The Landscape Within

So much of life seems like an illusion – a dream or a nightmare. Spacious, sweeping landscapes, however, are real. They are open-air cathedrals. Open space has a spiritual dimension to it. Vast, unspoiled landscapes are sacred places, spiritual spaces. They are sacramental, healing, unifying – and very real. They echo the landscape within.

Christ is radically present in the entire universe as its ultimate fulfillment. In creation we contemplate a manifestation of God’s face, of God’s presence – and our souls are set a fire with charity for all of creation, leading us to embrace the whole world, a world deformed by sin yet transfigured by grace.

Nature has the power to awaken the soul. On the wings of a hummingbird my spirit flies to an awareness of the sacred. An incredibly beautiful world lies silently all around us all of the time, and it remains unseen, a lost paradise, until some quiet miracle opens our eyes and we see everything afresh. By grace, seeing deeply into a flower or a weather-beaten old barn or even the tormented face of a homeless person, we catch a glimpse of Paradise, a vestige of God.

Through creation we can pick up the footprint of God. Beauty is a vestige of God. God made the flower and your reaction to it picks up a vestige of God. Listen to the silence of nature and you will hear a symphony singing the praises of God. We do not need to run and catch God; we need to stop running and be caught by God.

The One who has always been is always only Present. We are the ones too busy to be present to God’s presence. The frenzied pace of life today easily leaves us feeling disorientated and unbalanced. The crush of time and competition has nearly squeezed contemplation out of existence. Without regular periods of stillness and contemplation, we are doomed. Simplicity is the key to unraveling the complexities of modern life.

In the sea of dysfunction and destruction that engulfs so much of modern life, there is an island where hope abounds, a sacred space that nurtures the soul. That island has a name: prayer. Intimacy with God grows freely on this island. Because so much of life distracts us from Life, we must guard against the onslaught of distractions our culture hurls at us each day. We need to incorporate structured time for spiritual reading and reflection.

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1 Response to “The Landscape Within”


  1. 1 Nicholas Noe August 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

    This is a wonderful, wonderful reflection. It’s a keeper for future reflection. Thanks!


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