March 13, 2007: Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

EVEN THINGS RENDER PRAISE

The first reading at Daily Mass [Daniel 3:25, 34-43] includes such lines as this:

Bless the Lord, all works of the Lord,
sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens,
sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord,
sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all waters above the heaven,
sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

How can this be? Christians don’t accept the pagan idea that the things of the world are inhabited by spirits, that the streams are moved by living spirits — mini-gods. For centuries, Christian thinkers struggled to teach their brethren, including pagans being evangelized, that not all that moves is alive in the way of a human being or a whale. And yet even whales don’t seem to be aware of God — why does Daniel speak as if they sing praise to the Lord?

All things, including living beings, are objects of God’s love. It is God’s acts-of-being, which are acts of love, which bring into being the stuff of Creation, shapes it into this particular universe, and shapes the things and living beings in this universe. The world is alive with the songs of God’s love, His acts-of-being, and those acts are themselves the praise which return to the Creator from all that He creates.

Only human beings can try to refrain from joining in this great chorus. Only human beings can be ungrateful to their Maker. Only human beings can separate themselves from God’s Creation, imagining themselves to be self-sustaining in some sense. Only human beings can forget that they too are “works of the Lord”.

We’re moving towards Holy Week when we can realize in Church time that we’ve been offered a chance to become friends of the Lord as well, but now we have to prepare ourselves for accepting this gift. We have to continue to humble ourselves, to drill it into our hard heads, that we are works of the Lord as much as the stars and waters. We’re creatures, not inherently so much different from our cousins the chimpanzees as we would believe. We should at least join in the chorus of praise which sensitive ears can hear throughout the universe.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christian spirituality, Christianity, Lenten meditations, Peace of Christ, Religion

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