of God in the faces that I do see
enjoying the same visions of beauty that I am allowed. To me nature and God is like a 3-D experience and the main reason I run outdoors and not on a treadmill.
I would also like to comment that Michigan weather reminds me of our our church calendar. As we grow accustomed to the four seasons they begin to take on new meanings as we get older as we always seem to find something different about them throughout the years. As a Catholic I seem to continue to grow each year in my faith and find new meanings in these events even though I know they come each year at the same time.
Awesome reflection, John.
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