Two reflections in one day? Seems like I was really into my rosary meditations in the summer of 2003, with this one and the one I posted last week both written down on July 9.
Yesterday, as a breeze cooled the hot summer day just beginning to darken, I thought about God. First, I prayed. Surrounded by all the beauty of my mother’s Garden, I prayed for the intercession of the Virgin Mary in a decade of the Holy Rosary and contemplated God.
“Lord, I see you in all things…” the words from Rainer Maria Rilke came to my mind and I smiled. For, it’s true. The Infinite Eternal, That which always was, is, and always will be created all of this — Creation. And I thanked God for it.
I see God in the roots that cling to the earth and the sprouts that push into the air; in the trees and plants that grow in strength and the buds swelling on the branches; in the flowers breathing their fragrant breath and the petals sighing to the ground; in the fruit ripening thick, heavy and sweet upon the vine and the bough, the grasses with their abundance of seed in grain, the plump tubers beneath the earth. In all those born of womb and hatched from egg, that graze upon the grasses, bite their teeth into the fruit, and plow up the roots, the moving things that pump their blood with the life of things that grow in the earth or the blood of other animals.
God created all of this, which includes the human animal. Yet, I claim that God loves humans above all. How dare I claim that the Master and Creator of the Universe knows me, loves me, cares specifically for me? I am not so very different from the pear tree, from the bird on the wing or the cattle chewing his cud in the field. So, how can I believe that God created human beings specifically in God’s own image? And, why do I believe that God is listening to me as I pray, that God, the Master and Creator of the Universe, hears me and cares?
And, as I asked this question beneath the great sky, the voice inside me said,
… “Because I hear God.”…
… This is the answer. Is this the answer?
How do I know that only humans can hear God? The pear tree, the bird on the wing, the beast in the field could all very well be able to hear the voice of the divine and to know, even to know, that God is — and that God is Great. Perhaps, that is how they live, how they breathe, how they feed, how they go on, beautifully. How special am I then? One of the multitude of beings in this Godly creation that hears the voice of God and is privileged with existence.
Yet… yet… I know… … there is more. Why?
And a thought came without a voice:
I hear… and… I care. I respond.
Perhaps the pear tree responds to the glory of God with the glory of its blossoms and its fruit, in the very shining way it lifts its leaves to the sun. — It does this for survival, for the survivor of earth itself, biological programming. Not praise. Perhaps the bird on the wing sings his hosannas in the air with the sweetness of his song, with the longing and the mourning of his call. — It does this for the body, for the body of earth, biological programming. Not hosannas. And the beast in the field with its simplicity of life and its steadfast commitment to going on perhaps does so with faith, for worship and sacrifice to God. — It does this for instinct, for the necessity of earth, biological programming. Not faith.
And what of me?
I may not give praise and lift myself in any shining way. I may not sing my song of hosanna, or even acknowledge God. I may not live my life humbly in service to the Divine, faithfully. I may choose to ignore, to neglect, to abandon, to deny, to curse. I may choose, choose to love, choose to hate. Choose to be indifferent. And in my choice I have the intelligence, the mind, to know exactly what I’m doing in every cognitive, biological sense.
God gives me this choice. God gave me freewill. That is the difference.
That is the special something, the something more. Will I be in union with Creation and with the Creator, giving praise and hosannas and faithful, dutiful love, or… not. And in union, communion, connection, relationship, response, have all the glory and beauty and praise worthiness for all of eternity with the eternal divinity in whose image I am created. Or… cut myself off from it, and fall into the cursing, the hating, the neglect, the abandonment, the pain of the nothing.
Nothing without God. How absolutely true. Alive with God. How inexorably true. When listening for God… when hearing God… — when responding to God… how lovingly, beautifully, everlastingly True. When believing there is no God… how limited, how small, how inhuman. And wrong.
© 2003 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.