Day 5: 20th May – Encountering the Divine in all things
From Laudato Si:
‘Encountering God does not mean fleeing from this world or turning our back on nature’
In the incarnation the divine ‘chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter.’
‘Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness.’ #69
‘The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.’ #233 (Ali al-Khawas).
When we pay attention not only can we recognise the otherness of those we encounter but, as people of faith, we come to a sense of God being revealed in all things. There is a depth dimension to all of reality, a numinous quality that always suggests more than we can ever grasp or know.
The understanding of the incarnate God can never be confined to just one understanding. While we lay down certain propositions about the nature of God, it is worth emphasising that, as John Feehan points out, ‘the spark that inflames the tinder of our human thirst for God is our physical, emotional and intellectual encounter with creation in the first instance.’ Thus Pope Francis, echoing the Sufi mystic Ali al-Khawas, speaks of the mystical meaning which can be found in a leaf, a mountain trail, a dewdrop or a poor person’s face. In all our encounters, we experience something of God. We are with God, we are in God.
Let us be ever mindful of the myriad ways in which the mystery we call God is given expression. May we use wisely the time given us now during these days of COVID-19 to give ourselves fully to each encounter, allowing them to speak to us of the Author of all existence.
All of the previous Laudato Si’ daily reflections can be found in our Resources Section under Social Issues.
Margaret Twomey rsm