Counting His graces

“The initial step for a soul to come to knowledge of God is contemplation of nature.”
{Irenaeus}

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“Some people, in order to discover God, read books.  But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things.  Look above you!  Look below you!  Read it.  God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink.  Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made.  Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”
{St. Augustine}

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“Christ wears ‘two shoes’ in the world: Scripture and nature.  Both are necessary to understand the Lord, and at no stage can creation be seen as a separation of things from God.”
{John Scottus Eriugena}

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“Nature is schoolmistress, the soul the pupil; and whatever one has taught or the other has learned has come from God–the Teacher of the teacher.”
{Tertullian}

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“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.”
{St. John of Damascus}

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“I see You in the field of stars
I see You in the yield of the land
In every breath and sound, a blade of grass, a simple flower,
An echo of Your holy Name.”
{Abraham Ibn Ezra}

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“See that I am God.  See that I am in everything.  See that I do everything.
See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally.
See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began,
by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it.
How can anything be amiss?”
{Julian of Norwich}

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“I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you the clear remembrance of the Creator.”
{Basil the Great}

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“Everywhere windows and gates, and I did not know it.  No.
I have known it and I have forgotten it and I remember it again.”
{Ann Voskamp}

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Sometimes a hard week calls for the rest of soul that comes from escaping into the wild for a bit.  Going where only the sound of wind, and birds, buzzing bees, and hushed voices live.

Leaving behind the busy world and going where your soul can grow a size or two,
expanding and remembering that we live to collect moments, not things.

And in these moments, ordinary, simple, we find we are counting His gifts.

“Counting His graces makes all moments into one holy kiss of communion
and communion comes in the common.
He will break bread and I will take and the world is His feast!”
{Ann Voskamp}

Going where the voice of man is quieted, absent almost.  And the voice of God is amplified.
Looking into what He has made and seeing how His invisible qualities are written over each one {Rom.1:20}, how the expanse of sky is declaring His glory {Ps. 19:1}.

This is what brings rest to our souls on the Sabbath: the coupling of the Word of God spoken over us, the quiet expanse of the Creation singing over us.

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