Ordinary Time can feel, after Advent and Christmas and Lent and Easter, a bit, well, ordinary. But many of us are also in the middle of summer. In many parts of the world that means warmer weather, more sunshine, more flowers and trees in bloom and even some vacation time.
For those of us in the hot summer months, however, it’s a time to perhaps shake up our prayer lives. One thing I’d recommend is what you might call “Nature Prayer.” Can you be attentive to the presence of God in nature? One of the most beautiful passages in Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si,” on the care of creation, reminds us that Jesus was not only in nature, but that he enjoyed it. And I’ll admit I had never thought of it that way before. Certainly I knew that Jesus used many images from nature for his parables—seeds and birds, wheat and clouds, and so on—but I never imagined him enjoying nature.
But how could he not have? As he passed through the beautiful landscape of Galilee, how could he not have enjoyed the flowers and the trees, and seen the Father’s hand in nature? So this week, wherever you are, hot or cold, wind or rain, sun or clouds, see if you can turn your gaze towards the presence of God in the natural world. God is waiting to meet you there.