On this 4th of July weekend, I hope all of you have a chance to sit back and enjoy! Maybe your plans include gathering with family and friends or spending some time on the lake, maybe you plan on watching or shooting off some fireworks! That’s what summer is all about. Summer is also about thanking God for the wonderful country we are in, for the freedoms we enjoy and the ability to exercise those freedoms in so many ways. Sure, our politics are not perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be grateful for what we have, all differences aside. One way to thank God is to be grateful for God’s work of creation as we experience the outdoors. Last week, I preached on Pope Francis’ encyclical: “Laudato Si: on the Care of our Common Home.” I also encouraged all of you to look at this beautifully crafted document more closely on line. Please read it for yourself. You just might learn something!
In the midst of this summer season I would like to leave you with just a small exert of this great encyclical for your thoughts, meditation and prayer:
#85 “God has written a precious book, ‘whose letters are the multitude of created things present in the universe.’ The Canadian Bishops rightly pointed out that no creature is excluded from this manifestation of God. ‘From the panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe. It is also a continuing revelation of the divine.’ The bishops of Japan, for their part, made a thought provoking observation: ‘To sense each creature singing the hymn of its existence is to live joyfully in God’s love and hope. This contemplation of creation allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us, since for the believer, to contemplate creation is to hear a message, to listen to a paradoxical and silent voice. We can say alongside revelation properly so-called, contained in Sacred Scripture, there is a divine manifestation in the blaze of the sun and the fall of night. Paying attention to this manifestation, we learn to see ourselves in relation to all other creatures. ‘I express myself in expressing the world; in my effort to decipher the sacredness of the world, explore myself.”