When I asked the Earth, it responded I am not God. When I ask the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, they said nor are we the God you seek. I said: speak to me of my God. Loudly, they exclaimed: " It is He who made us. " The heavens, the earth, and everything that is in them, all these things tell me to love You....It was you, oh Lord, who created the heavens and Earth. They are beautiful because You are beautiful. They are good because You are good. They have come to be because You are.
"All Who Are Cured Are Cured By Him"
There is a sense in which no doctor ever heals. The doctors themselves would be the first to admit this. The magic is not in the medicine but in the patient’s body – in the vis medicatrix naturae, the recuperative or self-corrective energy of Nature. What the treatment does is to stimulate Natural functions or to remove what hinders them. We speak for convenience of the doctor, or the dressing, healing a cut. But in another sense every cut heals itself; no cut can be healed in a corpse. That same mysterious force which we call gravitational when it steers the planets and biochemical when it heals a live body, is the efficient cause of all recoveries...All who are cured are cured by Him, not merely in the sense that His providence provides them with medical assistance and wholesome environments, but also in the sense that their very tissues are repaired by the far-descended energy which, flowing from Him, energies the whole system of Nature.”
Nature...is what we are put into this world to rise above.
"Be Not Distracted By The Postman's Uniform"
To say that God created Nature, while it brings God and Nature into relation, also separates them. What makes and what is made must be two, no one. Thus the doctrine of Creation in one sense empties Nature of divinity...By emptying Nature of divinity - or, let us say, of divinities - you may fill her with Deity, for she is now the bearer of messages. There is a sense in which Nature-worship silences her - as if a child or a savage were so impressed with the postman's uniform that he omitted to take in the letters.
Another result of believing in Creation is to see Nature not as a mere datum but as an achievement. Some of the Psalmists are delighted with its mere solidity and permanence. God has given to His works His own character of emeth; they are watertight, faithful, reliable, not at all vague or phantasmal. 'All His works are faithful - He spake and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast.' Psalm 33:4,9.
"His Glorious Radiance"
The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling, keen lance rays of every color flashing sparkling in glorious abundance, joining the plants in their fine, brave beauty-work-every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.
"Nature: An Anticipation of Eternal Beauty"
Truth and goodness and beauty are but different faces of the same All. But beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The Only Shoulders"
I read the statement “Abraham believed God” (Galatians 3:6). It jumped out at me with all its loaded implications: “Abraham believed God”—and not man. “Abraham believed God”—and not what well-meaning pastors or little old ladies told him about God. “Abraham believed God”—knowing that different preachers and professors teach opposing and contradictory things, and theologies are not infallible, but go awry. “Abraham believed God”—and that’s all you and I can do, at the end of the day.
I can just imagine what Martin Luther’s counselor told him in his office when the monk of tender conscience came to him with a troubled mind: “Martin, pray that God will forgive your arrogance and presumption. Who do you think you are, that you can see something that has escaped the divines of the centuries, and many a better scholar than you? Martin, don’t you know: We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.”
I wonder if the monk replied: Dear Abbot, the Word of God must always stand above the word of man. I cannot judge his word; it judges me. The only shoulders I can stand on are Jesus’, Peter’s, and Paul’s.
"Environmentalism For All The Right Reasons"
The value of the things is not in themselves autonomously, but that God made them, and thus they deserve to be treated with high respect. The tree in the field is to be treated with respect. It is not to be romanticized (as if it had feelings). When you drive the ax into the tree when you need firewood, you are not cutting down a person; you are cutting down a tree. But while we should not romanticize the tree, we must realize God made it and it deserves respect because He made it as a tree. The Christian is a man who has a reason for dealing with each created thing on a high level of respect...Thus God treats His creation with integrity: each thing in its own order, each thing the way He made it. If God treats the tree like a tree…the man like a man, shouldn’t I? And for the highest reason: because I love God—I love the One who has made it! Loving the Lover who has made it, I have respect for the thing He has made...
Francis A. Schaeffer
Man is the link between God and nature...As God has descended into man, so man must ascend to God.
There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and mercy of God to the whole world.
"Cause And Effect"
Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God.
"Beyond the Grandeur
The grandeur of nature is only the beginning.
Beyond the grandeur is God.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
"The First Cause of Infinite Complexity…Must Be Omniscient"
From the intrinsic evidence of His creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician.
