If we seek Jesus, the word, we must be able to see Him in the created things around us—in the hills, the fields, the flowers, the birds and animals that He created, in the sky and the trees. We must be able to see him in our contact with nature. Nature is no obstacle to our contact with Him, if we know how to use it.
— Thomas Merton
Seeing God in creation is very natural for some and most challenging for others. The early church had a real problem with pantheism- the worship of nature as God. Fear of pantheism, fostered by well-meaning Christians, tends to negate the contribution of God’s creation to our spiritual development. Merton asserts that the created earth must be a vital part of our pilgrimage.
His most important statement is that nature is not an obstacle to our contact with God if we know how to use it. An essential challenge for us today is to relate God to His creation without making His creation our god. Far too many Christians see creation care as contrary to their spirituality. There is an unmerited fear that truly seeing God in a sunset or a beautiful flower is contrary to orthodox Christianity. Next time you see something beautiful, give God the glory.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
- Help Us To Understand (allsaintsrussellville.net)