Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Silently meditate on the
vastness of the universe,
the majesty of the ocean,
the power of natural forces
the grace and beauty of animals and plants
and the connection we each have within this one creation.
“How wonderful, O God, are the works of your hands!..
A Divine Voice sings through all Creation!”
A Jewish Prayer to honor God’s Creation
Today as we move through our daily routines, let us be conscious of the unity of all creation, human and non-human. Consider the reverence and care that is our responsibility to all beings.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
God covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth; God makes grass grow on the hills and gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God. The history of our friendship with God is always linked to particular places which take on an intensely personal meaning; we all remember places, and revisiting those memories does us much good. Anyone who has grown up in the hills or used to sit by the spring to drink, or played outdoors in the neighborhood square; going back to these places is a chance to recover something of their true selves.
Pope Francis. Laudato Si
I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you the clear remembrance of the Creator. …One blade of grass or one speck of dust is enough to occupy your entire mind in beholding the art with which it has been made. … The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, even our brothers, the animals, to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us. …We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of pain. May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life.
St. Basil the Great (329-379)
The ancient human-Earth relationship must be recovered in a new context, in its mystical as well as in its physical functioning. There is need for awareness that the mountains and rivers and all living things, the sky and its sun and moon and clouds all constitute a healing, sustaining sacred presence for humans which they need as much for their psychic integrity as for their physical nourishment.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.