The devil has sewn a spirit of division that is running rampant throughout the world. He has contaminated the earth with evil and works tirelessly to ruin all that is good and holy. And we are all victims of this hate, which looms like a mist over all the earth. We see the result of this in all the terrible things happening in America and across the world. So it is very hard now, to see beauty or good in much of anything. Peace seems lost, and it is easy to dwell on all the negatives. But Jesus lives in us, and no matter how much hate the world throws at us, it cannot take that away. If we let Him, God will draw our attention toward all that is good and holy and away from the sin and darkness of this world. That is why these troubling times are the perfect time to seek the Thrice Holy God within ourselves and in our surroundings. Anyone who can do this will find the peace and joy of God in this world.
Finding God within ourselves starts when we begin to build a relationship with Him. It may sound redundant, but the basics of achieving that connection to God do not change. Prayer, adoration, meditation, and the sacraments are some of the ways we build this relationship. We have to participate in this friendship physically, just like we do in our human relationships, which doesn’t happen by accident but is formed through interactions that create lasting bonds. Believing in God isn’t enough, just as God waters the earth with His life-giving rain, so does He water the souls that open themselves to Him. The Eucharist contains the very life of Christ, and He is offering this life to us each time we receive Him in communion. Making time in our day to spend with Jesus is a necessity, especially in the dark times. So the more time we spend with the Savior, the more He will reveal Himself to us in the world.
Next to the Mass, the most efficacious devotion is adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Peace and joy flow from our Eucharistic Lord and penetrate the soul, and that life is changed. Now the person begins to see the living God in the world and humanity, which is essential since the world does not know God. So the Holy Spirit inspires those who pray before the Eucharist to place all of humanity before God. He gives them clarity about the state of the world, and they see the need for this prayer and respond to His call. They counteract the work of the evil one through prayer and adoration and obtain graces for themselves, their families, and the whole world. And their love and awareness of God are increased through their fidelity and devotion to the Eucharist.
So recognizing God in nature is a natural progression of the spiritual life. God created the earth and everything in it for us, our well-being, and our joy. And He is present in all of it. He is constantly communicating to us through this gift of nature, which has the power to affect the senses and elevate the mood. So it can be a wonderful distraction from the stresses of this life. But we don’t all see things through the same lens. Anyone can see the beauty of nature, but it is finding God in it that gives it more meaning and heightens our experience. So the closer we are to God, the more we will see and experience Him in nature.
I appreciate nature more now than I have in the past. That is because I see the Creator in the creation. I have a large berm in my backyard, and I have been planting all kinds of flowers in it for years now. This year, it just all filled in and came together. My hard work has finally paid off. I have a variety of flowers that bloom at different times. So the berm is a wave of colors that blossom throughout the season. I find such peace working in my yard. And I think as much as it is God’s gift to me, it is also my gift to Him. Appreciating and taking care of my yard is a way of honoring the Lord for the beautiful things He has given me. And He finds ways to let me know.
We live behind a large field, and the sunsets are so beautiful. It is a panoramic view that never disappoints. One day while I was doing dishes, I looked out the window and noticed that there were white rays of light bursting out of the sun. I was so amazed that I stopped what I was doing and ran outside to take a picture. When I looked at it, I was surprised to see a beautiful angel that looked exactly like an angel pin I was given after a friend of mine had passed away. Then a few days later, I noticed the sun going down. It was so incredible. I jumped up and grabbed my phone. This time I took a video. The sky was like fire, and I could see light pulsating out of the top of the sun. There was also a reddish-orange diagonal beam shooting up toward the sky and down to the earth. I don’t think these things happen by accident but are encounters with heaven, little gifts that lift our thoughts to God and give us joy. So when you feel a nudge to look up at the sky or whatever it may be, don’t ignore it. It may be the Holy Spirit trying to speak to you, to give you joy amid the difficulties of this life.
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My original angel photo. Cover photo from Goole Images. Eucharist photo from Unsplash