Papal Visit Countdown: 11 weeks to go!
“Here I AM!” “Look over here!” “I Love you.” “That was just for you…” “Tee Hee! Yes, I DO have a sense of humor!”
Have you ever sought for God? Really looked for Him? Have you been so desperate to find Him that you thought that you would die if you did not hear from Him? He speaks to us in so many ways. We can see traces of Him everywhere we go-- in every flower, rock, tree, bird, and butterfly. It is not HIM, of course, but His handiwork covered with His fingerprints.
He fills our eyes and ears with Himself if all of our senses are on high-alert to His presence in the beauty of creation. We cannot escape Him, nor should we want to. It is like a celestial game of Where’s Waldo...only He is EVERYWHERE!
Growing amongst a jumble of tall grasses along a beach pathway this “passion flower” reminded me of God in all of its exquisite details. The "Passion" in "passion flower" refers to the passion of Jesus. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:
The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent heaven and purity. http://www.passionflowerbasket.com/passion-flower-name.html
What a beautiful way for God to relay His love for us!
While I constantly find God reflected in nature, as a Protestant convert, it is delightful for me to know that Catholics also believe that one of God’s chief means of communication is His Holy Word, the Bible. It is so important that we read Holy Scripture daily. It is like our “morning memo”, our “marching orders” for life. He will never say anything to us that is contrary to His Word.
The Lord also speaks through sacred tradition, which is HOW we live out our faith. ”For both of them (scripture and tradition), flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end.” And through the teachings of the Church- the Pope, His holy Vicar here on earth, the Councils and the Magisterium- which were and are groups of Holy Spirit lead men, on fire for God, collectively hearing from Him and passing on what they have heard regarding the Word of God and the things of the Church-- they are here to help guide us to Truth. These means of guidance and communication are all aiming at one thing...
“so that by hearing the message of salvation the whole world may believe, by believing it may hope, and by hoping it may love.”
I encourage you to seek God in all way, and to keep your eyes open --even in the everyday things. He may just surprise you. I had an experience of this love not so very long ago when I was seeking God with all of my heart...read about it here- Chapter 2 Seeking, Metamorphosis of a Soul-One Woman’s Testimony and see what inspiration God gave to me of Himself in His Passion.
Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
Help me to seek you always in the means that You have given us through Your Word, the Church, and the Sacraments. But help me also to see and hear You in the everyday things of this world. You are such a wonderful Creator, God! Thank You for communicating to us always and in everything. Help me to take the time to listen...to rejoice at seeing signs of You in nature, and to quietly reflect with You each day in prayer and through contemplation of Scripture. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart open to the things and ways of You. Give me You-- which is Love, for that is the chief reason for all.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
All quotes cited from Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html