[from “Laudato Si”]
VI. SACRAMENTAL SIGNS AND THE CELEBRATION OF REST
33. The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely.
[Francis males no reference to Colossians 1, 15-20 and John 1, 14, but these are what he is mining]
Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. [It is here that the Thomistic metaphysics takes its meaning: God is not a being, not even the “Supreme Being, of First Cause or Prime Mover, or Perfect Being or Final End. That is, God is not a being (or Being) in the category of being at all. He is Being Itself , Ipsum Esse Subsistens, the Action that is being, without Whom, nothing else is.] but Saint Bonaventure teaches us that “contemplation deepens the more we feel the working of God’s grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves”.
234. Saint John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world “is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God”. This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings, and thus feels (my underline) that “all things are God”. Standing awestruck before a mountain, he or she cannot separate this experience from God, and perceives that the interior awe being lived has to be entrusted to the Lord: “Mountains have heights and they are plentiful, vast, beautiful, graceful, bright and fragrant. These mountains are what my Beloved is to me. Lonely valleys are quiet, pleasant, cool, shady and flowing with fresh water; in the variety of their groves and in the sweet song of the birds, they afford abundant recreation and delight to the senses, and in their solitude and silence, they refresh us and give rest. These valleys are what my Beloved is to me”.
Blogger: Notice that the creature is not a “substance,” as something, some being in itself. Rather, the creature must be purely a relation of receptivity. Nothing more. Otherwise, what being would it (you and I) have to receive the action of the Creator as Being Itself. That is, in the light of creation, we have to change the way we look at the world and account for it philosophically. Barron says: “To be a creature means to be ‘nothing,’ that is to says, pure openness and obedience in the presence of the creator God. And, as the icon of Christ reveals, in this ‘nothingness,’ in this ecstatic abandon, the cr3ataure most fully discovers herself. Various denials of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo are unmasked by Aquinas as sinful attempts to avoid obedience. To deny the creator God is to live the illusion that one can find oneself apart from total surrender; it is to fly in the face of the Gospel injunction that those who cling to their life will lose it and those who lose their life for Christ’s sake will find it. Hardly abstract, the teaching on creation seeks to place us, once more, in the stand and attitude of the incarnate Son.”