Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seeking God As Beauty And The Mountains

Fr. Dale Matson

Mt. Jordan Behind Reflection Lake Kings Canyon National Park
Click Photographs to Enlarge 

“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.


underground pewster said...

Be open to the beauty, be thankful for the experience, and praise God who created it all.

Steve Finnell said...


Where is God's authority recorded? Most denominations who use creed books AKA denominational church catechisms, use those creed books as the final authority for faith and practice.

The question is, if church creed books are used as the authoritative book, why read the Bible? The ironic thing about churches who use creed books is, they try to use the Bible to support their denominational creeds.

If creed books are used as the rules for faith and practice, then referencing the Bible rings hollow.

There is not one denomination that has written one verse of the Bible. Denominations write creed books. God does not write creed books.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Jesus did not say if anyone loves Me, he will keep the words of the church catechism.

1 John 1:4-6 we received command from the Father......6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment , that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

We are told to walk according to the commandments of God. There is no commandment that says to walk according to church creed books nor new books of revelation written by men.

If your church catechism AKA creed book, or your so-call book of new revelation contradicts doctrine that is found in the Bible, then one of two things is true. 1. The Bible is in error and therefore cannot be trusted for faith and practice. 2. Your creed book or book of new revelation is in error and cannot be trusted as God's message to mankind.


(Scripture from; NKJV)

Dale Matson said...

Thanks for the post. Anglicans do use creeds and the creeds were based on Scripture. For example the Athanasian Creed which deals with the Trinity is based on Scripture but nowhere in Scripture does the word Trinity appear.
Although there are Creeds included in our catechism, I would not call our catechism a "creed book." It is not a case of using Scripture or "man made extra biblical sources. Anglicans see Scripture as the primary means but recognise Tradition and Reason too. Remember, it was the church that decided what writings would be included in the canon of Scripture. We are not "extra biblical".