Indeed, before you the whole universe is a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you over look the sins of men that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things!” (Wisdom 11:22-12:1. New American Bible).
Many years ago, a Priest read these words to me. They have stayed with me ever since. These words tell us of the story of how much God loves us, in that all of us are as beautiful and lovely in God’s eyes as if we are no different than the image I have included in this blog post. It is easy to look at this picture and reread these words from Wisdom and think all is peaceful and calm. As with anything in the Spiritual Life, it is not what we can see on the surface; but, what is beyond that calls on us to focus.
The river may look calm and peaceful, but, at any moment a storm could come and change the tranquil state. It could overflow its banks if there is more rain than its capacity can handle. The trees are often swayed by the winds and/or soaked by the rain and/or snow. All the beauty and potential change its existence. Though there may be boats that have sunk in the river, children may have drowned or people fallen through thin ice; the beauty of the river is remains very present.
Our own lives have as much of a potential to be peaceful as they do to be thrown into chaos. We, like Jesus know what it means to have close friends and friends who betray us. Yet, both our friends and foes exist in a dissonant harmony. The song may change the sound of its mode, but it is still beautiful music. The message of God is still speaking through it. God still loves us as God uses all things to shape and remold us.
Today, God invites us to celebrate all that exists, and to put our faith and trust in God’s will as we go along our own path of life. Whether that life is one of endless joys that put us on a cloud nine, or brings us to what seems like a bottomless pit of grief and pain; God still sustains us. God hates nothing that God has made. All that exists, lives and mysteriously works to bring us to a deeper union with God through a greater purity of heart.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB