“Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker” (Wis 13:5, quoted by Pope Francis in ‘Laudato Si’)
If we have a sense of the Creator through the beauty of creatures, then we surely have the very same sense through the beauty of Creation itself, filled with such wonder and with so many beautiful things, both small and great. Indeed, the Holy Father completed his thoughts quoted above with these words which followed, and referring to the great Saint Francis of Assisi, who “asked that part of the friary garden always be left untouched, so that wild flowers and herbs could grow there, and those who saw them could raise their minds to God, the Creator of such beauty. Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise” (‘Laudato Si’).
Walking in my garden the other day, similar thoughts as this were on my mind as I stood looking at the beautiful hydrangea, with it’s astonishing shades of violet and purple.
Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us that God is the perfection of the virues and qualities we see reflected elsewhere – so if, for example, a person is ‘good’, then God is ‘goodness itself‘; if a garden is ‘beautiful’, then God is ‘beauty itself’, and so forth. You get the idea.
Sometimes we focus on the darker things of life, the uglier side of things – and certainly, we may well have good cause to do so. But we also good cause to balance this out by looking at the beautiful side of life – and that beauty we see all around us should us be a powerful reminder that this world and all it contains, is not accidental; it was intended and it was designed, and it all has a purpose. The purpose is to lift our minds and our hearts to God, Who is the author of all that exists.
So next time you look down at the tiniest daisy, or up at the brightest star – remind yourself that it is all here for you, and to remind you of Him.