The photo of the sunrise here was one I took from the balcony of my new apartment. The following reflection that came with the Daily Gospel email for Thanksgiving reminded me of it. (I subscribed to dailygospel.org.) May the Saint’s words touch your heart somehow.
Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
Spanish Trappist monk
Spiritual writings, 23/02/1938
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace”
I leaned out of the window… The sun was beginning to rise. A great peace reigned over nature. Everything began to wake up: earth, sky, birds. Everything began, little by little, to wake up under God’s order. Everything obeyed his divine laws without complaint or sudden spurts, gently, smoothly, the light as much as the darkness, the blue sky as much as the hard earth covered with morning dew. How good God is, I thought! There is peace everywhere except in the human heart.
And delicately, gently, by means of this sweet and peaceful dawn, God taught me, too, to obey : a very great peace filled my soul. I thought how God alone is good, how all is ordained by him, how nothing is of importance in what people do or say, and how, where I am concerned, there must be nothing else in the world but God. God who will arrange everything for my good. God who causes the sun to rise each morning, who makes the ice melt, who cause the birds to sing and changes the clouds of heaven in a thousand soft colors. God who offers me a little corner on this earth for prayer, who gives me a little corner in which to wait for what I hope.
God is so good to me that, in the silence, he speaks to my heart and teaches me, little by little, sometimes in tears, always with the cross, to detach myself from creatures, not to look for perfection except in him, and showing me Mary and saying to me : “Here is the only perfect creature ; you will find in her the love and charity you fail to find in men. What are you complaining about, Brother Raphael? Love me; suffer with me; it is I, Jesus!”
When has nature brought you closer to God?
Here is an excellent reminder of what Advent is all about: