Can you be attentive to the presence of God in nature?

Photo of the Sea of Galilee by Fr. James Martin, S.J..

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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.

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JR Cosgrove
6 months ago

Can you be attentive to the presence of God in nature?

Yes! But not just beauty but also the magnificence of how He did it. See following comment from 5 months ago,

JR Cosgrove
6 months ago

The fine tuning of the universe gives us clouds that enables life. Look up and see the handiwork of our creator. A perfect water transport system is before your eyes. Without water there can be no life. Without clouds there is no way to transfer water around the globe to nurture life. Clouds give us water/ice. Ice melts, flows to the sea nourishing along the way. Water vapor/rain are absorbed by plant life. Changing temperatures gives us water vapor and clouds and it starts all over again. We live on a planet that enables all this and a lot more.

JR Cosgrove
6 months ago

A better alternative is to tell the truth

Here is lecture at TED by environmentalist Michael Shellenberger on the problems of sustainable energy and protecting nature, specially solar and wind power. Learn why increase usage of solar and wind increases use of fossil fuel and destroys the environment. Shellenberger uses phrase above
http://bit.ly/2Iryhoe

FRAN ABBOTT
6 months ago

Thank you so much, Fr. Martin, for this simple and beautiful reflection. So joyful to think of seeing the world through Jesus’s eyes. Love it!

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