If God hath made this world so fair,
Where sin and death abound,
How beautiful beyond compare
Will paradise be found!
We all look forward to the day that God calls us to Himself. We believe that it is a “world beyond compare” to which we will be invited. James Montgomery reminds us of what surrounds us right now.
You know, a lot of people complain about the world. The crime is awful, politics invade every discussion, nations hate one another and regularly go to war. Those are all the consequences of sin that has entered the world.
But, what about its beauty? Many people know that I love going on cruises. One of the reasons that I love them so much is that I get to see such beauty and wonder. From the open seas and stunning sunrises and sunsets on a transatlantic cruise to the pristine wonder of the glaciers and rugged wilderness on an Alaskan cruise to the marvel of technology in a Panama Canal transit, a person truly has the opportunity to have their breath taken away.
Then, there are my “other” vacations: to Walt Disney World. You would think that a person who deals with numbers of people every single day would not want to go someplace solitary; however, going to Disney makes me marvel at the wonder of creation in terms of the people I encounter. They are magnificent examples of God’s love for us and show us that we are all so unique and, yet, can get together in peace and good will if we really chose to.
Yes. That is all around us. In the “ugliness” of the world that is steeped in sin, there are tremendous reminders of God’s love and beauty. The more we see that and respond to it, the closer we get to God. As a matter of fact, that was the motto that Bishop Grutka chose for our summer camp, Camp Lawrence: Close to Nature, Close to God.
When we appreciate the wonders all around us — in people as well as the beauty of our earth — we look, that much more, to the day that God calls us.
Today, we bury one of our senior priests, Rev. Robert B. Evers. His job was to point to God in all the messiness of our daily lives. Fr. Barry did that well throughout his life. We commend him to our faithful God today, just as we always commend all of our beloved.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed. Pray, as well, for yourself, that you may appreciate the beauty that is all around you.