Sir James Hopwood Jeans
"The Real Miracle: The Divine League"
To contrast the size of the oak with that of the parent acorn, as if the poor seed had paid all costs from its slender strong-box, may serve for a child’s wonder; but the real miracle lies in that divine league which bound all the forces of nature to the service of the tiny germ in fulfilling its destiny.
James Russell Lowell
"Like Statues Come To Life"
A statue has the shape of a man but is not alive. In the same way, man has (in a sense I am going to explain) the 'shape' or likeness of God, but he has not got the kind of life God has. Let us take the first point (man's resemblance to God) first. Everything God has made has some likeness to Himself. Space is like Him in its hugeness: not that the greatness of space is the same kind of greatness as God's, but it is a sort of symbol of it, or a translation of it into non-spiritual terms. Matter is like God in having energy...The vegetable world is like Him because it is alive...The intense activity and fertility of the insects, for example, is a first dim resemblance to the unceasing activity and the creativeness of God. In the higher mammals we get the beginnings of instinctive affection. That is not the same thing as the love that exists in God: but it is like it-rather in the way that a picture drawn on a flat piece of paper can nevertheless be 'like' a landscape. When we come to man, the highest of the animals, we get the completest resemblance to God which we know of....Man not only lives, but loves and reasons: biological life reaches its highest known level in him.
And that is precisely what Christianity is about. This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life.
"Rediscovering Childhood Wonder"
Janine came over this morning and opened up my world a little.
She played with my cat forever. (I was tempted to look at my watch.) We supposedly get together to read a book once a week, but we haven’t done that in ages; we just talk. Just talking is not normally on my agenda.
I showed her an article in a pet magazine that I was going to use to say disparaging things about animal rights people, and she found the article charming. It launched her into little spontaneous meditations on God’s creation and the antics of her dog Cooper.
My time with Janine reminded me of the times I had with my old friend Lynn, who passed away in 2003. Lynn used to stop at every flower and pine cone and hold it and examine it seriously from every angle, and ooh and ahh. She showed me (without being heavy-handed about it) that flowers are not just useless plants you can’t eat.
I don’t think Janine and Lynn consciously appointed themselves to be my deprogrammers, but I can tell that if I hang around Janine more, there is a chance I will undo some acculturation and recover childhood wonder. I am starting to entertain the funny idea that efficiency isn’t the only measure of a well-spent day.
As she was leaving the house, Janine pressed her nose up close to the light green bud-thingies that grow on the evergreen shrub near my steps. She looked delighted and said, “Wow, look at that! They look like little jesters with those funny floppy pointed hats!”
I have lived in this house for 25 years but never noticed the little green buds. “How about that, you’re right,” I said, taking a look at my surroundings for the first time.
"Only Supernaturalists Really See Nature"
Only Supernaturalists really see Nature. You must go a little away from her, and then turn around and look back. Then at last the true landscape will become visible. You must have tasted, however briefly, the pure water from beyond the world before you can be distinctly conscious of the hot, salty tang of Nature’s current. To treat her as God, or as Everything, is to lose the whole pith and pleasure of her.
Come out, look back, and then you will see: this astonishing cataract of bears, babies, and bananas [and birds]; this immoderate deluge of atoms, orchids, oranges, cancers, fleas, gases, tornadoes and toads. How could you ever have thought this was the ultimate reality? How could you ever have thought that it was merely a stage-set for the moral drama of men and women? She is herself. Offer her neither worship nor contempt. Meet her and know her.
If we are immortal, and if she is doomed (as scientists tell us) to run down and die, we shall miss this half-shy and half-flamboyant creature, this ogress, this [saucy girl], this incorrigible fairy, this dumb witch. But the theologians tell us that she, like ourselves, is to be redeemed. The ‘vanity’ to which she was subjected was her disease, not her essence. She will be cursed in character: not tamed (Heaven forbid) nor sterilized. We shall still be able to recognize our old enemy, friend, playfellow and foster mother, so perfected as to be not less, but more, herself. And that will be a merry meeting.
"The Mind The Animates"
The more we learn of science, the more we see that its wonderful mysteries are all explained by a few simple laws so connected together and so dependent upon each other, that we see the same mind animating them all.
"The Interdependence of True Religion And True Science"
Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
"The Sweet Breath of Morn"
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest Birds; pleasant the Sun
When first on this delightful Land he spreads
His orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r
Glist'ring with dew.
“The Greatest Show on Earth”
Sunset is the greatest show on Earth. Just because it's free don't take it for granted.