Whatever is good, true and beautiful
Father Robert Barron shares in his book Eucharist that “the world serves as an icon of the one who made it, and therefore, whatever is good, true, and beautiful in creation functions as a potential point of contact between beings and God.” (Barron, Eucharist, Page 21). Father Barron captures the essence of God’s intent for Creation; using three simple words…good, true and beautiful. I could not agree more with his statement. “God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.” (Gen 1:31). It is God’s goodness that we are called to be and to [see] everything He made is good…it is through [goodness] that we unite with our Creator. God’s works are true…grounded on what is right and based on facts… everything that is true we belong to…we belong to Him. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27). And [what] exactly IS beautiful… OPEN your eyes and [see], open your heart [be aware], listen with your ears [be alert]…we are surrounded with great and unfathomable beauty. His Creation fascinates me… I cannot stop looking at His infinite wonders…oh the very details of Creation…I see His goodness in the simplest of things like… a flower in full bloom, a child’s smile, an elderly couple holding hands, a shade tree, a butterfly’s freedom, a bird calling for it’s mate, a seed with life inside of it, a nest with 5 eggs, an expecting mother, a nurse caring for her patient, a teacher patience, a student’s academic growth, the scent of fall, a cow producing milk for it’s calf, a Wyoming sunset, a full moon, star gazing from the bed of my F-150, a horse galloping on an open range, a shepherd herding his sheep, a house made out of stone & logs…He provides, the taste of fresh goat cheese, a sip of French tea [sweetened by Maggie] on a cold day…His goodness is endless. My awareness increases each day I open my mind to new things in His [marvelous] Creation. Take the time today, tomorrow, and the next to see, touch, hear, smell and taste all He has made for us.
Holy Scripture lays a firm foundation… it begins by speaking of The Creator God. “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth–“. (Gen 1:1). The Apostle John writes in his Gospel account, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:1-5). I just love John don’t you? He was sent by God…to testify to the light…so that all might believe through Him (Jn 1:7). If you desire to know more about Jesus the 2003 film called The Gospel of John is well presented. It’s been an invaluable visual reminder of God’s love to me and it makes a great gift for others. It is without question my favorite movie about Jesus’ life. The movie begins with Christopher Plummer narration of Chapter 1…in his deep voice he boldly reads from John…”In the beginning was the Word… John’s account is powerful and leads me right to Creation…good, true and beautiful.
An immeasurable resource which has helped me understand the Church’s teachings on Creation is The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Specifically, in Part One, The Profession of Faith section, SECTION TWO: “I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER, Article 1: “I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, Paragraph 4. The Creator, 280 states “Creation is the foundation of “all God’s saving plans,” the “beginning of the history of salvation” that culminates in Christ. Conversely, the mystery of Christ casts conclusive light on the mystery of creation and reveals the end for which “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”: from the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ. 282 “Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves: “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” “What is our origin?” “What is our end?” “Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?” The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.” lll. “The world was created for the Glory of God” 293 “Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: “The world was made for the glory of God.” St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things “not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it,” for God has not other reason for creating than his love and goodness: “Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.” Our one true God created us and the world out of his goodness and almighty power “in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures.” (Catechism, page 77). I encourage you to pick up your Catechism, wipe the dust off of it or go buy one if you do not currently own one…there’s so much wealth of information in it to learn. The more we grow in wisdom the more we resemble His image. lV. The Mystery of Creation God creates by wisdom and love. God creates “out of nothing”. God creates an ordered and good world. God transcends creation and is present to it. God upholds an sustains creation and God Carries Out His Plan: DIVINE PROVIDENCE… the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection: “By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, “reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well.” For “all are open and laid bare to this eyes,” even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.” I recognize this is a lot of information all at once and deep too. I hope you thirst for more…and may the holy Spirit direct your life to know Him better, to love Him more dearly and to serve Him by the way you live your life.
The Catechism is available in print, ebook [downloaded from USCCB– United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] or a daily feed [powered by Flocknote] offered by Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction. This past year I made a commitment to myself to read the Catechism and subscribed to receive a daily feed from: Read the Catechism in a Year<firstname.lastname@example.org>through http://rcspiritualdirection.com/ This feed has blessed my life.
May God continue to fill you with His Grace and Bless you on your journey toward Him.