The beaches and waterfalls of Hawaii, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the fjords of Norway…..all of these are places of great natural beauty. Perhaps your or my favorite scenic places, whether lake, mountain or prairie, are less well-known. Whatever the case, each one of these places can lead us to God. During my novitiate year, Fr. Tom More Newbold was exclaiming on the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains to us. I remember him saying: "How could people not believe in God after seeing such beauty?"
Our selection from the Book of Wisdom today puts it this way: "Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these; for the original source of beauty fashioned them."
God shares the beauty that is God’s own, that is, holiness, with each person. Today we celebrate St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first United States citizen to be canonized. She recognized the beauty of God in the people that came to her and her sisters for help. She saw in the stranger, the sick and the frustrated (from today’s opening prayer for Mass) the face of Christ. Today, let us ask God for a greater realization that all of the beauty that surrounds us is from God.
A verse from the song FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH puts it well:
For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild:
Christ our Lord, to you we raise, this our sacrifice of praise.
Fr. Bob Bovenzi, C.P. is stationed in Houston, Texas.