Nature is a Sacrament

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October 4                                                                                                                                              St. Francis of Assisi 

“The kingdom of God is spread out upon the earth and people do not see it.”                Gospel of Thomas

Nature is a pure sacrament of God’s personal presence. Nature does not operate in secrecy or duplicity. It strives always toward balance, harmony, and life itself, not the destruction of the innocent. It has no hidden agenda. It does not seek money, power, or allegiance. It simply is. It supports life, it does not take it away. Nature conveys God without false vestments, contrived words, manufactured dogma, or written rules. Its vestments are not a cloak; nothing is hidden, except the invisible spirit of the One who gives life to all things and makes them holy. Nature is pure. The soul is pure.

While we celebrate our liturgies in closed houses of worship the gospel of life is being preached without words beneath God’s open sky. The trees are a cathedral. The flowers are saints looking up into the face of the sun.

                      “The lands of sunrise and sunset you fill with your joy.”                                Psalm 65

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What’s Given

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Nature still holds the blueprint of our freedom and dignity as created beings bearing the spark of God, but we must first accept what is given and what is not, and not manipulate it into a monstrosity of our own perverse designs. We must endeavor to return to our original intended divine communion, instead of seeking to manifest an amusement park built from our own desires.

Always, the final question looms before me:

What did you do with what you were given?

Lao Tzu Encounters the Burning Bush

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The Lord that can be expressed is not the eternal Lord.

The God that can be named is not the eternal God.

“Being Itself” I call the source of all that is seen and unseen.

“I Am” I call the source of every Self.

Therefore, contemplating what was before the beginning reveals “Being Itself.”

Contemplating what is, reveals “I Am.”

Existence and pre-existence are one in origin and different only in concept.

The unity of all things is the mystery.

The mystery’s deeper mystery

is the “I Am’ who is “Being Itself.”

The Book of Life

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The weather has cleared and the morning has a majestic early Autumn quality. Clear light.Brisk winds. Crickets singing in the tall grass. Prairie flowers in bloom. (The flowers are the faces of saints looking up into the sun.)

It is the week of Rosh Hashanah and, indeed, it feels like everything is new again. A fresh start. I am written in the book of life for this one day and it is enough.

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A Sabbath Morning In August

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A Sabbath morning in August. I have afforded myself much time outdoors after the morning ministrations of coffee, lectio divina, a shower, and breakfast. It is hazy, hot, and humid. There’s a light breeze and the air is wet. The dew is not evaporating. It feels like morning in the country in Mississippi. Intuitions of my ancestors, my family of origin, and my early personal history. Childhood. I was close to nature then. My earliest memory is of nature.

I am spending a good long time sitting on a folding chair facing the woods. Two deer scurry along through the underbrush at a distance of about 50 yards. They stop to look at me with their ears twitching but they are not afraid. They know I will not harm them. I am willfully aware. All I want is peace.