Dear Friends,

Ah – July! See how God comes to us in great blocks of light. The trees stand tall and green. The days are long, and they drowse and hum with birdsong in the thickets. The haze on the hills and the long shadows of trees offer places of respite from summer’s heat. Hay fields have been mowed, the smell of cut grass hangs sweet. Daylight is long and sumptuous.

So we sing: “For the beauty of the earth . . . the glory of the skies . . . the love which . . . . . . around us lies.” And we bring praise.

All things are beautiful – by an essence of sacred worth that our spirits sense. God is here! And we’re reminded that we were made for this Holy Goodness. We were made worthy, not because of anything we have done, but simply because we exist in the realm of God’s Creation. And this is at the root and heart of compassion and justice. Beauty is the threshold to Divine Good- ness, and a door into radical compassion. Simply contemplating the beauty of Creation – holy in and of itself – trains our spirits to see this deeper truth.

An ancient mystic – Angela of Folino – had a vision in which she saw the whole earth “pregnant with God.”

I’m caught up in the depth of the meaning such an image brings us – an image of God, nourish- ing and caring for an Earth that “cries out in labor pains, longing for its fulfillment in
God” (Romans 8:22), reminding us that the capacity to see the beauty of creation and how all things are related, is made possible by the power of love in union with Christ. It is to see God present – right here, right now – with the eyes of the heart, and to love what is seen. It is to know in our innermost being that God really is present to us in the beauty of the earth.

May these summer months be a time for re-creation, for contemplation, for enjoying the gifts given, and the love that longs for peace on earth and joy in heaven. May we all join the holy dance of life, sharing the beauty God shaped in each of us at the moment of our creation. And may all that is holy fill you with new life and lead you into all joy as you follow in the Ways of justice and compassion of the Risen Christ.

In Christ’s peace,