Monday, April 13, 2009

Voices on the Sacredness of Creation

"The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is notheard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." - Psalm 19:1-4 (NRSV)

"For even creation reveals the One who formed it, and the very work suggests the One who made it, and the world manifests the One who made it." - Iraneus of Lyons (130-200)

"The Logos extends divine power everywhere, illuminating all things visible and invisible, containing and enclosing them in himself, giving life and everything, everywhere, to each individually and to all together, creating an exquisite single euphonious harmony." - Athanasius (296-373)

"For when one considers the universe, can anyone be so simple-minded as not to believe that the Divine is present in everything, pervading, embracing and penetrating it? For all things depend upon God who is, and nothing can exist which does not have its being in God who is." - Gregory of Nyssa (335-395)

"Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead he set before your eyes the things that he had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?" - Augustine (354-430)

"Look at the animals roaming the forest: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the tiny insect crawling in the grass: God’s spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent...When God pronounced that his creation was good, it was not only that his hand had fashioned every creature; it was that his breath had brought every creature to life. Look too at the great trees of the forest; look at the wild flowers and the grass in the fields; look even at your crops. God’s spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly." - Pelagius (354-440)

"May this place be a sacred place. May this be where heaven and earth meet. Amen." - Aidan of Lindisfarne (?-651)

"The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God." - John Damascene (675-749)

"Christ wears ‘two shoes’ in the world: scripture and nature. Both are necessary to understand the Lord, and at no stage can creation be seen as a separation of things from God." - John Scotus Eriugena (810-877)

“Believe an expert: you will find something far greater in the woods that in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you cannot learn from the masters.” - Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

"Without the Word of God no creature has being. God’s Word is in all creation, visible and invisible. The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. All creation is awakened, called, by the resounding melody, God’s invocation of the Word. All of creation is a symphony of praise to God." - Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

"The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw, and knew, all things in God, and God in all things." - Mechtild of Magdeberg (1210-1279)

"Throughout the entire creation, the wisdom of God shines forth from Him and in Him, as in a mirror containing the beauty of all forms and lights and as in a book in which all things are written according to the deep secrets of God… Truly, whoever reads this book will find life and will draw salvation from the Lord." - Bonaventure (1221-1274)

“...every creature is by its nature a kind of effigy and likeness of the eternal Wisdom. Therefore, open your eyes, alert the ears of your spirit, open your lips and apply your heart so that in all creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and worship, glorify and honor your God.” - Bonaventure (1221-1274)

"Because the Divine could not express itself in any single being, the Divine created the great multiplicity of beings so that the perfection lacking to one would be supplied by the others. Thus the whole universe together participates in and manifests the divine more than any single being whatever." - Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

"Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature – even a caterpillar – I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature." - Meister Eckhart (1260-1329)

"God is entirely and personally present in the wilderness, in the garden, in the field." - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars." - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"God’s entire divine nature is wholly and entirely in all creatures, more deeply, more inwardly, more present than the creature is to itself." - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"The power of God is present at all places, even in the tiniest tree leaf. Do you think God is sleeping on a pillow in heaven?...God is wholly present in all creation, in every corner, behind you and before you." - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and the most abundant furnishings. Everything in it tells us of God." - John Calvin (1509-1564)

"True Godliness doesn't turn [people] out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it." - William Penn (1644-1718)

"There is no peace more wonderful than the peace we enjoy when faith shows us God in all created things." - Jean-Pierre de Caussde (1675-1751)

"Earth is crammed with heaven / And every bush aflame with God / But only those who see take off their shoes." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

"Love all creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals. Love the plants; love everything. If you love everything, you will soon perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

"The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another." - Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

“There is no way you can be faithful to Scripture and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit without becoming involved in the efforts to rescue the environment." - Tony Campolo (1935-P)

1 comment:

  1. Brian, I just stumbled on to your blog this afternoon ... good stuff! Could you send me an email so that I can share some information with you re a weeklong course/retreat I will be leading at Ghost Ranch in NM next summer? It might be of interest to you or to someone you know. (Topic - "Greening our Spirits, Greening our World")
    Kim Winchell, Diaconal Minister
    Earthkeeping Email