Contact with Nature. God as expressed through the Nature.
The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky proclaims His handiwork. Day to day makes utterance, night to night speaks out. There is no utterance, there are no words, (yet) their voice carries throughout the earth (...). Psalms, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.203.
To say that everything happens according to natural laws and to say that everything is ordained by the decree and ordinance of God, is the same thing. Now since the power in Nature is identical with the power of God, by which alone all things happen and are determined, it follows that whatsoever man, as a part of nature, provides himself with to aid and preserve his existence, or whatsoever Nature affords him, without his help, is given solely by the Divine power. Barukh Spinoza (1632-1677, Holland), Theological-Political Tractate, Ch.3, quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.78.
Dear children, today I invite you all to awaken your hearts to love. Go into nature and look how nature is awakening and it will be a help for you to open your hearts to the love of God the Creator. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, April 25, 1993. Words from Heaven, P.271.
( ) I invite you to go into nature because there you will meet God the Creator. ( ) God is great and His love for every creature is great. ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 25, 1995. Words from Heaven, P.280.
Every second of prayer is like a drop of dew in the morning, which refreshes fully each flower, each blade of grass and the earth. In the same way prayer refreshes man. ( ) Man renews himself and can, once again, listen to the words of God. ( ) How the scenery is beautiful when we look at nature in the morning in all it's freshness! But more beautiful, much more, is it when we look at a man who brings to others peace, love, and happiness. Children, if you could know what prayer brings to man! Especially personal prayer. Man can thus become a really fresh flower for God. ( ) For the beauty of nature, daily renewal and refreshment is necessary. Prayer refreshes man in the same way, to renew him and give him strength. Temptations, which come on him again and again, make him weak and man needs to get from prayer always a new power for love and freshness. Our Lady of Medjugorie, January 27, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.387-8.
Dear children! Today, I call you to become My witnesses by living the faith of your fathers. Little children, you seek signs and messages and do not see that with every morning sunrise God calls you to convert and to return to the way of truth and salvation. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, September 25, 1998. Words from Heaven, supplement.
Fundamentally our life as a Christian is the same as our life as a human being. Our very existence, all that quickens it and everything that affects us make up the language used by God to reach us. Why then seek Him by other means? Our basic disposition in prayer should be to accept our human condition. Now by doing this we also accept our relationship with God, for the universe and all that happens in it is God speaking to us. But, as we carry on with our ordinary human life, the business of our prayer will be to see, to recognize and toe express our essential links with God. Raguin, Yves. How To Pray Today. P.40. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Speak if you have understanding. (...) Have you ever commanded the day to break, assigned the dawn its place? (...) Have you ever penetrated to the sources of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? (...) Can you dispatch the lightning on a mission and have it answer you, "I am ready?" (...) Who gave understanding to the mind? (...) Who provides food for the raven when his young cry out to God and wander about without food? (...) Do you know the season when the mountain goats give birth?(...) Who is wise enough to give an account of the heavens? (...) The Book of Job, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.209.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, (...) "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell me if you have understanding. (...) Have you ever in life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place (...)? Have you entered into the spring of the sea? Or have you walked in the recess of the deep? (...) Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. (...) Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail (...)? Where is the way that the light is divided, or the east wind scattered on the earth? Who has cleft a channel for the flood, or a way for the thunderbolt (...)? From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given birth? (...) Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? (...) Can you send forth lightnings that they may go and say to you, 'Here we are'? (...) Who prepares for the raven its nourishment, when its young cry to God, and wander without food? (...) Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the deer? (...) Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, stretching his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up, and makes his nest on high? Job 38 & 39
(...) owing to various habits of living that alienate most men from nature, their innate powers of recuperation and rejuvenation become impaired and are prematurely lost. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.83.
The man whispered, "God, speak to me." And a meadowlark sang. But
the man did not hear. So the man yelled "God, speak to me." And the
thunder and lightning rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen. The
man looked around and said, "God, let me see you." And a star shone
brightly. But the man did not see. And, the man shouted, "God, show me a
miracle." And a life was born. But the man did not notice. So, the man
cried out in despair, "Touch me, God, and let me know you are here."
