Laudato Si 234: Finding Goodness in the World

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Another saint guides us to a wide encounter of God outside of the “S” sacraments. Note here we are talking about the goodness of life experiences, not the objects themselves:

234. Saint John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world “is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God”.[Cántico Espiritual, XIV, 5] This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings, and thus feels that “all things are God”.[Ibid.] Standing awestruck before a mountain, he or she cannot separate this experience from God, and perceives that the interior awe being lived has to be entrusted to the Lord: “Mountains have heights and they are plentiful, vast, beautiful, graceful, bright and fragrant. These mountains are what my Beloved is to me. Lonely valleys are quiet, pleasant, cool, shady and flowing with fresh water; in the variety of their groves and in the sweet song of the birds, they afford abundant recreation and delight to the senses, and in their solitude and silence, they refresh us and give rest. These valleys are what my Beloved is to me”.[Cántico Espiritual, XIV, 6-7]

John is leading people to the notion that our experiences, our encounters with goodness and wonder are part of how God communicates with his daughters and sons. You don’t expect to find everything in a book while enjoying between four walls and under a roof, did you?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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