Fr. Dale Matson
Mt. Jordan Behind Reflection Lake Kings Canyon National Park
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“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.” Psalms 27:4 (NASB)
Benedict Groeschel, OFM Cap. (Priest, Psychologist and Friar) maintains that most of us seek God in one of four ways (Spiritual Passages: The Psychology of Spiritual Development, 1993 Crossroad, N.Y.). He used the saints of the church as examples to illustrate his point. The call of St. Catherine of Genoa was to Unity, St. Francis saw God as the Good, St. Thomas Aquinas saw God as True. St Augustine saw God as Beauty.
St. Augustine had the following to say about beauty. “But what is it that I love when I love you? Not the beauty of any bodily thing, nor the order of any seasons, not the brightness of light that rejoices the eye, nor the sweet melodies of all songs, nor the sweet fragrance of flowers and ointments and spices; not manna or honey, not the limbs that carnal love embraces. None of these things do I love in loving my God. Yet in a sense I do love light and melody and fragrance and food and embrace when I love my God - the light and the voice and the fragrance and the food and embrace of the soul. When that light shines upon my soul which no place can contain, that voice which no time can take from me, I breathe that fragrance which no wind scatters, I eat the food which is not lessened by eating, and I lie in the embrace which satiety never comes to sunder. This it is that I love, when I love my God.
Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved Thee! For behold Thou wert within me, and I outside; and I sought Thee outside and in my unloveliness fell upon those lovely things that Thou hast made. Thou wert with me and I was not with Thee. I was kept from Thee by those things, yet had they not been in Thee, they would not have been at all. Thou didst call and cry to me and break open my deafness; and Thou didst send forth Thy beams and shine upon me and chase away my blindness; Thou didst breathe fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and do now pant for Thee; I tasted Thee and now hunger and thirst for Thee. Thou didst touch me, and I have burned for Thy peace.” Confessions
East Lake With Mt. Brewer Center Left
Kings Canyon National Park
These mountain places are where I fellowship with God too for it was He who made these things and us also. It can at times be as intimate an occasion for me as when I proclaim the words of the Great Thanksgiving during the Holy Eucharist.