“The heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork “-Psalm 19:1
“Teach me and I will be silent, make me understand how I have gone astray”- Job 6:25
The clouds may hide the sunshine, but they can never banish the sun. The same is with our God! All things bright and beautiful around us, is just His awesome way of making His presence known.
Too often in life have we just forgotten to unwind; too often the pressures of life deny us a meaningful break. But as we should all note, if we can walk with the Lord, so can we rest with Him!
To actually meet the Lord is a journey that can be best accelerated by basking in the very glory of the stillness of nature. Mother Teresa famously substantiated this by saying-” We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature, trees, flowers, grass grow in silence. See the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls. ” How right she was!
Respecting the Lord of sea and sky in His own right, helps us to recognize that He is Creation King indeed.
Therefore, understanding creation is a school of thought that deals with being receptive to our surroundings as God’s vessels of grace. It comes about with comprehending life and existence and accepting His creation as His expressions of love.
Obviously we cannot expect God to send us signs of nature as he did for Noah, Moses and Jonah ; in the forms of a dove with a leaf, a burning bush and the tree and the worm, respectively! But as youth, we must understand that like all things sacred, nature too, is a mystery; best experienced through our senses, which is why our sensuality needs to be taken very, very seriously.
Many of us fail in this respect, as in our young and busy lives, we don’t really pay attention to the way we were fearfully and wonderfully made ( Ps 139: 13-16) . Very few of us actually, consciously view creation as God’s gift. And hence to accomplish this, silence seems to be the ideal method.
In order to recognize God’s role as host and healer in our lives, we must occasionally unplug from our hectic schedules and find those perfect moments for introspection and realize where we’ve gone wrong . It is good to remember that your retreat is God’s resort. We need to take solace in natural surroundings in order to view life in His eyes and realize that we were created in His likeness for His pleasure!
Yes indeed, we were carved in the palm of His hand to be loved by Him. He thus moulds like a potter does, reworking us to His desire- and hence all we have to do is just accept it and more importantly realize it!
When we practice solitude, we renounce everything to be alone with the Lord just like the apostles did in Mark 6:31-32. Such solitude helps us to interact with nature in the way God intends! Says Mitch Albom,the writer- “Scenery without solace is meaningless. That is the greatest gift God can give you- to have your life explained, while you search your peace“.
True enough, the Lord speaks to us in the silence of our hearts and so we need to surrender to silence in order to hear Him speak. Fr. Paul Vaz S.J, Director of the XIMR who conducts the extremely effective S2S( Surrender to Silence) Earth-Centered Healing Retreats , explains that this can be achieved by meditating in the scriptures , practicing yoga, journaling, reciting quiet breath prayers daily as well as sending prayer vibrations to those in need. He also advises us to look out for own companion in nature as a spirit friend to relate to; and to strive to be more ecologically responsible in the long run.
For all nature is God’s wealth that abounds in plenty -we just have to take time out to be one with it. The Creator’s eternal power is visible through each and every product of His- including you and me; Sirach 43 exemplifies this very fact! And since He has counted every hair on our head, we must attempt to use ourselves to emanate His glory and remind each other that we are of intentional design.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Ps 46:10
If you wish to participate in an S2S Earth-Centered Healing Retreat, please visit paulvaz.blogspot.com or contact Fr. Paul Vaz on firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 022-6522 1909, 6522 1911