by Catherine Doherty.
The earth has been called "God’s Book of Love for Man." She reveals his secrets to those who take time to search for them.
Did not the Lord himself use examples from the earth for his parables and teachings? Though I have but a little strip of earth on my island, all of it is that kind of a book. It brings me closer and closer to God every day. God created my island with the rest of the whole universe and found it very good.
Yet I think of the millions of people on this continent who do not see the beauty in a tree, the beauty in the tracks of animals on the soft earth, the beauty in the opening of a wildflower in the woods.
They do not hear the sounds of birds, the melody of a brook, the musical whisper of trees discussing the wonders of God, the quiet lapping of waters against the river shore.
They have the sense of smell but they are not using it, or maybe they have lost it amidst the stench of our exhausts and the thousand man-made odors of a city of concrete. They do not pause in joy and wonder to inhale the fragrance of freshly cut hay, or a wood fire burning. They do not breathe in the mystery of the earth in some shady corner of the forest.
This divorce between man and nature frightens me. We have lost the image of God so clearly seen in nature because all day long we look at our own image, at the things we have made.
What are machines? What is technology? Merely images of man that other men have made and which men spend their lives watching, using, and taking care of to make more machines.
The more man beholds these images, the farther away he slips from God. He makes himself—and his images—into idols of worship—sterile idols, worshipping them to insanity.
As I think this over, my sadness grows. Not that I advocate the abolishing of all machines. No. That would be regression perhaps. What I desire with a great desire is to restore man’s contact with nature, so that man finds again his proper place as a creature of God and a lord of the earth and all it contains.
Yes, spring is beautiful on my island. It brings me to the feet of Our Lady. In her hands I lay all my sadness. And I implore her to bring her children back to the book of nature that God has made for us.
—From Welcome, Pilgrim, pp. 23-24, available from MH Publications.
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