Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Joyful Mystery of Creation

Today, Pope Francis shared a simple, but remarkable Tweet. @Pontifex wrote, "More than a scientific question, the universe is a joyful mystery that speaks of God's boundless love for us." In this message, our Holy Father links science and nature in one conversation.

As a recent beneficiary of the wonders of medical science, Pope Francis succinctly draws our focus into what is most important; it isn't the individual scientific breakthroughs. It is certainly not mankind's claims of accomplishments on our own. Creation continues to unfold around us, and that creation is a freely and generously given gift. It is God's boundless love, experienced every day, at every moment.

Most of the time, we probably miss that perspective on Creation unfolding around us. Our busy - some might even claim "chaotic" - lives keep us running all the time. Part of God's boundless love is the gift of quiet, the gift of time to notice His Creation, and this is a gift that too often goes unused, at least for me.

Scientists need to understand things; that is the nature of their vocation and work. But observing God's Creation around us doesn't take a scientific outlook. How wonderfully simple it is when we embrace a few moments of quiet, and simply watch and listen, without needing any explanation other than being - just being - in the presence of God's boundless love. When we experience and embrace His joyful mystery.

My quiet time is, to a degree, forced on me these days, but I embrace it as a blessing to have to take it easy, to slow down, to drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest. But technology, as part of God's Creation, makes it a true blessing to observe my universe. As I write this blog post, sitting on a bench in my back yard, connected via my iPad and wireless connection to the Internet, I have had the chance to observe the universe God is offering today. Bright sunshine glistens through the fluttering leaves of hundred-year-old trees. A pair of blue jays playfully chase each other with short flights, and hops from branch to branch among the trees. In my quiet, a rabbit wandered close, surprising itself when it noticed a person, me, within ten feet of it's grazing. It held on for a few moments, then hurried away to the middle of the yard, near where the groundhog was foraging. People walked by, holding hands and holding leashes, enjoying each other on this restful morning. Birds flew close, so that I could not only hear their chirps, but hear their wings flapping.

None of this creation is ours, none of this science or nature is owned by us, but all of it reflects God's boundless love. All of it is a gift.

May each of you find a few moments to enter into this joyful mystery, to embrace His Creation, to realize the blessed fullness of quiet.