Thursday, September 11, 2014

Seeking God In The Beauty Of The Mountains

Dale Matson

McClure Meadow
Click On Photograph To Enlarge

“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NASB)

Benedict Groeschel, OFM Cap.  (Priest, Psychologist and Friar) maintains that most of us seek God in one of four ways (Spiritual Passages: The Psychology of Spiritual Development, 1993 Crossroad, N.Y.). He used the saints of the church as examples to illustrate his point. The call of St. Catherine of Genoa was to Unity, St. Francis saw God as the Good, St. Thomas Aquinas saw God as True. St Augustine saw God as Beauty.

St. Augustine had the following to say about beauty. “But what is it that  I love when  I love you? Not the beauty of any bodily thing, nor  the  order of  any  seasons,  not  the  brightness of light  that rejoices  the  eye,  nor  the  sweet  melodies  of  all songs,  nor  the  sweet fragrance of flowers  and  ointments and  spices;  not  manna or  honey, not the limbs that carnal love embraces. None of these things do I love in loving my God.  Yet in a sense I do  love  light  and   melody  and fragrance and  food  and  embrace when  I love my God - the light and the  voice and  the  fragrance and  the  food  and  embrace of  the  soul. When that light shines upon my soul which no place can contain, that voice which no time can take from me, I breathe that fragrance which no wind scatters, I eat the food which is not lessened by eating, and I lie in the embrace which satiety never comes to sunder. This it is that I love, when I love my God.

Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved Thee! For behold Thou wert within me, and I outside; and I sought Thee outside and   in my unloveliness fell upon   those lovely things that Thou hast made. Thou wert with me and I was not with Thee. I was kept  from  Thee by those  things, yet had  they  not been  in Thee, they would  not  have  been  at all. Thou didst  call and  cry to me and  break  open  my deafness; and  Thou didst  send  forth Thy  beams and  shine  upon  me and  chase  away my blindness; Thou didst  breathe fragrance upon  me,  and  I drew  in  my breath and  do  now  pant  for Thee; I tasted  Thee and  now hunger and  thirst  for Thee. Thou didst touch me, and I have burned for Thy peace.” Confessions

These mountain places are where I fellowship with God too for it was He who made these things and us also.  It can at times be as intimate an occasion for me as when I proclaim the words of the Great Thanksgiving during the Holy Eucharist.

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