Frequently we will pass by nature during our daily commute or walk around the neighborhood, but how often do we stop to appreciate its beauty or the presence of God within it?
St. Bonaventure writes in The Journey of the Mind into God, “as far as the mirror of sensible things is concerned, we contemplate God not only through them, but also in them, in as far as God is in them through his essence, power, and presence—and this way of reflecting is higher than the previous one. For this reason, contemplation of this sort comes second, as the second step of contemplation, by which we ought to be led to the contemplation of God in all those creatures that enter into our mind through the bodily senses.”
The Franciscan saint follows in the footsteps of St. Francis by recognizing the presence of God in nature and how the created world inevitably leads us back to the one who created it.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church echoes these thoughts, explaining, “The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will.”
When we can see nature in this context, we will no longer be “masters” of creation, but gracious souls thankful for the many blessings God has given us in the created world.
Philip Kosloski – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA & Canada)