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.)
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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