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the
butterfly away and walked on. (...) The man
cried "God, I need your help" and an e-mail arrived reaching out with good news and encouragement. But the man deleted it and continued crying (...). Submitted by Tamara Stack.
How the valley awakes. At two-fifteen in the morning there are no sounds except in the monastery: the bell rings, the office begins. Outside nothing, except perhaps a bullfrog saying "Om" in the creek or in the guesthouse pond. Some nights he is in Samadhi; there is not even "Om." (...) The first chirps of the waking day birds mark the "point vierge" of the dawn under a sky as yet without real light, a moment of awe and inexpressible innocence, when the Father in perfect silence opens their eyes. They begin speak to Him, not with fluent song, but with an awakening question that is their dawn state, their state at the "point vierge." Their condition asks if it is time for them to "be." He answers "yes." Then, they one by one wake up, and become birds. (...) Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand. It is wide open. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.131-2.
Our attitude toward nature is simply an extension of our attitude toward ourselves, and toward one another. We are free to be at peace with ourselves and others, and also with nature. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.139.
Today, Father, this blue sky lands you. The delicate green and orange flowers of the tulip poplar tree praise you. The distant blue hills praise you, together with the sweet smelling air that is full of brilliant light. (...) I too, Father, praise you with all my brothers (...). Here I am. In me the world is present, and you are present. I am a link in the chain of light and of presence. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.177.
"Vitalism," the enthusiastic exaltation of life in neopagan and totalist forms of mass-society is, as Bonhoeffer saw, in reality a masked hatred of life, and a radical unfitness for its common and simple joys, the natural joys implanted in nature by God, and which prepare us, by gratitude and hope, to enter into His Kingdom. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.202.
How absolutely central is the truth that we are first of all part of nature, though we are a very special part, that which is conscious of God. In solitude, one is entirely surrounded by beings which perfectly obey God. This leaves only one place open for me, anf if I occupy that place then I, too, am fulfilling His will. The place nature "leaves open" belongs to the conscious one, the one who is aware, who sees all this as a unity, who offers it all to God in praise, joy, thanks. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.294.
A certain Philosopher asked St. Anthony: Father, how can you be so happy when you are deprived of the consolation of books? Anthony replied: My book, O philosopher, is the nature of created things, and any time I want to read the words of God, the book is before me. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert. P.62.
I think how many harried Americans pay thousands of dollars just to have a few free days or weeks in the midst of some of the peaceful beauty I find here. And here I am steeped in it with nothing to do but let it fill my being with the message of his beauty and love. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.41.
This afternoon the Lord put on a magnificent spectacle. ( ) An electric storm marched majestically across the bay, shooting lightning bolts at each step, sending rolls of thunder ahead on the swirling winds, as thunderheads made their steady approach on mighty Athos and sheets of rain calmed the darkened waters. The freshness of newly washed air gave it delicious smell and taste as it swept across my observation deck. And through it all, filtering down from the monastery, was the melodious strong voice of Father Gervasios as he hammered away in the kitchen. ( ) Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.155.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters,
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over the waters.
The Voice of the Lord is mighty;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord strikes fiery flames;
the voice of the Lord shakes the desert,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of (Athos).
Psalm 29. Quoted after: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.155.
He is sweet that way, trying to coax the world to dance. Look how the wind holds the trees in its hands helping them to sway. Look how the sky takes the fields and the oceans and our bodies in its arms, and moves all beings toward His lips. God must get hungry for us; why is he not also a lover who wants His lovers near? Beauty is my teacher helping me to know He cares for me. Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.26. OGN #572.
( ) When I returned from Rome, all said, Tell us the great news, and with great excitement I did: A flower in a field whistled, and at night the sky untied her hair and I fell asleep clutching a sacred tress St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.32.
( ) I have come to learn: God adores His creation. St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.41
Last updated: 2008/10/28