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The Wonder of Creation – A Reflection

May 14, 2021
A cardinal in mid flight along the Chattahoochee River

Thomas Merton enjoyed the wonder and beauty of creation. This wonder and beauty was especially present when he was able to live in his hermitage on the grounds of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky.

Denise and I took a wee ramble along the Chattahoochee River today. The beauty of the River and God’s creation was certainly evident. Watching this cardinal flit around between bushes, trees and the ground was breathtaking. The fact that he allowed me to take his picture was amazing!

This encounter made me think of Merton and his love and respect for creation. He wrote the following on page 21 of his book New Seeds of Contemplation. There is no evil in anything created by God, nor can anything of His become an obstacle to our union with Him. The obstacle is in our “self,” that is to say in the tenacious need to maintain our separate, external, egotistic will. It is when we refer all things to this outward and false “self” that we alienate ourselves from reality and from God. It is then the false self that is our god, and we love everything for the sake of this self.

As our county, state, and nation move forward in accordance with the newly released Center for Disease Control COVID guideline, my prayer is that we will not consider our “external, egotistical will.” Rather, my prayer is that we will act and do all things for a love that considers others before ourselves.

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