The other day as I was contemplating what to write about this month I read this line in the Catechism, and came up with the perfect topic.
The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 341)
I live in a beautiful part of our country (yes, I’m probably a bit biased since I chose to move here to marry my husband). I live along the shores of Lake Superior and I’m continually in awe of the beauty that surrounds us. I am always amazed at the number of people who have lived here all their lives and seem to not realize the infinite beauty that surrounds them every day. However, even some of the most oblivious people will give you a “you know, it’s really pretty this time of year,” in the Fall.
I find God a lot of places: in the eyes of my husband, every time I contemplate the unconditional love of our dog, in friends and family, in our gorgeous church, in the words of our priest’s homilies… I could go on and make this post nothing more than where I find God, but I’ll spare you.
It seems like no matter what is going on in my life, my spiritual life takes an upswing in the Fall. I find God in the unending beauty that surrounds me everywhere I look this time of year.
I don’t know what Autumn is like where you live, but a trip to experience Autumn along the shores of the Great Lakes needs to be on your bucket list. If you can’t get here in the Fall you won’t be sorry if you come another time of year, but believe me when I say that God puts on a show each September/October. Trust me when I say that my photographs don’t do it justice – as spectacular as my (untouched) photos are.
Talk to nearly anyone and they’ll tell you that deciduous trees are green and they turn colors in the autumn, but they’d be wrong. [Did I ever mention that I’m a science geek?] Deciduous trees are green while they’re producing chlorophyll pigment and as the chlorophyll pigment decreases the tree’s other colors in the leaves emerges. In my region of the country we get bright, vibrant reds, oranges, golds, even purples and a rich brown. The landscape looks alive.
God has revealed to me a special gift about Fall, and I feel called to share it with our readers today. God uses Fall to teach us about his creation in a special way, and maybe not in a way that many of us think about. I think that’s fair to say because I don’t think about it often, but I have been lately.
Autumn is synonymous with the latter years of our lives, most of us know that.
But look deeper.
The colors are revealed when the pigment fades, when the other color in the leaf is allowed to come to the surface. What beauty is revealed when we look below the surface of people around us? What beauty is found when we peel back the layers? Is there someone in your world that you judge on the surface only? Someone whose beauty is hard to see?
If each life is precious in God’s sight (and as Catholics, we believe that it is), and if each life is created in God’s image (and as Catholics, we believe that it is) then there is beauty in every living thing.
But how many things do we walk by every day without seeing the beauty in God’s creation?
And just like the deciduous trees shed their leaves each Autumn and remain at rest for the winter before their outward life cycle begins again, we must (sometimes) shed things from our lives. At times we must enter periods of dormancy before action begins again. The Church does that… we enter Advent to prepare for the Feast of Christmas & we enter Lent before the Easter Season. God doesn’t ask us to live at the same pace every day, we are allowed to be seasonal.
No matter where you live in the country, God’s amazing handiwork surrounds you. I don’t know what you’re going through in your life this weekend. I don’t know what burdens are weighing you down. I don’t know what your relationship with God is like. I do know, however, that you can find Him in the beauty of His creation.