Words are more than inanimate combinations of letters. Seen with the eye, they draw pictures in the mind, etch impressions upon the heart. Words exist in time unfixed. Written or spoken, they can inspire. Or wound. Or challenge. Or all. May the words found here serve as catalysts for the good. And may they do no harm.
"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Finding God in ALL Things
By Micky Wolf
in freshly baked pie.”
Can you smell the delicious aromas of cinnamon, butter, sugar and apples? And
just try to keep from touching the crusty brown edges. See those golden hues,
the lumpy, bumpy places concealing the warm, syrupy, melt-in-your-mouth
it’s a bit of a stretch? Consider again.
of Loyola is well known as a passionate Christ-follower who gave us the Spiritual Exercises,
a specifically organized but flexible framework for prayer, discernment and
reflection. They are likely in greater use now than at any point since they
were formally set to text in the mid 1500s. [Read more here.]
may be lesser known was Ignatius’ wherewithal to help others see the true
presence of God in all things—people, creation, the events and circumstances of
daily life, and the infinite heavens beyond. For him, God was not ever to be construed
as being containable within any man-made structure or process.
is fully aware of the manifest presence of God in and through His human
creations. At the same time, he is careful to inform and enlighten the seeker
of the extent to which God inhabits and
animates, moment by moment, virtually all manner and substance, whether of
heaven or earth. So, what if you were to ponder pie—or anything else you may
choose—in light of the truth and relevancy of Ignatius’ insight and subsequent invitation?
“…to consider how God works and labors on
my behalf in all created things
on the face of the earth; that is, he
acts in the manner of a person at work;
as in the heavens, elements, plants,
fruits, cattle, etc., giving being,
conserving life, granting growth and
[Spiritual Exercise #236]
…elements—the raw materials, of the stove
and tools which were used to make and bake the pie
…plants and fruits--the components, measured,
mixed and combined to become an apple pie
…sensations—the senses enlivened through taste,
aroma, and texture, the characteristics of the pie
…giving being—the action, the laboring
through the person at work, creating the pie
…conserving life, granting growth—the partakers,
receptivity in those who eat, savor and enjoy the pie
important key to finding God in all things is to approach each day as a journey of discovering His presence in the
ordinary, as well as the extraordinary. Too often we seek Him with petitions,
pleadings, or for solutions to deal with the multitude of concerns and issues
which arise in daily life. While these are important aspects of developing our
relationship with God, relying on our intellect to grow in intimacy with Him
will be limited if we tend to see Him primarily as a fixer or problem solver.
3 steps to becoming a true discoverer:
Let go of any expectation
or preconceived notion of the manner in which God will make His presence known
To let go is to become more child-like in
nature, not to be confused with acting childish. Children are curious and
interested in everything. The good news for you, as an adult, is you can
incorporate your knowledge and wisdom into being child-like—which means you
won’t stick your hand in the flame—but you can, and need to, lean closer to the
candle, taking time to observe the nuances of movement, color, and temperature.
It has become increasingly difficult to
‘be as little children’ in this fast-paced, technology laden world, yet if we
were ever in need of the spontaneity and simple joy that characterize the best
of being at this stage of life, it is now.
Open your heart to the
Appreciating the knowledge and wisdom we
have learned and accumulated over time can be a blessing for many reasons—if we don’t succumb to cementing our
thoughts, feelings, behaviors and attitudes into locked vaults of prejudices
The same is true of acquired and
established habits and routines; they often provide needed structure for
maintaining personal discipline that is beneficial over the long haul—if we don’t fall into the trap of
believing our way is the best and only way of thinking, feeling and taking
Embrace the notion of the
living God in motion.
God is God—He can be nothing less or
different than the Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent One. God is
constantly at work, healing, guiding, renewing and transforming the whole of
His creation and created beings.Which
means He simply doesn’t do anything the same way, time after time.
The thoughts and ways of God are so far
beyond our comprehension and understanding we would do well to more graciously
accept the ‘unexpectedness’ of the particulars—for no other explanation than because
He is God and we are not. [Isaiah 55:8-9]
God works and labors on my
behalf in all created things on the face of the earth. The more we allow ourselves to
experience the ebb, flow, and movement of God laboring among us through His Holy
Spirit, the greater the likelihood we will discover and encounter Him, in the
profound as well the simple.
to me God is as most assuredly in the pie as He is in the sky—anyway you slice
How do I feel about God
being present in all created things?
Do I tend to confine God to
certain places? To certain behaviors or actions?
What does ‘he acts in the
manner of a person at work’ mean to me?
How do I feel about
‘conserving life, granting growth and sensation’?